One of the side effects of this treatment, though, is a lowered white cell count. For most people, the lowered count rebounds within a week, but it took ten days for me. As time goes on, it may shorten to a week. All this means is that I have ten days between cycles rather than seven.
I am halfway through radiation treatments to my left hip socket. The goal of the radiation is to kill off the tumor that is covering 60% of surface of the femoral head. This will allow new bone to grow and reduce the risk of a hip/femoral fracture. A fracture could require a hip replacement ... something we most definitely want to avoid. The medical team is very optimistic that the radiation will be just as successful as it was for my neck two-and-a-half years go. (No surgery was required then, either, due to the outstanding response to the radiation treatments.)
I have no pain ... except in my throat! This is not classic radiation recall (which is usually a skin reaction months after radiation treatments), but could be a mental response on my part. The radiation to my neck/throat remains the most difficult part of my treatments (with toes being a big competition for the worst!) and I could simply be "remembering" that trauma simply walking into the radiation center. Either that or the lowered white cell count and the stress in my life are just piling on.
Radiation fatigue is very real, yet hard to explain. It's beyond a feeling of "I need a nap" and it's not the kind of fatigue that exercise will help. I go to bed exhausted and I wake up exhausted. My brain is exhausted and my heart is exhausted. Everyday tasks seem overwhelming.
I am well supported and I am quite comfortable just sitting down and not doing much whenever possible. My children, though, have noticed and I reminded them that we've been through this twice before so they know it doesn't last. Two more weeks of radiation and then approximately four weeks to get full energy back.
I use the crutch when I'm in groups of people (a kid almost knocked me down in the library!) or when I'm walking on unfamiliar ground. It's hoped that I can abandon it completely by the end of September, if not sooner.
My dad ... he's failing ... and I'm unable to put into words my emotions about everything that is going on. I'll just say that no matter how old you are and no matter how old your parent is, it's never easy to say goodbye.
I'm still trudging through the book of Judges. For those who are in contact with me and who follow me on Facebook, you know what a challenge this book has been. I probably shouldn't dwell on it much more, given my current state of fatigue and crankiness. (Seriously, sometimes I have difficulty pulling thoughts together! It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I'm left feeling quite confused.)
" ... and I will be with you even until the end of time." (Matthew 28:20b, paraphrase)