Week two is coming to a close, and I’m more than thankful to have 1/3 of these treatments behind me. This week has been much easier in so many ways, but I’m noticing that the end of the week is also the hardest. The end of the week is when I start bargaining with myself about how many days are left until the weekend when I get to rest. It’s when I start feeling a little more tired, and when I somewhat start to notice new symptoms/side-effects if they’re going to show themselves.
Radiation is cumulative. Each day that I have treatment, I’m receiving approximately 2 more gy (the unit of measurement for radiation) into my neck, my cheek, and Lord knows where else, and it’s just building up in my body to kill off more and more cells while also killing off healthy, surrounding tissue. And while this season is certainly temporary, the struggle comes when I realize that I’m a spectator to physical deterioration of my own body as a result of the preventative treatment that is going to ultimately destroy any trace of this devil once and for all. It’s a surreal and helpless feeling.
Let me be clear, I’m not bad off by any means so far. I have had very little side effects and some I wouldn’t even classify as side effects. My mouth is dry, my tongue is tight which means I’m doing tongue exercises (as pictured), and I have about an hour or so a day (roughly 3-4 hours out from treatment) where I get stupid tired, and then I perk back up. I’m mainly talking about the mental and emotional struggle I face daily during this season. But as I’ve been reminded so many times throughout this…I only have to face one day at a time.
And here’s the thing. The Lord gives us our daily bread. He gives us the desires of our hearts, His promises, His unconditional Fatherly love, and rest when we need it most. But a friend reminded me this morning through a devotional that the Lord provides what we need, not what we think we need. I don’t need to feel good through all of this. I don’t need to have a good day every single day. And I don’t need to wake up every morning feeling like a ball of sunshine. But what I do need is food, shelter, love, kindness, and care. And the Lord has never faltered in providing those things for me and my family through this journey (and all the ones before). Not once. And for that I’m thankful.
So I hope I don’t ever come off like I’m complaining about what I’m facing. Are there days where I’m still terrified? Yep. Are there days where all the ones ahead feel daunting and impossible? Absolutely. But this whole radiation gig is simply a season and a rather short one at that. The Lord has given me strength to get through them all, and come out on the other side shouting this insane story from every rooftop I climb from here on out. But I will always unapologetically ask for your prayers. Prayers for peace, protection, and for cancer to be straight up scared to touch my body again. Onwards and through to week 3, 4, 5, & 6.