On average, a patient going through chemo/radiation, looses about 15 pounds. It gets very difficult to eat and it can be painful. So it is rare for a patient to not get a feeding tube. I more than likely will get one placed before it gets too bad. I am determined to do whatever I can to avoid the feeding tube, but I am not going to be unrealistic. I went shopping today and purchased the ingredients to make all different kinds of smoothies and shakes. I also purchased some protein powder to add to drinks giving me some extra calories. I was told that if I don't want a feeding tube, then I need to be creative with blending foods that will be easy to eat. I am starting to get really nervous about this. Mackenzie thinks it will be very cool to have another family member with a feeding tube.....
The good news is that I learned that the goal of this treatment is to be cancer free. Chemotherapy does not get rid of the cancer...Radiation is the cure. The majority of the cancer cells have been destroyed by the two rounds of chemotherapy I already had. Now, the radiation will take care of the rest. So if all goes well, I could be done with treatment by August. After the 3 months of much needed rest and recovery, they will do some more scans to determine the success of the radiation therapy. If there is no more cancer then I am done. If there are some cancer cells left, then they will do surgery to remove the rest. Since I responded so well to the chemotherapy, they are hopeful that the radiation will do the job. This have given me so much hope and I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel. It is just going to be hard road to get there.
My white blood count has also dropped to a dangerous level. Unfortunately, they cannot give me the shots that will boost the white blood count. It does not work with radiation. So they will monitor it and hope that it goes back up. If it does not, they will stop chemotherapy until my counts go back up. This also means that I have to be very careful to not expose myself to a lot of people. So I will remain cooped up in the house. We also need to be very careful who Mackenzie and Kendall spend time with so that they don't get sick and expose me to germs. We found out last week that someone in Mackenzie's class was diagnosed with the swine flu the last week of school so she might have been exposed. As you can imagine, we were very alarmed. That is the last thing we need to worry about. I think we are in the clear now since the incubation period is only 2-5 days. If Mackenzie would have had any symptoms they would have appeared by now.
Please continue to pray that the side effects of the radiation will be minimal and that I will be able to continue to eat and maintain my weight. Also, please pray for me and my family to be protected from germs and viruses right now. Lastly, please pray for strength to get through this radiation treatment and that it will work!!! Thank you!!!