And she’s back!

26 Jul

I’ve been a bit absent in my updates lately, and I can tell you it’s not because I’ve been too busy sipping mai-tais and working on my tan.  In fact, I would be remiss if I made this entire cancer experience seem like a walk in the park.  It’s not.  Rather, this past week I’ve truly come to learn why the words ‘battle’ and ‘cancer’ are so often paired together.  A week ago Monday I spiked a fever in the middle of the night.  It became so intolerable that at 4 a.m. I finally made Nick call my oncologist for some advice.  (Sidenote: earlier that day I met with the financial counselor at my cancer center and she politely informed me of my current bill – $33,000 for the oncologist visits and six chemotherapy sessions.  After seeing this figure I had no qualms about making a late night call to the doctor!)

My fever finally broke on Tuesday morning, however now I was facing a long day ahead with no sleep.  I trudged through and finally was able to enjoy a decent night’s sleep.  But Wednesday would bring more unpleasantries, those in which all my doctors had been warning me were coming – the increasing effects of radiation.  Come to find out, each daily radiation treatment builds on top of the previous ones, and continues ‘working’ for the next two weeks or so.  Now that I’ve reached the two-week mark for radiation treatments, little did I realize an exponential amount of radiation beams have been accumulating on my insides, along with all the exterior body parts they had to travel through to get there.  Result: a burning bum!  That’s right. I could not consider this a truly educational blog if I insisted I felt nothing at all.  As my luck would have it, I have a type of cancer that interferes with a daily bodily function, thus any side effects from treatment are heightened by this part of the body’s regular function.  It’s now that I start wondering if the grass is greener on the other side.  Does someone with breast cancer experience this much pain and potential complications?  What else do you use your breasts for (assuming you aren’t breast feeding)?  On top of all this, everyone has a pretty pink ‘Breast Cancer Survivor’ magnet on their car.  Does anyone even know the official color of the colo-rectal cancer ribbon?  (it’s dark blue).  While the ‘Save the Ta-tas’ campaign is getting all the attention, rectal cancer is kicking my ass!

Okay, so perhaps I’m being a bit over-dramatic, or perhaps it’s the pain killers talking.  After battling it through the weekend and laying low, I finally made it to Monday…and chemo appointment #4.  Each week prior to starting chemo I get my blood and urine tested to check the white blood-count levels (these are the ones that, when at their proper levels, help us fight off infections and other bacteria we come into contact with on a daily basis).  Today was the first time that they registered a bit too low, and the docs reduced my chemo dosage in half.  Additionally I got a hall pass to miss the next few days of radiation to let the behind heal a little more.  Despite all this, my spirits are once again on the rise.  This also may be in part to having Mom out here.  Mom arrived in town yesterday and is here for the week.  For some reason, everything just feels better when Mom is around to help.  It’s also kind of nice when the laundry gets done, dinner gets made and clothes finally get ironed!

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7 Responses to “And she’s back!”

  1. Angela Ruzicka July 27, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    Glad to hear your spirits are up!! It’s always good to have Mom around when you’re not feeling well.

  2. Danette Jaeger July 27, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    Oh Emily – hang in there. I know, easy for me to say. I just know you are going to beat this cancer!!! Enjoy your time with your mom, and I will crank up the prayers for ease of pain.

  3. Patsy Ihrke July 27, 2010 at 6:32 pm #

    Enjoy your mom’s visit – but remember she is just as glad to be with you as you are to have her there! And FYI, my friend who is a colon-cancer survivor of 10 years and going had to stop her radiation treatment half-way through because the chemo-radio duo kicked her behind too! She ended up finishing out the chemo solo, then did the radiation. Annoying to drag it out, but it still did the job just fine! No doubt your dynamic E-team docs will do just exactly what is best for you.

    You are ever in our prayers and we’ll continue to hang in there with you!

  4. Megan Baldonado July 28, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Hi, Emily! Glad to hear you are feeling better. I check your blog every day to see if you’ve posted anything new…I enjoy reading them. I also wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday! I hope you do something exciting tonight :) We received your wedding invite the other day…they were great! I loved them. We can’t wait to help you two celebrate. See you soon, Em!

  5. James Brackin July 28, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Hey Emily! Been a long, long time since I’ve seen or talked to you but I came across your blog the other day and just wanted to let you know that you’re in our thoughts and prayers. Your blog is awesome! You clearly haven’t changed from your upbeat and positive days of good old BSM! Keep up the fight and know that many are pulling for you! BTW – Happy Birthday!

  6. Robyn Fox August 2, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Hi Emily, You don’t know me but I was a classmate of your mom and dads. Just want you to know I have been keeping you all in my prayers since I heard the news of your cancer. Knowing your mom as I do I’m sure she is a GREAT comfort to you now that she is there and always. I will continue to pray for your health being restored and for wisdom for all of your medical staff. I pray that you feel the arms of our dear Lord around you as you proceed on this journey. God bless you and your family. Robyn Fox

  7. RYAN August 14, 2010 at 7:33 am #

    LET’S HEAR IT FOR MOMS! EM, LOVED MEETING YOUR MOTHER. SHE TRULY IS A SWEET AND WONDERFUL PERSON. IT EXPLAINES MUCH MORE OF THE AMAZING QUALITIES YOU HAVE. I TOLD MY MOTHER I WAS MOST LIKELY MOVING TO LAKE TAHOE AND SHE HAS BECOME VERY SAD AND TELLS ME 4 TIMES A DAY “I WISH YOU WOULD STAY” EVEN WITH THIS HORRIBLE NEWS TO HER SHE COMES BY WITH BUBBLE WRAP AND BOXES JUST TO BE OF HELP. THATS WHY MOMS ARE THE BEST!

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