It has been many moons since we last spoke. I think the end of my radiation treatment is as good a time as any to make a post. Let’s start with radiation, shall we?
Radiation was uneventful. My plan was 6 weeks of treatment to target the primary tumor stemming from the rib and the metastatic areas on the iliac crest and femur. Remember that inconclusive biopsy once upon a time? Apparently, upon further inspection, it did turn out to be Ewing’s. Nevertheless, radiation went well! Side effects are dependent upon the area of the body receiving radiation, so my main concerns are kidney problems down the road (my left kidney is right behind the primary tumor) and bone weakness. Skin irritation is common in a lot of patients. I was SO CLOSE to getting away without any burns, but alas. I finally got a light burn on my second to last treatment to my iliac/femur area. It’s like a sunburn mixed with a rash. Not a huge deal, and certainly not a hard price to pay for the effects the radiation will have.
“Hannah, why the title?” Oh, what a good question! Thank you for asking! The reason I titled this post “19 Weeks and Counting” is that I have 19 weeks of chemo left, not including rest weeks. I can have anywhere from 2-5 rest weeks in between weeks of chemo. It won’t take as long as it did during radiation, though. Because my radiation was largely to my pelvis, a big blood-producing area, it was near impossible for my body to build my blood back up to a level that could withstand more chemo. That’s why it took me about 5 weeks to get back. Now that I’m finished, it won’t take me as long to get ready each time, but it will still be a longer journey than I expected.
My projected end date has been pushed back considerably. I will not be back in action in February like we thought. Instead, I’ll be back intermittently in the spring, when my counts are up.
Physically, I’m on track. Emotionally, I struggled for a while. My senior year is being taken from me one week at a time. I’ve never been one to do things normally, though, have I? I was bitten by a snake, I only applied to one college, and I listen to show tunes almost exclusively. I’m a weird kid, we all know this. It was silly of me to think I would go through high school without any excitement. With a life like this, who knows what the future holds? I’m not worried about rushing back to school. I see my friends as much as I can. I have bad days, of course, but after a while you just keep moving forward. You take it all in stride, and you just keep going.