Ok as some (most? all?) of you know by now, today was my LAST DAY OF RADIATION!!!! Sorry to yell, but I’m super psyched 😉 My throat is killing me, my skin is red and peely, I’m tired in an all-consuming way, and I’m coughing up blood – but I made it!!! Lol. Here’s a look at my skin:
Hard to see how red I am, not showing up on camera well, but you can sure see my swelling!
Another win, I got to keep my mask! Victory pic!
But here’s the kicker, and the reason why this post is poorly put together and horribly written. As I went to leave today, mask in tow and huge smile on my face, well at least half my face, the nurse there calls me in an exam room and says she needs to talk to me. So I’m sitting there panicking wondering if my radiation oncologist wanted more treatments or if they had accidentally radiated the wrong side and I gotta do it all over again. So Mary comes in (and I gotta tell you, Mary is the sweetest person, you know one of those people that really listens and really cares. I love her) and she starts telling me about this local organization called “For Pete’s Sake” that sends young adults with cancer on an all-expenses paid vacation!!!!!! Ahhh! I can barely type because I’m tearing up again. But basically it’s an organization that was started by a man who was diagnosed with cancer in 1998 and him and his wife went on a great vacation that helped him forget about his health issues for a little. He ended up passing away in 1999, but his wife put in his obituary that people could make donations to an organization that she was starting that would provide that dream vacation to other families. Their tag line is “take a break from cancer”. I love it! Mary is very involved with the organization and told me that last year they sent 140 families on their dream vacation, and this year we get to be one of them!!! There isn’t like an application process or anything – once you’re nominated, you’re going.
It’s still so hard to believe. I can’t really wrap my head around it quite yet. There are several places available to go to…and one of them is DISNEY. This is where I started bawling in the exam room. It has always been my dream, since having kids at least and definitely amplified by cancer, to take the kids there so I am beyond elated that that is a possibility for us. And they don’t mess around, we will be going sometime within a few weeks! And if the Disney dates don’t work out, we will still get to go somewhere fabulous like the Carolinas, or the Poconos, or some extravagant mansion in Virginia. I can’t even put together words right now about how this makes me feel, but I do know that I want to make other people feel like this too. We are definitely going to donate and get involved with them. Just this news, even though we don’t know when or where yet, has rejuvenated my spirit and made me feel so amazing and loved. If you are interested in learning more about them or donating to this organization, here is their info from their pamphlet:
I just can’t believe this is really happening. Things like this don’t really happen but on tv! I made my title “Why is this happening to me?” because although typically associated with bad news, I feel like saying it the other way. I don’t know why this is happening, but I’m so grateful to the organization and the people behind it that made it possible. I can’t believe we might be going to Disney!!!! And these people take care of everything. They will pay airfare, food, rental car, park tickets, everything. Their only concern is that you don’t worry about anything and have a great time with your family. They even give you a camera at the beginning of your trip and at the end you submit it to them and they make you a memory book of all the pics. Seriously, so amazing. Ahh – I’m so excited!!! A trip away with Eric and the kids sounds so amazing right now :))
Ok, phew, starry-eyed amazement aside, I wanna tell you quick some updates. I will be seeing my oncologist next week to discuss chemo. Chemo treatments will probably start late February or early March (I’m hoping early March so I get some time of feeling good before that starts). It will be interferon treatments that are infusions 3 times a week for a month (gotta get a pic line – yikes!) then shots three times a week, that I’m hoping insurance approves to be done at home. I could use some prayer on that one! I want to stay connected to the PENN network and hopefully get my treatments at Valley Forge in the same center I’ve been going to for radiation. I also have a PET scan coming up in Febraury that I need prayer for. I don’t ever want to hear that the cancer has spread to my organs. Once that happens you’re automatically stage 4. We just don’t want that.
So anyway, thank you all again for praying and keeping us close to your hearts. And thanks Mom and Dad for the flowers 🙂