Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy to be 49!!!!!

I don't know how it can be that I return to my home town for rest and relaxation during my radiation treatment and all hell breaks loose...but that's what has happened these past few weeks. Details in a minute....

Before I get to that, I want to thank all of you that followed through on Dick's secret plan to wish me a happy 49th birthday. I had no idea he had this rather large plan in motion. I have been overwhelmed with love. The support I received from all of you, if ever questioned, became very apparent during my birthday week. I received so many lovely cards and emails, beautiful floral bouquets and delicious fruit baskets. Normally, I would be embarrassed and rather upset with Dick. Not this time. Leading up to my birthday I had been physically drained and his secret and your gracious follow through was just what the doctor ordered.

I do not know what happened. My sister, Margaret, lives close to CTCA in Zion. She had offered her spare room and asked that I stay with her during the duration of my tomotherapy treatments, which will last about six weeks.

When two sisters are going to spend six weeks together, there is great anticipation of doing fun 'sister' stuff. Shopping, dinner out, craft stores... My first evening in my new home was a Monday. I had received my first radiation treatment earlier in the day. Looking back, I may have pushed myself too hard that evening. As I was settling into my new home, something strange was settling into my body. By Wednesday evening I was down for the count.

The week went on and each day progressively worsened. By Wednesday evening, I was fighting a fever of 103 degrees. I felt as if I had been hit by a MAC truck and left behind for vultures to take me, piece by piece.

When I reached the treatment center Thursday morning, I insisted I meet with my doctor and explain how I had been feeling the past days. As I thought they might be, they were very concerned and started running blood tests and cultures. No radiation for me...not for a few days. Instead, it was decided that my time would be better spent in the infusion center receiving two very strong antibiotics.

As my fever started to level to a normal rate my radiation treatments resumed. With that, I also continued my antibiotic infusions. This made for long and tiring days.

The good news.... Whatever decided to take up residence in my body has decided to move on. The bad news....we have no idea what it was. My thought is my body is starting to rebel and does not like the port I had surgically inserted a year ago. It is a foreign body and my body just might be rejecting it. The time might soon be approaching for another small surgical procedure and have it removed. I do not want to experience that level of illness ever...again. As Margaret has stated several times, she was afraid she was going to walk in the room and find me dead. She is not exaggerating.

I'm back on track. I have been able to proceed with uninterrupted tomotherapy treatments for one week now. With the consistent treatment, the pain in my rib area is quickly subsiding. My level of pain three weeks ago was about a 9 out of 10. I am now living very comfortably at about a two. That is when I choose not to cover the pain with medication. Something good is happening in my lung!!!!

I apologize for not writing sooner and thanking all of you for the memorable birthday. Your participation was truly overwhelming. As I begin this week, I am just now able to relax without pain or concern of illness, and enjoy reading each card and take in the scent of the beautiful bouquets that are filling our home.

I am looking forward to celebrating my 50th with you next year!