FINALLY my time had come! I was approved for Proton Radiation Therapy, so last Wednesday I climbed up on the table to have my first one. I was a happy camper since the cancer would now be dealt a tough and hopeful death blow after waiting five weeks in Houston.
The technician set me up and then asked, “Did you have anything to eat or drink in the last three hours?” “Well, huh, yes I did. Didn’t know I couldn’t since I called about that and a Doc said I could.”
He replied, “Well, we’re sorry but our written protocol doesn’t allow us to give proton therapy if people have eaten. Come back tomorrow night and we’ll get you started.”
With my tail between my legs (hypothetical speaking), and a few unsanctified words blasting through my mind, I climbed off the table, sadly got into the car, and had Sheri drive me home – lesson learned after ANOTHER DELAY!
HOWEVER, since then the proton has gone well and I’ve had three of them. Today (Monday) was a very busy day getting me started with the CHEMO. (6am to 5pm with appointments hither and yon). I hate chemo but the studies show if used concurrently with radiation the possibility of killing the cancer is significantly higher.
Now I’m in a routine of ‘endurance.’ On Mondays (including today), I get a one-hour drip of one chemo type, and then a pump is hooked up to my PICC Line I carry for the next 5 days pumping a low dose into my system, 24/5. This is my lot for the next five weeks through Good Friday. So on Easter weekend we’ll be celebrating a couple BIG events, one timely and one eternal!
Side effects normally show up starting in week three – so I have a little reprieve. And if we all ask, maybe the Lord will take me through the radiation/chemo valley without a lot of side effects. He did that the last time I was on the radiation table!
Here are my concerns for your thoughts and prayers, along with those He lays on your hearts for us at this time:
- Perseverance. I’m basically a chicken when it comes to pain and discomfort. I need to fight and stay positive if there are downers in these areas.
- Good Targeting of the Radiation. Every time I get on the table, I pray – ‘Lord, please nail this cancer this time!’ Margins of the radiation are set slightly outside the tumor profile – may that be the right location to kill it.
- Body Tolerance of the Chemo. I cringe at even low-dose chemo going into my body. But the studies are there, this path is by faith, and this is my last chance to nail this cancer once and for all medically.
- Of course I don’t discount the supernatural touch of the Father at any time, which is my first choice. But for now we believe He’s using this path to deal with our present cancer reality for His reasons and our benefit. So we submit.
COMING . . . Thanks for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf. In a few days I’ll follow this update with a more theological post – more of C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on how our prayers relate with the Father. This has me thinking more deeply on the subject than I have before . . .
Dave and Sheri