Sunday, June 05, 2011
The treatment starts Tuesday with my getting 3 teeth pulled. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry about paying for all this, but I can't help it. We simply do not have it. If I don't have all these teeth pulled, my radiation treatment can't be started. If it can't be started, my chances are not good.
I started my grateful journal on 01 June. It is still early, but I have been keeping up with it. Most of the entries are more than one sentence. I also want to add some uplifting quotes in the back. I sure could use them today.
This week I found a poem on the ACS ste that I believe will be a great help for me should I have the radiation/chemo. I would like to share it here, too.
What Cancer Can't Do
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.
I'm not sure who came up with this. But it is beautiful and so, so true.
My hubby sent for me a Kindle so I might have one while having chemo. Since he has to wait for me through radiation and the chemo, he has his own that he received as a present from my brother. Mine is coming from a gift certificate I got to Amazon for Mother's day from my oldest step-son, Rob. He is such a wonderful young man. He and I hit it off from the first moment we met!
I have The Spark on Bob's Kindle and have started to read it.
That is another thing bothering me. I feel I need to be here to help my teams along and I am VP of my on-line sorority chapter. I have told the president. I told her I wanted to keep the position until I can't do it. I'm praying that day won't come. I pray I can continue with my cardio each day, but not sure that will possible after a few weeks. I know my food tracking will bite the dust when I have a difficult time swallowing and have to have that feeding tube used.
For today, I think I have been negative enough. I so want to be happy and up beat, however it won't be today. I think that since Tuesday will start the actual beginning, if it does take place, and the nearer the day comes, the more I fear. What gets me is that I haven't felt like this since the beginning of May when it was found. Perhaps everything is catching up with me.
Until I write again, I'm outta here.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Friday I saw my chemo oncologist who relayed I do have the cancer of the tonsil. He let me know this round isn't going to as easy as the last was. This time rather than a daily pill, I'll have a 2 hour drip once a week. And just when my hair and eyebrows were growing back to normal. That is true, but I'm not serious about it I know for sure it'll all come back as it did this last time. The funny thing has been my brows have come in lighter, the same my hair was. And my hair is still salt and pepper, but the pepper is a whole lot darker. Maybe with round 2, all will be back to normal.
This picture was at our wedding in Aug 2000.
It would seem I don't have any before and afters on my laptop, which I am using.
Also on Friday, I had my blood taken. Guess my potassium is low again. I'm not surprised as when I log my daily food, it is usually under what I should have. So I have a new script for this. A also had my chemo schedule made.
I have found I am more tired than usual these past two days. I hope this isn't going to be the same until I start my treatments. Both days my cardio/strength numbers have dropped. The last round I was able to do at least five minutes a day.
I can only hope to do the same this round.
After two weeks, I guess I won't feel like eating because it will be difficult to swallow and because nothing will taste right, so I'll start to receive nourishment through the feeding tube. I'll have a combo with the chemo that will help to keep me hydrated. Trying to make me feel better he told me I'll lose a lot of weight. Gee thanks,doc. That really helps - NOT! But he's so cute, I really didn't mind.
I believe his picture is in my Spark Page album if the ladies would like to take a peek. Just be sure not to let the drool short out your keyboard.
No matter if it goes really bad or really good, I won't give up even on the bad days. I have my new grateful journal and Spark to help me to hang in. Everyone whether they are in my teams and know me or friends I haven't met yet, the support and love I feel from everyone keeps me going when I don't feel like going on with what I need to do to be rid of all this nasty stuff in me.
How I feel about everything is my journey is in God's hands and this is what he wants for me. He is sure I'll learn something or teach others to believe. Whatever is, it will be revealed in His own time. Already I have taught my radiation oncologist something his nurse says he is going to change. The day I went for the check-up, I had his partner as he was in Hong Kong. Dr. G always checks the throat and neck of all his patients. When they emailed Dr K to tell him what was going on, he was really surprised. He is now checking everyone he sees.
