Our Final Chemo/Radiation Treatment!

Mom's Last TreatmentYesterday marked Mom’s very last chemo and radiation treatment!! I’m going to let that sink in for a bit.. It’s a really big deal…

I haven’t been able to do a full update on Mom lately, but rest assured that we’ve been fighting hard over here in My Neck of the Woods.

Here’s the quick version:

  • We spent a week in the hospital – dehydration, low blood pressure, dropping potassium levels, mystery infection, and a host of other and much more harsh symptoms. She’s a trooper though. (She got out just in time for Matthew and I to leave for Thanksgiving in Nashville.)
  • She spent Thanksgiving week recovering from the long and tough hospital stay.
  • We had a really good week.
  • Insurance required her to try another version of her medicine, which made her treatment symptoms rush back in full force.
  • We had a really bad week.
  • We got the medicine switched back and are currently working on getting her leveled out again.

RadiationBasically, this whole experience has been a series of ups and downs – a roller coaster of feelings, symptoms, and emotions. Every single day was/is different. Some days she felt great…others were bad. The worst part for me has been watching. I suppose it’s sort of like having a sick child…you see that they’re hurting and there’s nothing you can do to fix it. This is particularly hard for me because I’m a “fix it” kind of gal.

As things got tougher and tougher on her, I’ve had to steadily remind myself that this is cancer. Cancer. It’s not a pretty thing. It’s not easy. As a matter of a fact, it’s hard. I can’t fix everything because this treatment plan is unavoidably hard.

RadiationNo matter how hard the last week has been, there is always a silver lining. Now, we can celebrate her being DONE with these treatments. This amazingly strong Mama of mine has knocked out 8 weeks of chemo and radiation! (It was six weeks of treatment, 1 week in the hospital, and 1 week of rest.) She’s still not feeling well, but they say she should start feeling more normal within the next 3 weeks or so. I’m optimistically hoping “normal” comes a lot more quickly than that. Honestly, I’m hoping that each passing day of not going to treatments brings with it a slight improvement for her.

What’s next? We will follow up with both her oncologist and radiation oncologist in 3 weeks. The current plan is to let her rest and recover for 6 weeks and then follow up with the surgery to remove the rest of the tumor after that. The surgery will take place in Shreveport and should have a week-long recovery in the hospital there. We will know more definite details once we follow up with the surgeon.

RadiationAll in all, we’re making good progress. In my opinion, the hardest part is over. We knocked those treatments out! She’s not completely out of the woods yet, and she’s certainly not feeling herself. However, progress is progress and we’ve made a huge leap towards the finish line. Please keep lifting her up and sending well wishes and happy thoughts our way. She appreciates every comment, prayer, and message that you send. Feel free to leave a comment here. She is my most loyal reader, after all!

The above pictures are from the radiation treatment room. You can keep up with the process with the #JoycesJourney on twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Also, read the most recent Mom updates here.

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