19 Weeks and Counting

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.

9 thoughts on “19 Weeks and Counting

  1. YAY to the end of radiation and prayers that it did is job 100%! You have the best attitude you can possibly have for this Hannah. Yes it sucks, but accept it and keep moving forward. Easier said than done, right? You seem to be doing an excellent job facing this speedbump placed in your life, and you will get over it. Thank you for the updates. We think about you and pray for you everyday!

  2. I don’t know how anyone would not struggle emotionally in this situation! We all feel that you have been so impressive with your positive outlook and strength. Our prayers are with you, along with a heavy dose of admiration! Please encourage your mom to let us know if we can help in any way. The Tonks family

  3. Hannah, you are most definitely a superhero! Wow…such poise and grace in the face of such adversity…definitely something for ALL of us to strive for. Love you!!

  4. You’re one tough cupcake, lady. Compared to a lifetime, 19 weeks will someday seem like a drop in the bucket. There will be prayers, hugs, love (and cupcakes) every day of those 19 weeks. And OH, what a celebration at the end!!!!

  5. So glad radiation is done !!!! Praying chemo treatments go faster and that your strength returns quickly .Your winng attitude can’t do anything but help. We pray for you everyday :))

  6. Glad radiation is behind you now!Praying & cheering you on daily as you continue through the next 19weeks!Who would not be emotional in this situation!Keep up your amazingly positive outlook!The Boolens

  7. Radiation is tough and I am glad it is behind you. While I hate for you to miss your Senior year, know that you will be able to look forward to College and that these treatments will be behind you. You are a strong young lady who is mature beyond her years. You are an inspiration to many!

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