Western education 2013

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

..... radiation into week 2....

..... will only involve the liver this week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I had three last week on the same days plus the neck radiation every day.  The 'finger pain' has subsided and I can now touch my neck.  The sternum is still sensitive to the touch and until last night, I was unable to find a comfortable postition for sleeping.  

Sunday brings my wonderful sister-in-law Debbie and her lovely children Brooke and Ethan.  She spoils my children!!!  Oma and Grandad are also visiting and while we were all sitting around, William called!!  A regular family reunion!!!  It is so good to see all of them. Debbie, we don't see as often as we want to so we are hoping to head up to visit them in the summer.  I wasn't feeing well but certainly way better when they all arrived!!  Xoxoxoxox. Thank you for always being so loving and sweet. 

Today I saw my medical oncologist after my treatment.  He asks me if I can feel my lump still.  Yes I can.  It has popped above the clavicle and feels like a hard marble.  Apparently it is supposed to feel softened.  Well, this one still feels hard.... and I am pretty sure that it is just slighty smaller.  He tells me that I will have a CT scan in 4 weeks with contrast to see what is going on.  My liver?  Well, it feels full on the right side just under the rib cage.  Dr. Locke explains that the liver can eventually grow new tissue over the lesion completely covering it.  He reminds me that there were only two lesions found in the last CT scan... he is hoping, as am I,  that there are no more lesions.  I know he has to be optimistically careful.  The bottom line here is optimistic, something I have always been.  I am just deeply grateful for this opportunity.

I am in the kitchen talking to Max about my appointment.  He wants to know as well why the lump has not subsided or softened.  All my research and consultation with the doctor would indicate that it might be swollen from the blast it took from the high level of radiation.  This should resolve itself over the next few weeks as the cells continue to die.  The finger like protrusions of the tumor should separate from its anchor point on the carotid artery once this begins to happen.  As I am explaining this to Max I tug gently on the lump and can feel a pop under my fingers.  The feeling is remarkable and frightening at the same time.  OMG what if I just ripped it out of the artery and I start bleeding?????  Max doesn't see anything but I hold my breath anyway and my imagination goes wild.  If the tumour had stayed, that is what it would have eventually done but Geez....what have I done??!!!  Deep breath, deep breath..... touching, touching.... nothing hurting, no swelling.... whew!!!  While there is still finger touch sensitivity to a few spots on the neck and sternum, but I am no longer in pain.  

I check my arm later and note that it is fine.  Lucky me that the Valient machine is programmed to be exact pin point accuracy with the radiation beam, which likely saved me from permanent nerve damage in the left arm.  I still have neuropathy in both hands from chemo but other than that, nothing to report.  While my doctor did not sound enthusiatic yesterday, I think he is just concerned  about what may come.  He and I know that the metastasis could have spread to anywhere in my body but we know that it also may not have.  Time will tell.  There will be a CT scan in 4 weeks with contrast to see what shows up.  They will be looking as well for other areas of metastasis and what is left of the tumours they radiated.  I will know the results a week later.  Then, three months after that one, I will have another one.  This one is the important test - it will definitively tell what, if any disease remains.  We will cross that bridge when we get to it!!

In the meantime..... we have a visitor from my friend Teri in the United States.  She has mailed me a Flat Stanley from a child of a friend of hers.  He arrived yesterday and has already settled in.

DAY 1 - Hailey's Flat Stanley

Copywrite:  Marita DeVries March 21, 2014

Stay tuned for more Flat Stanley Adventures!!  Today is the first day of Spring... and it is snowing!!!  All in keeping with the snow that has stayed since it first arrived in November.  We are all looking forward to spring coming soon... and it can't come fast enough!!!

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