Chapter Twenty Five

The radiation treatments ended with the fifth and final treatment this past Monday. Now, if only the tiredness would end. I had one event of nausea and vomiting on Wednesday evening. I wasn’t aware this could even be an issue. Then I googled side-effects and yes, there it was as well as was the never-ending tiredness. 

About the tiredness – this is truly very different from the tiredness of depression. I am taking medication for depression and it has helped tremendously. So, for now, I will relax, and nap as needed. It’s just that I feel like I am sleeping my life away.

So… the chronology of My Life with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer:

·       Video Assisted Thoracic Surgery – April 2015 with removal of upper left lobe
·       Chemotherapy May – July 2015 – five treatments
·       Wedge resection - November 2016 with removal of two tumors in the right lung
·       Discovery of two tumors showing growth – November of 2017 in the left lung
·       After testing and other discussions, the decision was to begin radiation therapy for five rounds – March 2018

Quite simply, radiation was relatively simple, easy and non-painful. I almost wish it had been an option when I began my “Adventures in Oncology.” What I do know now, is that it also causes internal scarring that will show up on future CT scans. Surgery was/is no longer a choice due to the lungs being compromised from the prior surgeries. I also have “new” ink by having three dots placed below my breasts to better aim the radiology beam (photon is what was used). 

I also had a bronchoscopy early on in February. It was to locate the tumors for treatment, place gold markers to be seen by the radiologists – all in a attempt to hone in the “laser” beam.

We did have a minor setback as the bronchoscopy caused some bleeding that needed to heal so the radiologists could have a clear line of sight.

I was finally able to see the radiologist to be fitted for a “boot” which is formed around my body to hold me in position to keep me from moving. While we were waiting to be taken back into the area where this would be accomplished, we were blessed to observe the following scene: She was maybe four or five years old and was patiently waiting with her parents. In walked a very tall radiologist tech, he was smiling and called the little girl by name, saying, “Are you ready for your spaceship ride?” She ran into his arms squealing “Yeeesss!” then the tech proceeded to speak to her parents before heading off to the “launch pad.”

What a show of love and trust this little child displayed. I knew, without a doubt, this scene was a gift sent to me from my Lord and Savior. Amen. Every time I crawled onto my “boot” or “Spaceship” I was reminded to pray for this little girl. This child who should not have to face cancer at such a young age, Lord my God, may she live to become an adult, and may she be successful in all her endeavors, and mostly, may she come to know You as her Savior. 

I was also able to offer other prayers for family, loved ones and even for myself and my “bestest” ever care giver, my husband Dennis. 

I suppose it would be normal to moan and complain about our “lot” or better, all the health crisis we have faced since we moved here in 2013, but I would rather revel in the glory of God placing us here, at this very point in time. You see, if we still lived Safford and had to travel to Tucson, the mileage is 129 or 2 hours and 19 minutes in light traffic on the I-10. Once coming and once going. So, we relocated here for Dennis’ health so he could be nearer the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.

It was shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with kidney stones and due to the CT scan, that is when they found the nodules in my lung. When they began to increase in size they were found right away. So this too, was a gift from God, as Romans 8:28 clearly states, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” 

Honestly, no one wants to hear the words, “I’m very sure it is cancer…” but when they find it early, that is amazing. Most lung cancers are not found until they are stage three or four. Mine was found at state one b. My radiologist said I was the “poster child” for lung cancer. Well, that is not a position I had ever hoped for, but here we are! I have had no lymph node involvement nor metastasis.

My hope, my prayer is that all of this – every single ache, pain, tear, tiredness, and scar, will be to the glory of God. For all seasons, all reasons – I pray that the God of all creation will make this count in my life and for his glory.

I attended a United Methodist Women’s meeting on Wednesday. Someone told me I was radiant. Trust me, it’s not because I am radioactive, it is because I desire to be the face of Christ. There are some days I do that better than others.

Even so, Amen!


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