November 30, 2018

I escaped chemo, and started radiation

As if you haven’t been able to tell from my previous posts, but chemo therapy was probably the absolute hardest four months of my life. I’ve talked to other people and I don’t think it effects everyone the same way, but it was incredibly miserable for me for the large majority of those days—between a super cloudy brain, severe constipation, nausea, aches and a plethora of other “small” symptoms, I was pretty much over chemo.

I was thrilled when I was done.

Two of my sisters took my out one night to celebrate! They took me to an escape room and gave me this t-shirt.

“I escaped chemo”!! So clever. Haha.

They also gave me this donut. 

I h’ate’ chemo.” Again so clever.

We played this escape room with 21 minutes left. He told us it was their hardest room. But if you get three Allen girls in a room, and if they can figure out which direction to hold the locks, the room stands no chance.

Some sweet friends also put together an end of chemo celebratory girl’s night. 

I am thankful for such good friends and to be surrounded by some fabulous women. Though I didn’t get pictures of everyone. It was such a nice evening.

And now I am three days into radiation. The doctor originally told me I would have 6 weeks of radiation, but when I went in to get my schedule I was scheduled for 7 weeks. Not the best news I’ve ever gotten, but I’ll take anything over chemo!

Almost two weeks before radiation I had to go into the office to get a quick (no contrast) CT scan and to make a mold. It was pretty simple and painless. They also marked up my body with a sharpie so I’d be aligned. On my first day of radiation they replaced my sharpie marks with 5 permanent freckle sized blue tattoos. That was the worst part of the day. This was one time I was grateful that I am still numb in some places so I only felt 4 of the tattoos. (Why anyone would choose to get a tattoo and suffer that pain I do not know!)

Radiation is pretty easy. I spend more time changing in and out of my pink gown that I do on the radiation table. There are lockers for my stuff and my own bag for my gown. 

When I’m called back, I lay on the radiation table on my pillow mold with my hands above my head. They line me up using my tattoos. They start the radiation and the machine moves around me. It’s kind of like a CT scan and an x-ray combined. My arms start to go numb. And then I’m done. As time goes on, I may get burned and tired, but so far (granted, this is just day 3!) it has been just fine. 

My favorite part has been when Eric and Brinny come with me. They wait in the waiting area. Eric says that Brinna is a star out in that room and all of the older people ooh and ahh and smile at her. Then when I’m finished and walk back out to meet them, she points at me and shouts “mama” and it is the best greeting in the world. Usually, someone in that room also tells me that she looks just like me. 

I also had a CT scan (with contrast) last week and we found out yesterday that everything looked good. I still have to do an mri again next week, but such a happy day to hear that so far everything is going well.