Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Done with Radiation!!

I just finished my ten days of radiation on Monday the 17th. So far my only side effects are a rectangular "suntan" on my chest (we radiated my sternum) and some esophagitis (did I spell that right?). My esophagus hurts at the bottom where it attaches to the stomach. I think this is from the radiation we did to my upper spine--they said it could burn the esophagus. The worst of it should be over by the end of this week. So I'm done with radiation until something else begins to hurt--which hopefully is far off! The radiation is mainly to relieve pain in my bones--or to kill a spot of cancer in a bone that looks like it could break. We can't radiate my ribs, though, since they're so small. It felt like I broke another one in my upper right chest over the weekend. But with time the pain gets better. The woman in the photo with me was one of my radiation buddies, Bodell (I'm not sure I spelled her name right).

Currently I feel pretty good and can move a lot faster. I'm thinking I'll try walking for exercise again (no more running). I'm usually pretty tired by the end of the day, and my back will ache or my ribs will hurt. It's still hard to bend over to pick things up or to put pants on, but it's getting better--and it's nothing like the pain I was in at the beginning of December. Every day is better.

I met with my oncologist, Dr. Sandra Buys yesterday and recieved my second shot of Lupron to shut my ovaries down. I get this once a month so I can take Femara, a drug that fights the cancer growth. It works only in post-menopausal women, so that's why I have to get the shot. We also set my next date to get the IV of Zometa, the bone-strengthening drug for Jan. 11th. This is the drug that I had such a bad reaction to at the first of December when I went into the hospital. We're hoping to have a better go of it this next time around. I asked Dr. Buys to move the date into January so I could enjoy the Christmas and New Years break with my family.

We are so amazed at the kindness and generosity of our family and friends!! We have recieved so much!! We have recieved help with meals, house cleaning, help driving me to all my appointments, Christmas shopping, and more. A good neighbor planned and paid for Joe's birthday party last week (which was so fun--Joe loved it). Some friends of ours also suprised us Saturday with a new bed for me--one that has a remote control and lifts/lowers your back or your legs and has MASSAGE!! No more sleeping in the recliner!! We are blown away with how we have been blessed and loved by everyone!! We love you all!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Weekend Getaway at Huntsman Hotel

Bryan and I spent an adventuresome weekend away at the Huntsman Hospital. Sunday I was given two units of blood--which was quite exciting when I had an allergic reaction and my whole body broke out in hives. The nurse gave me a dose of Benadryl and some Lorazipam in my IV which made me feel like I was going to pass out--and I thought if I did I might not wake up. After we got that under control, I was a bit nervous to get the second unit of blood, but after the nurse promised everything would be fine, we went ahead and it went much better. We were finally released Monday morning so I could get to my 11:15 am appointment at St. Marks Hospital to get ready for radiation therapy--which will begin Tuesday and run for ten days.

It's good to be home--especially to see the boys. I do wish I had that awesome hospital bed that has all the fancy buttons and conforms to your body. I guess the recliner will have to do for now.

I'm feeling a lot of pain in my lower back/hip which makes it hard to bend over or put on pants in the morning. My sternum is VERY tender and hurts just to touch it. Hopefully with the treatments I'm getting the pain will get better. I know with radiation, it's actually supposed to be a little more tender before it gets better--but what's a little more pain? Bring it on!!

THANKS so much to everyone who have helped us out with the kids, meals, fasting, prayers and all the words of encouragement!! WE LOVE YOU ALL!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Spending the Weekend at Huntsman

It's just been a party this weekend at Huntsman Hospital. I arrived by ambulance Friday morning after a night of nausea and vomiting which made the bones in my torso feel like they were all broken. I have since vowed that I will never throw up again--ever! I couldn't hardly walk or sit up or lay down without extreme pain--and being upright made me feel nauseous--so that's why we ordered the ambulance--so I could lie flat.

My bones are feeling much better now--just the regular aches and pains from before--with a little more soreness in my sternum and lower spine/hip area. I've had a fever, so they're trying to get that under control. I also have low white and red blood cell counts so that could be the reason for the fever. They also want to give me a blood transfusion (2 units) since my numbers are so low.

I'm hoping to come home Monday morning if all goes well, and they'll give me antibiotics to keep the fever away and treat whatever is causing it.

What I really want to do is put on my snow clothes and boots and go hiking in the hills behind the hospital here!