Saturday, May 29, 2010

Finished!! Yeah!!!

Emily has finished all planned treatments and is considered "cancer free". They will not say "in remission" for years, but cancer free is a very good thing! She finished radiation, and due to some very powerful drugs, was able to get through it with very little throat pain after the initial problems. We thank you all for your prayers and thoughts. They worked! She has many scans and appointments in her future, but having chemo and radiation behind her is a very good feeling. Her hair is growing back, and her life is beginning to feel a little more normal. She just finished a TCC class, and was going to look for a job, but we asked her to please just relax! So we hope she can relax, get her strength back, and have some fun this summer. She deserves it!

They will keep a very close eye on her to make sure the cancer doesn't come back. She asked how long she would keep her port, and they told her a year That is a long time to worry about cancer returning, but I think that is her new normal. People who have been through this tell us that each year you are cancer free, it gets a little easier. We have also been told because of the chemo, and the number of PET and CT scans, those factors increase your chance of health issues down the road. It is hard not to worry! We have to believe that because God has been so faithful in every step of this journey, He will continue to take care of her! I have never felt God's presence in such a real way as in the last 9 months. We could not have made it this far without our unbelievably supportive family and friends!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Radiation....not so fun!!!

Well, Emily is struggling with her radiation. First we had the nausea, and thankfully that is no longer an issue since she started an antinausea pill before each radiation treatment. But, now she has a severe, and I mean severe sore throat. Apparently these are normal reactions to having radiation close to your esophagus, but because her radiation doses are so low, they didn't think these would be issues. Well they are.

Radiation causes a feeling of sunburn internally, and so her throat feels sunburned, and she doesn't feel like swallowing, which means not feeling like eating or drinking. She saw the Dr. today, and they said no problem, we will give you some stuff you drink that helps numb the area. We had already looked up online some remedies last night and was familiar with this, the only problem is that it contains lidocane, which they are still not sure if she is allergic to. So now they have given her a pill to take 3 times a day. It can make her tired on top of the radiation's affects of fatigue, so we don't really know what to expect.

She was told originally she would need 2 weeks of radiation treatments, but the radiologist said that she will actually have 17 treatments. As of today she has had 11, so only 6 more to go. So all of this is to ask for prayers. I really don't want her to lose weight, she has just now regained all of her weight from precancer. The Dr. cautioned her to be careful about dehydration since she doesn't feel like drinking. We keep focusing on Emily is cancer free, and all we have to do is get through this last step, and get closer to complete healing. God has been faithful in getting us this far, so I am confident that he is with Emily through radiation as well. But I am a big believer in prayer, so we appreciate yours!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Update - Radiation

Well, Emily finished finals on Mon. of this last week, came home, and started radiation on Tues. She worked really hard this last semester, and is proud to announce she made all A's! She had some tough classes, and we are SO proud of her! Her professors really went out of their way to make it possible to come home for all her xrays, PET scans, CT scans and pre-radiation appointments, and still finish the semester.

However, if you have college kids, or remember back to that time, a normal college kid comes home tired and wiped out physically and mentally from finals and not getting enough sleep. So Emily was pretty tired to begin with, and started radiation not in the best physical form. Her first radiation treatment was on Tues., and she did fine, but on Wed, Thurs, and Friday, she felt pretty nauseous in the evenings. She called the nurse, and was told to take the meds she used during chemo. They helped, but she is disappointed that it is making her feel bad, when she was hoping to breeze through. Everyone we know that has been through radiation told us she would not have any major side effects except general fatigue. We are hoping once she gets some rest, next week will be better.

She goes everyday for radiation, and will do 15 radiation treatment. So 2 more weeks, Mon. through Friday, and the following Mon. The actual appointment only takes about 20-30 minutes, and there is no discomfort at all. She drives her self to and from the appointment on her own. Everyone has been a huge support for our family, and we continue to be blessed by God's faithfulness in taking care of Emily.