Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's Not Over

When I finished radiation almost two weeks ago, I had no idea that one of the most uncomfortable stretches of treatment was still ahead. My skin was red from the radiation, and my arm felt a little tight, but I wasn't experiencing any pain. The radiation oncologist commented that my skin had held up remarkably well during this process, but warned that it would get worse for the next ten days or so before it began getting better.

I'm glad she warned me or I would have been very worried. By the following Tuesday my skin was blistering, peeling, and very painful. The pain spread to my muscles and deep inside the tissues. I've taken more Advil over the past ten days than I did after either the mastectomy or the c-section. Of course, I haven't been in bed recovering from the radiation like I was after the surgeries, and I'm sure my constant activity has only aggravated the radiated area. Just yesterday, I finally began to experience some relief.

Less than a week after the radiation was finished, I found another enlarged lymph node just below my collar bone. The oncologist had me come in right away, but she didn't have any definite answers. She hopes I am just reacting to the radiation, but can't promise that's the case. My next appointment is near the end of September, and we'll be making some decisions about more biopsies and tests.

I've been struggling with fear that the cancer is making a come-back already. But it's been strengthening to constantly remind myself that life on earth is temporary even in the best of health, and that God has already proven Himself loving and trustworthy.

4 comments:

Suzy said...

Wow, you have to wait a whole month to get checked again? *sigh* How scary it must be, and so soon after everything seemed about done. I'm so sorry...but maybe its nothing, and I know God still has plans for you guys! You've been so strong so far....I keep thinking of you and praying, even though I do not know you. Take care...

Siberians said...

Still praying faithfully (as is the church). We will pray about your next visit and trust the Lord. Lots of LOVE!!!!

Shannon said...

If it is any comfort to you, Amy, I share your fears as I enter into the last 3 days of radiation. I, too, have had an enlarged lymph node and finally broke down in tears this week with the radiation oncologist until she agreed to send me to my surgeon to be checked. It's incredible how it is so easy for them to say "Just wait a few weeks and we'll see how it is." They obviously have never had cancer and felt the fears of recurrence! They have said it is highly unlikely to have a recurrence this soon and that the radiation often causes these reactions to the tissues and lymph nodes in the treated areas. My surgeon said if it is still swollen next Tuesday when I see my oncologist, that they will order an ultrasound to try and determine what it is. My prayers are with you as we "wait" together.

Ruthie2boys said...

We are still praying much for you and your family, Amy! I am glad you are in less pain now! We will pray specifically about this enlarged lymph node! We love you!