Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Only SHE Really Knows What She Feels

16 Radiation Treatments down and only 4 to go! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel getting brighter and brighter! Rianne, however cannot.
Tonight she went to bed feeling very discouraged. It absolutely crushes me to see her down in the dumps, but it’s part of the territory with the cancer treatment. Bottom line is she’s exhausted from the past 6 months of torture on her body, mind and emotions. Her parents have been taking her up to Coos Bay for the past couple of weeks, and they too are feeling fatigued.
Tomorrow her friend, Luane Merkley will take her to her 17th Radiation Treatment while her parents take the day to rest. I’ll take her up on Thursday, as she has an appointment with her Oncologist and a blood draw following the Radiation Treatment.
It’s gut-wrenching to reflect on her past 6 months – the initial surgery to remove the tumors…..the phone call announcing her cancer…..the battery of tests…..the chemotherapy…..the unexpected blood transfusions…the intrathecal shots into her spine…..the radiation therapy…..and the emotional roller coaster to go with it all. It’s a wonder my wife is still able to function at all.
The “chemo-brain” has caused her unnecessary stress. She struggles to control it and it tends to disrupt her emotions. Rianne is a perfectionist – even through all of this – and it’s tough for her to accept that she has difficulty with her level of concentration.
She has worked hard to keep her brain “active” to combat the chemo-brain. She reads, works on household chores and has been digging in deep with the Sudoku Puzzles. I’m really proud of her for challenging herself to stay active and to keep herself engaged in activities.
But it is what it is…..it’s cancer. It’s a serious, life-threatening illness that attacks everything you have. Lately it’s attacked her deepest emotions, consuming every thought she has, every minute of every day. We, her supporters and loved ones, really don’t know what she’s going through because we aren’t Rianne. Only SHE really knows what she feels. She has fought off serious depression, feelings of hopelessness, fear for her life and the thought of losing it all. Sadly, adding to her anxiety, a fellow cancer patient whom she was going through treatment with passed away from the disease two weeks ago. He was in the Radiation Treatment Center one day and was gone the next. She’s had humbling support from all of us, but she still has the cancer inside of her, keeping her riding the emotional roller coaster.
But then again, tomorrow is another day. She may rise in the morning with a smile on her face and walk straight to the next Sudoku Puzzle, prepared to destroy it and claim another victory. That’s exactly what I believe she will do to the cancer inside of her – she will beat it and claim a victory over it!
Although she went to bed feeling discouraged, I’m confident that she’ll push herself down the stretch and fight to the bitter end of her treatment. She is, without a doubt, the strongest person I have ever known! She has been beaten down by the cancer numerous times, but she continues to fight and bounce back every time, no matter what the circumstance!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

She's Itchin' to Ride Her Quad!

The days go by and Radiation Therapy continues for Rianne. She is finished with Number 11 and has 9 to go! Treatments have been going smoothly, although she has been a bit tired the past few days. She also has some tenderness in the radiated area on her head. Overall, she is doing well though!
Her parents have been taking her to the treatments for over a week now. We are so grateful to have them here to support her and to help with the transportation to her radiation appointments. We are also grateful to have had friends also transport her. The trips up to Coos Bay have given her a chance to visit with friends and her parents.
In the morning I will drive her to Brookings to get the crown permanently installed. She did fine with a temporary for a couple of weeks. We will then head north to Coos Bay for her 12th radiation appointment, then head to NBMC for a blood draw. We hope things go smoothly.
Over the weekend we decided to get away and took the trailers up the mountain for a campout. Hap Flynn joined us so that he and I could go elk hunting with our bows. Rianne and her parents held the fort down at our campsite with some additional help from the dogs! It was great to get Rianne out into the fresh mountain air for a couple of days. She sure misses riding her quad and is itching to get back to the habit after her treatments are final!
Tomorrow will be a long day, so I’ll close for now. We hope you are all well and are counting your blessings! We are truly blessed and thank you all for your love, prayers and support!