And now that all the treatments are over, I have so many thoughts going through my head. There are so many things I still want to say and so many things I feel like I've missed or skipped over.
Let me start with radiation. It was the same thing, day in and day out. I would leave work at 10:45, arrive downtown sometime around 11:15 and sometimes I'd wait 2 minutes and sometimes 20. Once I was taken back to the radiation room I would undress from the waist up and put a pillow case over me, walk to the machine (in the same room where I undressed) and would lay under the radiation machine. They would line it all up with the dots and dashes on my skin and then say, "I'll be right back." They'd walk out of the room, the radiation would occur, then they'd come in, lower the table, I'd get up and put my clothes on and leave. It took me longer to drive downtown than to get the treatment.
With about 14 treatments to go, the underside of my breast began to split and get very sore. I was given 2 prescriptions: One to put on the entire area to combat redness and itching and the other to put on the burn and split area. The split area began to get bigger and worse. I now have 2 places underneath that are rather large and very burned. It's like a sun blister. The skin is broken, red and painful. I'm putting the cream on for the burn and using gauze to keep them from touching each other. It's getting better but still very painful.
About 7 treatments from the end, they close in on the area of the tumor. The areas that are badly burned don't receive anymore treatment and can begin to heal. They make more marks on the skin in the shape of a lopsided circle. They make a plate to go in the radiation machine that allows radiation to only be received at the area of the tumor, within that circle. This radiation procedure takes less time and because it's in a smaller area, doesn't burn quite as bad.
My last treatment was Monday, February 28th. I've never like January and February and this year was certainly no different. I've never been more happy to see March.
I could not quit smiling yesterday. It was rainy and cold, but my spirit was light and sunny.
Today was a little bit different. I'm feeling a lot of different emotions tonight. I'm still very happy that it's over. I'm looking forward to healing. I'm planning a party to celebrate the end. I'm planning a vacation. I'm looking forward to warmer weather and a better year than last. But I'm also feeling a little bit lost. What do I do now? In one of my 1st blogs I told how a friend said I'd have to find a new normal. Now I'm having to find my way back to the old normal. And I feel like there's still so much to do in this new normal. It feels as though I'm leaving one life and going on to another one but there is unfinished business. I'm not quite sure how to explain this feeling.
I never, ever want to go back to cancer. I think part of me is scared that it will return at some point. Part of me is heart broken over friends who are now traveling this road. I want to help but the feelings are still so raw. It's like getting out of a pit then climbing back down to help someone else out. You know the rope is there to lift you up, but you're so scared you're going to get stuck again.
Part of me wants to run as far from this as possible and never speak of it again. And part of me wants to help those in need. Maybe this is a time of healing; physically, mentally and emotionally.
A good friend who went through this 3 years ago told me that after her radiation was over she cried continuously for a month. I wondered why but now I understand. Even as I type this tears are streaming down my face and I have no idea why. I told my husband I was going to have a breakdown after it was all over. I was halfway kidding. I didn't expect it to come so soon. Maybe part of me felt as though I couldn't break during the battle because I still had to fight. Now that's it's over, I can let it all out and let my defenses down and do the breaking down I need to do. Albert Smith said, "Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it." And Charles Swindoll said, "A teardrop on earth summons the King of heaven." That is the most important thing, right? God sees every tear and binds up our broken hearts so that we can finish our journeys and move on to help those around us.
I'm not certain how much longer I will blog about this journey. As I said before, I still feel there is much to tell. God will use this journey in whatever way He sees fit.
I can never thank everyone who has had a hand in this journey. If I was on stage at an awards show I'd be the one they interrupted with music as a sign to wrap it up and leave the stage.
I leave you for now with one of my favorite scriptures: Isaiah 61: 1-4--"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations."
May God bless you richly, heal your hurts and teach you to believe Him. -