Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am finished with radiation! I am so excited to be done. I might be tired and bald, but I made it! I get a month off and then I'll go back for a follow-up MRI. I really appreciate all of your support and prayers!

I attached a picture of my wig. I think it might be a little Bieber fever-ish! I'm not quite sure about it yet. I'm going to take it to my hair stylist, so he can help me with it. I also attached a picture of the cupcakes I bought for the cancer center workers. I didn't know that there were "hot fudge sundae" cupcakes! Everyone seemed to like them.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Magnum & a Little Bit of Good News

I have 13 treatments down and 7 more to go! The good news is that my spinal cord MRI came back clear, so the doctor stopped treatment on it! Apparently since I had just finished my last round on the spine in June and he was pretty aggressive this time, he doesn't think more radiation is needed. So now I just go in for my brain, which is nice since it only takes about 5 minutes and I don't have to change into a hospital gown!

The only side effect from radiation that I've gotten so far is hair loss. It started coming out in handfuls this weekend. I decided to shave it off last night, so it wouldn't drag on and get hair everywhere. My mom did the shaving and we were both in tears. I think this is the third time I've had to shave it, but at least now I can go buy new hats! (and new shoes, while I'm at it! :)

Over the past 10 years, I've noticed doctors can be hard to read by their facial expressions. My family and I think that medical school must have modeling classes on what "looks" to use when delivering different types of news, almost like "Magnum" or "Le Tigre" from the movie Zoolander. The "I Have Bad News Look", the "It Could Be Good, but Let's Not Get Too Excited Look", and the "You're Really Not Having Side Effects? Look" (which I get a lot). They all kinda look the same, like in Zoolander, so sometimes I have to ask for clarification or challenge them to an underground walk-off!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Halfway Done!

Tomorrow is Day 10 of radiation out of Day 20! I'm so glad to be halfway there! I met with the doctor on Monday and my spinal cord looks the same on the MRI as it did before, so that's good news. Nothing has changed and my side effects have gotten better. The doctor did say that he didn't expect me to do this well on treatment and that the tumor is responsive to radiation. I have to say that the prayers have really covered me. Thank you for your continual prayers!

More side effects could be coming this week, including hair loss, so we'll see what happens. I attached a photo of my chemo/MRI shoes in action. I didn't realize I had to walk through the hospital floor to get to the outdoor MRI machine, which is a bit of a hike. I probably would have chosen a shoe with no heel!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blue Angels & Vampire Teeth

I have 7 treatments down and 13 more to go! This has been an interesting week for me. It is SeaFair weekend in Seattle, which means that there are hydroplane boat races on Lake Washington and the Blue Angels perform demonstrations. I forgot that they closed one of the floating bridges last Thursday and Friday for Blue Angel practice. Let's just say it took us over two hours to get to the hospital and I was over an hour late for my treatment. Watching the Blue Angels fly over the freeway was cool for the first few times, but when everybody is so distracted and no one is moving, the road rage starts! By the time we arrived, my sister and I were so irritated that we were thinking of just staying in a hotel by the hospital to avoid further traffic. Thankfully, the traffic home wasn't bad and we were able to leave early enough the next day for lunch and a little shopping before radiation. 

One interesting thing about going to the hospital so often is watching all of the people. I had to do a double take the other day when I spotted a patient with vampire fangs. Not sure what was going on there, but I avoided making eye contact since he didn't look like Edward Cullen!

On Friday afternoon, I had to report a little side effect, which the doctors didn't think was that big of a deal and probably just a result of treatment. However, just to be careful, I had to go back on Saturday afternoon for a full spine MRI, which takes over an hour. Spending six days a week at the hospital is not my idea of a good time! I'll find out the results tomorrow.

Good news! My vision has consistently been back to normal for the past few days. No more patch for now! Thanks again for all of your prayers and support. It is very encouraging and helps me get through each day.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Patch is Back!

So I started the new radiation plan and have completed four treatments. I  have 16 more to go. It is a little scary with them getting me into the right position and knowing they are blasting my entire nervous system with no filters. At least I haven't gotten any nausea yet, which the doctor expected would happen this week.

The double vision is back though and I even had to get out my eye patch for when my eyes get tired. The doctors upped my steroid dose, which has helped. (That means the appetite is back too!) The double vision is getting to be okay during the day, but gets worse when I go to bed and wake up. And its summer, so the patch doesn't really work for me seasonally like it did around Halloween! :)

The hardest thing about all of this right now is the fatigue and keeping a positive outlook down in the cancer center. It is located in the basement of the hospital with no windows. Thankfully everyone who works there is super friendly and that makes the experience better.