I have had four radiation treatments this week. So far no discernible side effects except for the ongoing fatigue that continues to plague me following chemo. It is very frustrating to want to re-engage in “normal” activities and not have the strength or stamina to do it. So, I pace myself. I set small goals everyday and try to accomplish at least one new thing each day. It’s slow, steady progress, but admittedly it’s sometimes discouraging that an activity or chore that I once sped through to complete, takes more time now to accomplish. Sometimes I give up entirely and just admit defeat. I have discovered there really is nothing so pressing or important that it can’t wait until the next day.
Hmmmmm…why didn’t that revelation impact me sooner?
Fatigue is the number one complaint my oncologist hears from her patients. In my case, I’m still getting over the effects of chemo, and from what I understand, radiation also causes fatigue that lingers for several weeks after treatments end. I told my kids that I will need their help decking the halls for Christmas this year, and like Thanksgiving, it may be a “takeout” dinner. I guess we will see.
My radiation treatments are my focus now. My daily schedule for the next four weeks revolves around the forty-five minute drive into the cancer clinic at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, the treatment itself, which can take half an hour or more based on wait times, and then the forty-five minute drive home. Since my treatment times vary each day, any other activities have to fit into that schedule. I’m one of the fortunate ones too. We talked to a Hutterite lady who had driven from near Grand Prairie with her elderly father so he could get his radiation treatments. That’s a seven hour drive! They were planning to stay in Calgary during the week, and drive home for the weekends. She sighed, “The good Lord does not give us more than we can handle.” I didn’t have the heart to correct her misinterpretation of that Bible passage, but wholeheartedly agreed with her when she adamantly stated, “He will be with us through it all!”
Tonight I’m gathering with friends and family to celebrate my getting through chemo, and to praise God for His ongoing watch-care over me. It will be wonderful to be surrounded by so many who have journeyed with me over these many months.
Thank-you, readers, for your ongoing prayer support. Please pray my fatigue will lessen, and that there would be no other side effects from the radiation. I’m looking forward to finishing those treatments on December 3rd, so I am counting down the days! I found out I get to ring another school bell that day! Yay!