Monday, August 9, 2010

First week of Radiation

I have made it through my first week of Radiation therapy. So far it has been a good experience. Compared to Chemo, this is much better. I am starting to feel a little irritation in my throat and I can tell I don't have as much energy through out the day as I am used to. The tumors I have had are in the very upper part of my back, the esophagus is near the spine where they are radiating so it does get minimal doses of radiation, causing a sort of sunburn and hence the irritation. However the chemo from last year absolutely knocked me out. I was so drained I didn't have the energy to do anything but sleep. It caused me hair loss, severe heart burn and throat, stomach and bowel irritation. I really didn't enjoy chemo at all. I know it sounds kind of twisted but Radiation is a welcomed change, so far....

I have been molded, or positioned so that I will be in the same spot every time I go in for a treatment. The blue pad is a large bean bag that has been molded around me laying down and all of the air has been sucked out so it retains its shape. The mask is molded around my face so that my head is always in the same place. It is all quite interesting laying there confined and having your head "bolted" to the table. I am then targeted by lasers to calibrate the table position, and minor adjustments are made so that things are precise. The table then moves me back into the tube and I receive my radiation dose. In about 15 mins I am out and on my way. Total time from when I go in to when I leave is about 20-25 mins. The worst part is just having to go in every day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back to Work and getting back to normal

For the last two months I have been home from the hospital and recovering very well. Within the first week of being home I got off my pain meds. I found that They were making me quite dizzy and groggy, Tylenol gave me almost the same amount of pain relief but no dizziness or grogginess. So I went from prescriptions to Tylenol. After about a week and a half I was off the Tylenol too.

I was in for some intense Physical therapy as well. I got worked good and I could feel that my muscles were on their way back. I also felt that my muscles were really sore too. It did hurt at times and I got really tired but I kept thinking back to a quote that was up in large letters in the Physical therapy office.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
-Lance Armstrong

One thing I have found for myself is that when it gets tough and things suck, just realize that it will pass, it lasts for a little while, but it will get better. You need to think forward to better times. Visualize yourself doing something you love, being where you want to be, and realize that soon you will be there looking back and all the hardship you are trying to endure will be over with. It will be a memory and you will have conquered. It is such a tough mental game though. It isn't easy to think that way, but if you accompany that mindset with the power of prayer, you will witness your own little miracle of relief, and strength to push through the hard times. I am so greatful for the many little miracles I have been a part of and those I know the Lord will bless me with.

I was able to start back at work on the 1st of July. It felt good to be productive again. Don't get me wrong I loved spending more time with my little family and watching my boys grow. But I know that I probably got on Amy's nerves a little bit too often. It was good for all of us to get back to a normal daily routine. I need to thank Amy though for what she has done for me through all of this. She honestly takes care of three boys, me being the third. She does a great job and I will forever be grateful for the compassion she has shown me.