Bring it on!

sunflowerws3

As I get ready for 15 straight days of tough chemo & radiation starting tomorrow, what better picture to visualize than a field of sunflowers in North Dakota. How can anyone look at sunflowers and not smile??

I am ready for the tough time ahead…. hope it won’t be as bad as it can be. I need your thoughts & prayers. Bring it on doctors!

Waiting for chemo & radiation project

norway112

Several people have asked me to post some of my favorite images from my travel career. So I will filter some in in the coming weeks of chemo & radiation ahead.  I may not have too much energy at all in the weeks ahead, so i hope I can keep this going from time to time.

One of my favs was this one in Norway. I was shooting for a cruise line for two weeks, but rented a car for myself for another week to explore some more of Norway. There was a physical education class learning to kayak and they all were on the side talking. I just liked the way the kayaks were lined up in the beautiful fjord, so I took this photo. I also took video later of them on the boats, but this is one of my top ten images if I were to rank them.

Delay a week for mapping of radiation

Spent today in the scan machine at Florida Hospital as the radiation team “mapped” my insides and made a mold for me to fit in so that I won’t move during the radiation.  All of this is to be extra careful that the radiation is really focused exactly where it should be and little (or no) fall out to the surrounding areas.

So this delays the radiation & chemo as we now start on Monday May 1st for 15 straight days..  It is worth the wait to get it right.

No other news…. anxious for this radiation to kill so much of this tumor and open up my stomach.  Golly, would I love a real meal!

I’m ready for this next step…. bring it on!

Back to Florida Hospital for Endoscopy & Markers Placement

 

FLH

Today went to have minor surgery with an endoscopy to check the tumor and then place the gold markers for the radiation guidelines.  I always heard that “minor surgery” was surgery to someone else!  🙂

After I came to, the doctor said the tumor was not obstructing my stomach, but it’s effects are what causes me to not be able to eat.   I am hoping & praying that after three weeks that a combination each day of chemo & radiation can kill lots (all?) of the tumor and I will be able to eat.  Oh, to have a slice of pizza, a sandwich, even a desert!!  Such joys in life that we don’t appreciate until they are taken away.

The gold markers placed on either side of the tumor are to direct the radiation focused on that area and (hopefully) not damage surrounding areas.  One problem with pancreatic cancer is that there are other important organs so crowded together.  So they must be as directed as possible.

When I first found out I had cancer (on June 25th last year, a day I will never forget!),  I soon had 10 strong strong sessions of chemo every two weeks until November.  But I was stronger & heavier then and did not have any real bad side effects (other than losing my hair) These chemo sessions will be every day for 15 days and will be more mild.  BUT, combined with the radiation and my much weaker body, I may well feel badly & more weak than ever.  It is the price I need to now pay to kill much of this tumor.  So, pray for me as I endure not great days ahead.  I do not even know if I will have the energy to get out of bed, email of call anyone on the phone.  Just say prayers as I go “silent” for awhile please.

As I have said before, Cancer is a HORRIBLE disease, affecting so many of us with our loved ones.  I hate what cancer has done to my strength, my energy, my body …. but I will not let it take one my spirit.  I remain the same person with the same resolve.  I ask for your thoughts & prayers as I battle on.  Keep your faith as I will !

 

A rough time coming ahead

Went to the oncologist today and we are getting ready for a really tough & intense three weeks soon.  I will be doing 15 days straight of chemo & radiation on each day.  I hope my energy is up for this!  I will do my best, I know.

Seems the tumor is a little larger (not good news), but no indication it has moved anywhere else (hopefully, good news).  So we are going to hit it hard in the next month and hope it reduces the tumor and helps with my digestion.  The problem I have had that has taken my energy (and more weight loss) is that I can not eat any food and make it thru my stomach.  Something in the pancreas has blocked the stomach somehow, so I am limited to a feeding tube into my small colon.  How I would LOVE to eat a pizza slice, or a sandwich, or anything!  I have had more trouble in the last there months with my stomach than with the cancer!

By the way, the reason why I am doing 15 days of BOTH chemo & radiation is that my doctor says the chemo will make the radiation much more effective.  I have to believe him.

The problem is my energy level is really low.  Those that know me know this is UNUSUAL for me!  But I have lost so much weight and only getting nutrition from a tube makes me not real strong right now.  So say a prayer for me to make it thru this 15 days really successfully.  On the 20th, I am having an endoscopy to place 2 gold pins on each end of the tumor so that in the next 3 weeks they can really pinpoint the radiation exactly between those two points only.

I hope that I do not lose any more energy with this treatment.  This cancer does horrible things to one’s body, but I will NOT let it get to my spirit!  I am a fighter and I want to fight this as hard as I can.  Cast some thoughts my way that I can have the strength to keep upright in these three weeks.  I may find that I can not do as much email and FB stuff after I start, as this is all new.  I wish I could keep taking the Alternative Methods medicines, but I can not swallow any pills and we can not crush enough of them to get them into the extremely small tube into the small colon. So for now it will be traditional only.

As always I send all of you warmth and I thank you for your caring.  I hope that those that need some positive vibes can sense that positive from my strong will power.  So I say Cheers to all of you.

Made the decision for Radiation treatment

Last breathe

After much prayer, consideration, research  and discussions with family, I have decided to not go on the 8-week Alt Med route and am starting radiation in about 1 -2 weeks.

I hope that I have made the right decision.  There really is no “right” decision, as they both have their merits.  Hopefully, the radiation will destroy some more of the tumor and then perhaps I can go towards the Alt Medicine later.

I need to gain weight and get energy.  If I can remove some of the tumor near my stomach, perhaps I can get back to eating rather than the feed tube.  I can tell you a feed tube is no way to exist!  So say prayers for me in this decision.

I send hugs to all of you reading this.  I especially send warm thoughts for those of you that read this that may be facing health concerns.  I get a  lot of email from people going thru health issues and I have inspired them.   I hope that you see that cancer is TOUGH and tough on the body — but I will NOT let it take a way my spirit or the fight I will continue.  So continue your fight also, never losing the goal ahead.