Rooted

1/15/19

3 radiation treatments down…17 to go! They are going well. Actually it’s a breeze. I’m glad for something easy!

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I’m in a clinical study which administers 4 weeks of radiation (instead of 5 weeks- which is the current standard of care.) The study is looking at the benefit of shortening radiation duration to determine if cumulative side effects could be lessened. Many doctors believe the way of the future is a shorter duration of radiation because the damage compounds in your body as time goes on (usually complications emerge after about 3 weeks.) I am receiving a slightly higher dose on a daily basis for the course of 20 sessions instead of 25. The end result is the same total amount of grays as if I were receiving it for 5 weeks.

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This is a pic from my last Herceptin treatment which I continue to receive every 3 weeks. I look tired. And I was. First of all, I had a headache and felt dehydrated. Then, this treatment made me feel awful for several days. I think my system was depleted going into it. I had gotten sick after eating at Panda Express just 2 nights before. I don’t think I was back on track yet. (I’ll never eat at the Panda again. Yuk!) It wasn’t fun to revert back to the old routine of receiving a treatment and then feeling the invasion of the body snatchers once again. I was unable to get off the couch because of shooting pains in my abdomen for about 2 days, doubling me over whenever I tried to stand up straight. I hope Herceptin doesn’t continue to do this to me because I have to endure them until May.

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Me and my neighbor, a fellow cancer fighter! She is steadfast, brave, relentlessly positive, and a true endurance warrior. I suspect she is secretly wonder woman. You just can’t see her cape from this angle. I brought her one of my f cancer hats so we can scream our battle cries together- spurring each other on as we continue to wage war against this unwelcome, ghastly disease.

She, like many of the wonderful women I have had the privilege to get to know because of this diagnosis, are a true testimony of strength, determination, and faith. So many look at their diagnosis not as a crushing defeat, but as an opportunity to deepen their roots, pause from the hustle and bustle of life, and embrace the most important parts of life. This is true strength in my eyes. I aspire to be one of these.

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I re-registered for the NY Marathon on Nov. 3! A 26.2 mile tour of the 5 Burroughs, here I come! This is a huge leap of faith. I have a hard time envisioning myself race ready ever again. What will that even look like? Will I ever get my speed back? What if running is no longer fun? What will it feel like? I am in the trenches of an ugly war, been unable to run in 4 months, yet ironically registering for a marathon. I will work back up to being able to do it. I’ve got to have faith!

The NY Marathon is incredibly hard to get into. I was so grateful to get to keep my guaranteed qualification from last year but unfortunately I still had to pay the entry fee all over again. Well, get this- I have an anonymous benefactor who is paying for my re-entry! Completely paying my way. Can you believe it? Their one condition is that they don’t want me to know who they are. Even though I’ve begged my other friend who is acting as the go between to spill the beans, she has stuck to her guns, and won’t reveal the name of my mystery hero. Isn’t that incredible?! I walk this journey through cancer and continually find myself amazed by the beautiful network of generous souls all around me. Gratitude be flowing. Indeed.

Friends, my thoughts on this long journey with cancer- I’ll admit I am growing weary. You can probably guess this is the case due to the decline in the frequency of my posts. But do not take this as a sign that I have completely lost heart. I’m adapting to the winds, putting my head down, becoming more aerodynamic, drawing from my great resource in Christ Jesus our Lord, and anticipating a beautiful spring.

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The wind that blows can never kill the tree that God plants; it blows toward East

and then toward West, the tender leaves have little rest, but any wind that blows is best.

The tree God plants strikes deeper root, grows higher still, spreads greater limbs,

for God’s good will meets all its wants.
There is no storm has power to blast the tree God knows;

no thunderbolt, nor beating rain, nor lightning flash, nor hurricane;

when they are spent it does remain, the tree God knows,

through every storm it still stands fast,

and from its first day to its last

Still fairer grows.

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