|Me and my mom ringing the |
end-of-chemo bell--WE MADE IT!!
Before Roby even had time to recover from his jet lag, we met with my radiation oncology team, helped my dad plant a garden, moved down to a mini mansion in Provo, prepared for a fundraiser yard sale, and I caught a glimpse of what it might be like to be strapped to a torture rack shortly after receiving six tattoos...sort-of. Ready for some elaboration? Well, I'd be delighted!
Because the nearest hospitals where my insurance will pay for my radiation treatment are each about 25 minutes from my parents' house, Roby and I had been exploring and praying about other temporary housing options. Radiation treatment is a 5-day-a-week deal, and I didn't feel like driving almost an hour every day for a ten minute appointment. Since I have lots of contacts down in Provo, we got in touch with everyone who might be willing to put us up for a bit, and we miraculously came across a family who didn't even know us but was happy to let us stay in their basement. Even more miraculously, they live only five minutes away from the hospital and we found them just days before I needed to begin my treatment! In case you haven't noticed, my life always seems to come together in crazy ways at the perfect moment...
|Enjoying the backyard paradise before heading|
off to my first treatment
And now, on to the torture chamber... I've heard a fair amount of things about radiation treatment, and most of them are decently positive. Almost everyone says it's easier than chemo, because the side effects are much less severe, and long-term side effects are relatively rare. After meeting with my friendly radiation oncologist, I was pretty optimistic about the whole thing and ready to move forward. Of course, the one thing I really didn't love about the whole process is the need to get tattoos...yup--that's right--TATTOOS! The doctors and techs have to line up the radiation machine in the exact same spot every day, so they use the tattoos as a map to guide the machine. But, not to worry--rather than sitting in a dark tattoo parlor while a spikey-haired, overly pierced, black-clad tattoo artist painted butterflies on my arm (sorry for the stereotypes...), I was treated to a cheery, 20-something radiation tech sporting blue scrubs. And after running me through a CT scan, she simply put six dots of ink on strategic parts of my chest and armpit and then poked me with a needle on each one--it kinda hurt owing to the sensitivity of the area, but it was nothing more than one prick per microscopic dot. Most of the dots (I prefer that to tattoos) aren't visible to the public, but even if they were, they actually just look like dark freckles--none will be the wiser...
|This is only a small portion of the "artwork" from|
the first day of treatment. I was thoroughly marked!
|My friend, the radiation machine|
Last but not least, I have to explain my reference to our upcoming fundraiser yard sale! Even though my insurance is pretty awesome and pays for most things, cancer is a pretty pricey beast... We've had lots of unanticipated expenses. As I've been sorting through boxes of my old stuff, we decided to have a yard sale to raise some money! A bunch of neighbors and other family members have donated things to our sale, so we have an incredible amount of great things that people can buy! We'd love it if you want to stop by and see the loot (my mom will be making yummy cinnamon rolls too!), so if you're in the area, come to 564 S. Main in Kaysville this Saturday (May 31st). The party starts at 8 a.m.! If you aren't in the area but would like to donate to our cause, please go to this website: http://donnaleeandrus.org/ It's mostly under construction, but the donations link will allow you to send a little something through Paypal. Just bear in mind that I don't expect anything from anyone--your prayers have produced many miracles, and that will always be more than enough for me! I only posted the donation link because a few people asked if they could help out. I'm grateful to all of you for following my story this far--everyone's support has helped me more than you can ever know. And, of course, there will always be new adventures and updates in the future!
|Yup...my eyelashes are all gone--but in a couple weeks,|
they will be back to stay!