The end is near! One more treatment, some doctor’s appointments, and I am done tomorrow! One more radiation session! I can hardly believe that this portion of my journey is ending. What seemed so daunting three months ago has been both easier and harder than I had anticipated. I was worried that I would be in rough shape by now but I am finishing strong. Tomorrow I have a “graduation” ceremony to celebrate the end of radiation and can then move into the next phase of my healing.
I am feeling pretty good overall, however my back really can’t take any more radiation, the skin is well and truly fried. Otherwise I have been much healthier throughout this process than I had expected, due to a combination of good health care, my body’s reaction to radiation and the protection of the Marshawn Lynch baseball. Even my fatigue has been manageable this past week. I think that having Olivia and Stella here over Christmas really helped motivate me to get up and stay out of bed. After treatment yesterday we went to the Space Needle and I stayed out of bed until 5pm!!!
If all goes well we will head home on Thursday, January 1st. I haven’t slept in my own bed since July 5th, and am looking forward to spending a lot of time in it during a quiet month of rest and recovery. Follow up appointments start next month, Dr. Fisher in Vancouver to find out how to deal with the ongoing nerve pain I am experiencing and then back to Seattle in February to ensure that recovery from radiation is on course. In March I will start regular x-rays, scans and MRI’s that will hopefully show that my spine is tumor free and that there has been no cancer spread.
This holiday week has been awesome. Around treatments we celebrated Christmas at SCCA House, which was lovely. There was great comradery in the kitchen as families made their meals, either elaborate or simple, everything from Mexican feasts to warmed up frozen pizza, and talked about spending Christmas “away”. We were able to assemble a pretty decent Christmas dinner: turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and broccoli. It was delicious and fun to prepare with Stella and Olivia.
In the week that they have been here we have done so much. Olivia and Stella went to Christmas Eve mass at St. James Cathedral (while I napped), we took in a Christmas play at Taproot Theater, had dinner with our new friends Todd and Jane, saw the window displays downtown, the gingerbread houses at the Sheraton and toured the Pacific Science Center (well, Olivia and Stella did, I napped for most of it…). On Saturday we celebrated our anniversary at Poppy, a thali inspired restaurant on Capitol Hill where Stella was introduced to raw oysters.
While I am very much looking forward to being done and to going home, I am going to miss Seattle, SCCA House, my radiation therapists and doctors, and exploring this great city. I’m even going to miss Seattle’s bus stops, which have very cool art:
Mostly, though, I am looking forward to putting this chapter behind me and starting 2015 calmly and peacefully, to holding onto the good from this trip with gratitude. I know that I need to limit my expectations in January; it will be a month of rest and recovery. My burn will worsen for a while (thank you Liza for the great follow up advice!), my fatigue will take some time to disappear, and my bowels will take some time to heal, but I am anxious to move forward and be healthy again. I also need to conserve my energy for the Seahawks’ playoff run.
Happy New Year. I hope 2015 is a healthy, prosperous year full of love for you.