Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Whole New Day

radiation Pictures, Images and Photos
Of course this is not me, just a photo I found online. But this is exactly what I did yesterday, plus a whole lot more! I'll back up....

We left our house at 6am yesterday morning. Made it to STL in plenty of time for my 930am mammogram. While waiting in the women's waiting area there, I began talking to another woman who had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. As we started talking I learned that she is a married, 36 year old mother of two kids and she begins chemo next week. She was there for another core needle biopsy of her lump (which they are going to remove after chemo because it is too large) and a lymph node biopsy. She had so many questions, as I did at that stage of the game, and we talked for probably 30 minutes about how they do this and that, my neulasta and chemo side effects, etc. She said I made her day because everyone else she had talked to with breast cancer was in their 50s or 60s and those treatment and situations are completely different than those of us who are younger with young families and such. As I left, I told her that God would take care of her and she would make it through this. I tell ya, I felt so blessed to be used by God in this woman's life. I have prayed that God would use me and would allow me to help others who are in the same situation, and that I "would be called according to His purpose." I completely give all honor and glory to God for the opportunity to share what I have been through, and what I have learned in the past 6 months. I don't even know this woman's name, but I will continue to pray for her daily.

After that we went down to Radiation Oncology and began the LOOOONNNGG process of setup. Normally they do their simulation over a period of about 3 days so it's not such a long day, but since we are driving so far, we requested to do as much as we could in one day. So I guess it's our own fault, but man! We got there at 11am and didn't leave until 430pm! When we finally left there I had been drawn all over, photographed, CT-ed, MRI-ed, and just felt generally violated! And my hubby says he's checking for my pics on the internet! LOL The absolute WORST part was my arms. It seems like a relaxing and easy position when you first lay down; I thought "ok, this is relaxing, this is good". But after about 10 minutes it became uncomfortable, after 15 painful, and 30 unbearable. They hurt and ached so bad from holding them in position (which consists of holding poles back behind my head) for the simulation so my dr could draw the lines on my chest and do the CT, which took about an hour (seemed like 10) and then the MRI, arms up overhead for 30 minutes (seemed like an eternity). My arms were trembling but I couldn't move. The MRI was the worst, probably because it came second and my arms were already shot. The tech came in and stuck her head at the end of the tube by my head and said, "you're doing great, we have about 10 more minutes." And I just had big ol' tears run down my cheeks. I'm telling you, it was longest 10 minutes I had hymns come to mind that I hadn't heard in years; I recited all my memory verses over and over and over. And when I finally heard the door open again, and she came in and said "Ok, great! I'm going to pull you out now," I thought, well good, 'cause if you were coming in here to tell me it was going to be 10 more minutes again I was going to crawl out the end of this tube! I was MORE THAN RELIEVED! I could have kissed her! I had to actually have her help me bring my arms back down to my sides because they were numb and hurt so bad at the same time (who knew that could even happen?!). Then she tells me that I when I come back for the block check in 2 weeks I should take motrin or some type of pain medicine because I will be in my simulation position for about 2 HOURS!! WHAT???!!! I keep telling myself this is the hardest part of radiation, the long long couple of days of setup. But to tell you the truth, I am already dreading my next appt in 2 weeks. You can bet I'm going to load up on Motrin when I get there!

After that emotionally and mentally draining experience we headed to go see Tiffany. And I stopped feeling sorry for myself. She had her stem cell transplant at 11am yesterday. She did great, but is completely wiped out. And they said the next 2-3 days will be torture as her blood counts completely bottom out and her body begins to rebuild with the stem cells. Bless her heart. Please keep Tiffany in your prayers! She is not only physically sick, but also extremely homesick, and she knows she will be there for another 2-3 weeks before they discharge her. She is missing her daughter Gracey and it's just really wearing on her. She is on her way to being cured, though, a whole new woman...literally. We are going back to see her on Friday. She is the absolute strongest 24 year old I have ever seen...truly an inspiration.

Needless to say, I dropped the ball on my 31 days of yoga challenge yesterday! I couldn't even fathom doing even 20 minutes when we got home at 830 last night. I just wanted to cuddle my babies and go to sleep! So that's what I did! But I am just calling it a forgiveness day and picking it back up today. I am really enjoying it. I ran 6 miles on the 'mill this morning and it felt great! The arms still feel a little jelly-like and the backs of my shoulders (like my shoulder blades) are sore. I'm also having to be very careful of the blue and purple lines and dots I have drawn all over me...don't want them to wash away. They will replace them with tiny tattoo dots at the next appt. I would show you a pic of all my body art if it wasn't on my chest! But that would be a LOT risque!

I'm off to enjoy my day! This morning in my quiet time I prayed that God would change my mood and way of thinking about yesterday. That He would refill my strength and positivity and that He would change my day. And if you don't think He did, you should've seen me last night! He most definitely gave me a new day and a new mood. Praise God that He can even change our MOOD! I'm sorry if I sound like Beth when I say this but,



VeggieGirl said...

Definitely enjoy your day after all that, dear Erica - you're so inspiring!! **hugs**

Anonymous said...

How cool that you were able to share with another young woman going through the same thing! That is definitely something of God :) Don't worry about missing yoga, if you ask me, holding that position you did for so long counts!God will give you the strength to get through it in two weeks too and I will be praying for you that day.

Healthnutcutie said...

aww, I am sorry you had such a rough day sweetie! ou are such an inspiration and just know that you are touching so many people's live- me included. Big hugs and we are praying for Tiffany too.

Keri said...

I love the story you getting a chance to encourage the lady in the waiting room. Isn't it fun when God lets you take a peak at The Bigger Picture??

This is only the beginning!!!

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