I can't believe I haven't cried about this at all. I know there will be lots of pain. I know there will be plenty of sickness, and I am so claustrophobic I don't know how I'll handle the mask. What I do know is, I will find something for which to be grateful and record it in my book. That when I really get down, I can read and try to feel better. I've been collecting some positive quotes I love that are about cancer. I know there are some really wonderful ones here on Spark about our life journeys and new life styles. I''m adding those to my journal, too. I haven't told my brother yet and that usually makes me cry. He is the one who called to let me know our father had died at Dave's home. Then I called when our mother died and when I was told about the breast cancer. Each time I did I asked my SIL to tell him in person so he wouldn't have to hear it on the phone. We are really close. He has been my biggest supporter after my hubby and has sent me a basket of fruit when I lost 25 LBS and another when I lost another 25. HE is so proud of all I have done. I invited my SIL to join even though she has about ten lbs to lose. She did and loves the info, but especially the recipes she has found here.
This was in PA when he was 10 and I was 5.
This my brother and my SIL 2 yrs ago.
I can't believe this, I'm all talked out! That doesn't happen too often.
Love and blessings for everyone.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Well, I went to the dentist yesterday. It was good news all around. I'll have to have 7 extracted rather than all of them!! Not only does it help financially, but it can be done in the office rather than the hospital - and I won't have to be put under anaesthetic. The fact remains even though I haven't been told officially, Dr K's office called to say I have an appointment with the surgeon who did the biopsy and inserted my port for a conference discussing the feeding tube. I'm relatively certain that it is. I see the ENT who took this biopsy tomorrow. I don't know, but I should think I'll be told for sure. However it turns out, I'll most likely be delayed but this is my heath journey.
If you have noticed, my fitness points have been rather high. I have been trying to get in all I can while I can. Most likely I'll not be able to swallow, so the food intake will be what is inserted into the tube. I maybe weakened by not getting the nourishment, but at least I'll be as strong, for as long as I can.
My journey here at SP will be delayed, but certainly not over. When I am able, I'll be back full force starting from day one to meet my goals, if I have to. I'll never give up Spark. What I'll miss most besides the exercise and tracking is learning so much, reading all of the blogs, pages, giving goodies. my teams, and my friends. The support and prayer I'll be receiving from Sparkers are sure to help me through all of this.
I won't lie and say I'm not scared, because I am. The only experience I have had with feeding tubes are both my mother's sister and my mother. Both were dead within two moths of receiving the tube. Intellectually I know they were very ill and near the end after having had strokes. But emotionally that scares me.
With my faith, I'm sure all of the bad has nothing to do with me. I'm trying very hard to concentrate on what is positive. This should be curable and once more I'll
be very blessed. I may have pain and illness from the chemo, but I am grateful that this can be done and that I can go forward with best life I can.
It should have been so obvious to me long before now. If you watch NCIS, you'll understand what "Gibbs slap" means. I deserve a Gibbs slap over this. I'm going to start a grateful journal and find something to be grateful for each day I am able.
Both of these journeys are not easy for adjustment, but the results will be fantastic. And let's face it, nothing worthwhile is ever easy!!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Well, the news yesterday wasn't that great. But amazingly when the radiation oncologist told me what he was seeing and his thoughts about it, I was very very calm. I mean, we won't know for sure if the biopsy will be positive or not for at least another week. But when he started to talk about having all my teeth out and all of the dentists want their money upfront, I figured the least we would have to pay and there is no way we have that kind of money. But if I am to survive God will help provide a way for us to get what we need. Then he proceeded to talk about treatment - a mask over my face so as not to harm other parts during radiation. Because my throat will be so sore and painful, I won't be able to swallow any food so that would mean a feeding tube. During this time I would have chemo once a week. Thank goodness I have a port!!!
Another positive is I'll have all my doctors and my team will be the same. I take great comfort in knowing if I must go through all of this, I know these people and won't be nervous about them. One less problem to face, yes?
I must admit to closing my mind down as Dr K talked about the letter he was writing for my insurance so they might help us with the teeth issue because it will affect my health and life. I knew about them having to be pulled before radiation, but when he said without it my life expectancy would be six months, and it is already stage 2 in his personal opinion, I didn't hear anything else for a few minutes. But I didn't cry or go all emotional. No I waited to do that until I talked to my brother to tell him all that had passed at the appointment. Dave thought it strange that they would be so sure without the biopsy results. I explained how much of this the doctor has seen and that is his opinion just looking at it and he wants everything set up for if the results are positive as he believes. He said if it is negative, those appointments can be cancelled.
