I wish I had written earlier than this. Happy news: The medical oncologist met with me on Friday, June 21 and we discussed some side effects I have from the chemo drug — we decided not to take the third (and final) infusion. I was hoping for that decision, as were many of my praying friends. Yet, I had mentally prepared for another infusion followed by a week of discomfort and recovery. Dr. Atiq referenced some research that we had discovered months ago which pointed to the great response my type of cancer has to these conventional treatment methods (chemo + radiation). The ongoing research is suggesting a more moderate approach could be sufficient. Beyond that, Dr. Atiq said in my situation, I risk losing hearing more permanently, so the risk is worth taking and what he recommends in my case.
So, as my dad put it when I rang that bell in the video that really was my last day of treatment! In about a month I'll have a pet scan to see if there is any living cancer left. And periodic check-ups and scans will be frequent at first and spaced out more as time goes by.
The radiation is still working on my system some thirty days after the final dose. I can testify that I still feel the side effects. I'm able to eat some soft food if it is not spicy or acidic. (Ramen noodles and iced tea!) My swallowing is improving, but I'm still dependent on the G-tube for nutrition. My speaking voice is better, but not normal. Hearing is still pretty poor. And I cough a lot at night instead of sleeping, due to drainage.
My energy level is coming up, and soon I hope to get back to exercising. In a couple of weeks, I will take the kids to my parents' house in Florida, where many adventures await. Candace will get some long overdue peace and quiet this summer while we're gone.
We have known the prayer support of our faith communities, the friendship of friends who live near, and good care from both natural and conventional healers. Life is going to get back to normal.