Thursday, June 14, 2012

Radiation and Ramblings

I'm nearing the end of my treatment--I've finished two radiation treatments and the final one is on Wednesday, so I thought I'd share some of the things I've learned through this process.  First here's a little info about the treatment--The radiation I'm getting is called HDR (High Dose Rate) Brachytherapy, which is a type of internal radiation.  In my case, it uses a device called a vaginal cuff, which basically radiates the incision where the cervix was detached.  It isn't painful, but it is fairly uncomfortable.  Luckily, the treatment only lasts 15-20 minutes.  I'm not experiencing much pain or any side effects now, but there might be some lasting side effects.  However, I'm doing my best to be positive and be thankful that this is the only treatment required.  Some women have it so much worse.

I hope this isn't shocking, but I'm really thankful for the experience I've been through.  I've been more happy the last couple of months than ever before.  Being diagnosed with cancer and dealing with all the emotions has taught me so much.  It has made me a better person and I realized I'm much stronger than I thought.  It has taught me that life is a gift and every day is precious.  In those first few days after hearing the word cancer, it seemed like a death sentence, but then I realized that I had such a strong desire to live.  I had no idea that was in me and the strength of that desire surprised me.

 Another thing I'm thankful for is that it motivated me to take control of my life and health and make it better.   Since the diagnosis, I've lost almost 30 pounds and although there is a lot more to lose, I'm feeling so much better already.  This will continue to motivate me to continue making healthier food choices and doing regular exercise.

It has also taught me to treat others with kindness, generosity, and empathy.  Once in a while, I'd hear someone complain about a problem and I'd think "Oh, please!  I have cancer."  But then I realized, that everyone is dealing with something.  To that person, their problem was as serious to them as my cancer was to me.  I've probably lacked empathy in my life, but something clicked in me and I realized that everyone deserves to be treated with the kindness and generosity that was shown to me. I'm not the only one with problems and other people have much greater ones than I can even imagine.  Hopefully this lesson sticks with me as I move forward.

I sometimes wonder if there will ever be a day when I don't think about cancer and I'm not sure there will be.  However, I'm doing my best to not fear the future possibility of recurrence or another cancer, but to live every day with no regrets.  If it returns, then I'm ready to fight it.  There are no guarantees for tomorrow and  I'm trying to face each day with a positive attitude and be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life.

I apologize for all the self-indulgent ramblings and offer my sincere thanks to everyone for all your support, prayers, and good thoughts. You have no idea how much they meant to me! <3

1 comment:

  1. I admire your strength every day. You inspire me!