Since both of our parents are gone, Dave and his family are my only blood family I have. When he started to say how sorry he was for the possibilities, that's when I started to cry. Bob won't even talk about the 6 months, not even with the insurance company. It is so difficult to be positive. All I can think is this is what God wants. He must have a need for me elsewhere, if we can't get help to pay. As I said yesterday, it is the journey he has chosen for me and it is my place to accept that and not to question. Only He knows His greater plan.
To be honest, I feel a lot of my strength and spirit slipping away and that scares me more than anything else. My faith has always been what has gotten me through the bad stuff and my greatest joy during the good times. I am always so positive He knows what is best for me and even if it seems terrible at the time, something good always comes from what happened. I have always depended on that and it has kept me going. I still have that faith, but since I have never felt like this before I am afraid that will leave me, too.
I really want to be able to keep things light and even crack a joke or two, but I can;t do it right now. One thing I am positive about is I want no pity from anyone about anything. I also know I'm not going to write like this ever again on this blog. I'm only going to post the good news or not post at all!
Peace, love, and blessings to all my friends no matter what your faith may be. We can never have too many true friends nor too many prayers or good thoughts.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Now no one has ever accused me of thinking as Melanie's mama says in Sweet Home Alabama (one of my favorite movies). So see if I still can - I'm never sure from day to day.
Yesterday was my needle biopsy of the mass on my right tonsil. Because of our wonderful governor here in FL, my insurance will only pay when the pathology is done by a private company across the state from where we live. Because of the low rating on the lab in the hospital right across from my ENT, when it was owned by a certain company that Scott had to resign from several years ago, our BC/BS won't cover if the lab work is done there. All this means is unless we want to pay 100% rather 20%, we have to wait a week and possibly 2 to find out the results. I think the waiting is the most difficult of anything.
Now then, my throat is hurting ever since the numbing shot started to wear off yesterday afternoon. It is difficult to swallow as I was warned. For this week my diet gets to be liquids and very soft foods starting today. I must admit though, if it continues to be so sore, I doubt I'll like anything other than applesauce, cottage cheese, yogurt, soups, scrambled eggs, those kinds of things. My food tracker is now looking horrid. I have so many carbs, sodium, calories, it's unbelievable. I don't know why I thought not having true solids, I would have much less of all that. One VERY good thing is although it hurts breathing, I was able to get in my bootcamp exercises!!! Since this is week 3 for me, I believe I'll be able to finish before I even know if this is malignant or not.
I don't know why, but I feel that it isn't. With the BC, I knew before being told. It's just different this time. I hope I'm correct. My voice is changed from yesterday! If it turns out badly, the docs say I'll have to have rehab to learn to swallow and talk and I won't sound the same no matter. My first thought was I may not be able to sing anymore. My second thought was knowing my mother in heaven is telling my dad - "Well, the kid is finally going to be quiet. You know she hasn't shut up since she learned to talk before she was 2!". She used to tell me many times that I started talking before I was 2 and never shut up afterwards. You know, that always puzzled me. I simply can't figure out why she would say such a thing! I know how to be quiet, don't I?
All of this is sure taxing my faith. But it certainly hasn't taken it away from me. I know the same is true from my Spark family, too. If I get down a little, I say a prayer and come here to be reminded not only am I supported, but others need my support and encouragement. Posting to others' blogs, pages, post, and giving gifts makes me feel so much better and bring things into perspective for me. Faith and joy seem to take over and though my strength may be sapped, I can be positive once more. I'm smiling now knowing how the friends I have made in my teams and through my blog bring me such happiness. I believe I come to this site and once I start reading, bad seems to go away. Since I have been basically house bound for a long time, my friends have all but disappeared any everyone here has filled that void for me more than I could ever say.
All and all yesterday started a new beginning for me no matter the test results. Cancer sure has a way of seeing clearly what means the most and things you truly need to be concerned with and what just isn't important enough to waste time worrying. I don't mind my house being messed up. We have four dogs, what would you expect? The dogs to care for and give love and security to are far more important than things being stacked or out of place. If others don't like it, I'm sorry for them as they haven't learned that kind of lesson. Honestly, I pray they never have to the same way I had to do.
Today I see my radiation oncologist to talk about options if this is positive. As much as I love my entire team at the cancer center, I could have done without seeing them so soon after completing all my treatments in March. But I know God knows why I'm on this journey and it is really up to me not to question, but know it's the path I must take.
Love and peace to all my friends - those I have and those I haven't met yet.
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