The final leg of treatment began yesterday. Someone asked me what radiation was like and an image of the sick bay from Star Trek popped into my mind. Now let me be honest, I’ve only watched Star Trek once and I’m not even sure the episode showed a sick bay. The radiation room has a large piece of equipment in it that moves around the flat metal bed that I am laying on. That bed also moves allowing the technicians to line me up so that I may receive just the right amount of radiation to the exact spot that it is needed. I will admit I got a little motion sick during the first trial run. It took three days to get completely set up because they are so careful to make sure that every detail is perfect. The machine itself is large like a CT or MRI, but it is open instead of doughnut shaped. It has a single arm that moves above me. They add a thick glass square, like a lens to a camera, that is personalized for each patient. The lights are dimmed to help me relax and to help the technicians see the numbers to ensure proper alignment. Everything is checked by 2 or 3 people at each step. The technicians leave and radiation begins. Through a speaker one technician will ask me to “take a deep breath and hold it.” Then a low hum begins and radiation occurs. Then he or she will say “you can breathe” and the machine moves and we do it again. I receive radiation from two angles. The treatment takes about 10 minutes.
When I had radiation (November 2014-January 2015) I was an emotional mess. It was the end of a long journey. I could only wonder if it was working and the question of what will I do when this is all over kept playing over and over in my mind. This time I see radiation as a necessary step that will help lengthen my life. They are being very aggressive with trying to get all of the cancer. I believe that God is the only one who can do that. I believe that God will choose to give me the length of life he wants me to have. He and He alone gives me my life, breath, and very being. He is the one who determines my steps and my story. I refuse to waste any of this journey. I pray he will allow me to see my kids grow into adults. I pray he will allow me to do it cancer free instead of battling every day. Grace (my almost 11 year old) and I were talking the other day. She has a field trip coming up to Old Salem. I had originally signed up to go and then had to back out due to radiation treatments. Grace told me that her fourth grade field trip was her favorite because we got to go together and it was during the few good months between cancer treatments. Oh how I pray for good decades after this final radiation. May the Lord receive all the glory for what He grants.
Please pray for: healing, strength, rest and good health for our entire family. We are doing well, but we are also tired from the cancer treatment journey. Pray that there will be no ill side effects or complications from radiation and that it will eradicate any cancer cells that are still in my body. Finally, pray that we will have a cancer free Christmas and that I will feel up to attending the musicals, family gatherings and other activities. I so want to be a part of everything this year.
Each day is a gift that God gives us to be Abundantly His! Enjoy it!
I promise to continue walking through this with you in prayer my dear friend. Love you! Jen
We are in constant prayer for you Emily. I appreciate you sharing your experience – its hard to know what someone is going through if you haven’t been down that road. Prayers for a LONG and happy life with your kids and grand kids one day!!
Cathy & Riley
Thanks Cathy! It was so good seeing you guys at Thanksgiving. I appreciate your prayers. God amazes me some times. He is so incredibly good.