Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Day 1 of Chemoradiation

Treatment begins today. I woke up an hour and a half before my alarm feeling so distraught and overwhelmed. But then I was led to just the right scripture and devotion that I needed. I know God has prepared me for this battle. I've spent the last year and a half working on me - my health, my relationships, personal development and mindset, and most importantly, my faith. God has put people in my life to support me. New friendships have been made and old ones have been rekindled. I joined a Bible study with some incredible, prayerful women. Friends and strangers are gathered in prayer, some of which for the first time. God has led us down the path for finding physicians and treatment that I need. My boys are loved and prayer for. My hubby has some amazing friends that have helped him through. I am closer to God and my husband than ever before. And for all of that, I will be forever grateful.

After meeting with two surgeons, two radiation oncologists, and one oncologist, I feel confident in who we've chosen to provide care. (And I've learned a whole lot about the importance of being your own best advocate). I'll be at one hospital to see my oncologist, another to receive radiation treatments, and then in Ohio for surgery. (Gotta keep it interesting...) I've received lots of questions and it's so hard to answer all of the messages so here's the scoop...
• I feel great. I've never felt bad. And I do have a family history of cancer. The surgeon said it's probably been slow growing for 5-10 years. What caused me to get a colonoscopy was blood in my stool. (TMI but I've probably had a least 50 people pm me and ask so there ya go...) The GI doc said once you begin having symptoms, it's usually too late. So, go get a colonoscopy! It's easy peasy. You'll wake up and have no idea what happened. ha!
• I began chemo pills (with breakfast and dinner) today. This is not the chemo through a port. Just pills. I'm told I won't lose my hair. So you don't need to stare at my head and try and figure out if it's my hair or a wig - lol. (I've received that question a lot too - and trust me, oh how I wish losing my hair was my biggest concern). There's a chance I might do the heavy duty chemo after surgery but we're crossing that bridge when we get to it. My hairdresser and I have a wig picked out in case that time comes. God has blessed me with a lot of things but I don't think a pretty, symmetrically shaped head is one of them. I will continue the pill for 5.5 weeks along with radiation.
• My first radiation treatment is this afternoon. It only takes 15 minutes per treatment. I'll go daily Monday-Friday for 25 treatments. Because of the location of the tumor the side effects will be pretty crummy. I'm told that the side effects won't start until about 1.5-2 weeks in and then they will continue for a couple of weeks after treatment ends. This is what I'm dreading. This is what wakes me up at night lately. But I have prayed, I have researched, I have talked to people that been through it, and have spoken with several physicians. And it begins today. I met with my new radiation doc Monday and told him about someone whose tumor disappeared after radiation and Xeloda (chemo pill). He said that happens in about 15% of patients. I immediately responded, ok, here's to being that 15%. It didn't occur to me until later that night, that 15% really isn't the best of odds. lol. But, my initial gut response was I'll be in that 15% so let's go! I believe in the power of prayer and God's healing hands so I'm ready.
• I am doing as much naturally and holistically as I can. I've eaten clean, exercised, taken supplements and used essential oils. I have the ok to continue my vitamins and probiotics during treatment. And I'm really trying not to worry about the fact that in a few weeks, I might only be able to tolerate toast... I mean... It is what it is.
•After treatment ends, I will rest and recuperate for 8-10 weeks before surgery. I'm not sure what will happen after that. And to be honest, I have to take on day at a time or I'll go insane. So right now I'm focusing on getting through this treatment and pray that it will kill every cancer cell in my body.
• I put this all out there because I believe strongly in the power of prayer. I believe in God's healing hand. I draw strength from scripture but also from my friends and family. And I'm told that I've inspired others in their faith along my journey. (who knew?!) yes, I've already seen miracles happen. Yes, I'm a very positive person by nature. And yes, this has been tough on myself, my family and my friends. But this is part of my story. I have no idea why I've found myself on this little detour at this point in my life. But I chose to embrace it and find the good in it all. Thank you to everyone that has done that alongside me.
• Specific prayer requests for my prayer warriors:
*Pray that the chemoradiation kills the cancer cells and shrinks that tumor down to nothing
*Pray that I can tolerate side effects, that they are minimal, and that I don't have any long term/permanent side effects from treatment
*Pray that my blood work will remain normal during treatment and more specifically that my white blood cell count stays normal
*Pray for comfort and peace for Eddie and the boys - especially if I become a horrible, grumpy person in the weeks to come. lol
*Pray for God's complete and total healing of this cancer
*Pray for the doctors providing my care
•And please know that I pray constantly that God blesses each of you that say a prayer for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

#Godsgothis #letsgetthispartystarted #fistsupforcori #bringit #bubbyecancer

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