It's that time of the year....

It's that time of the year....

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another act of Divine intervention…

It was quite by accident that I ended up with Dr. James McGee as my radiation oncologist.  My first appointment was with Cancer Care here in Pekin.  My initial appointment was with Dr. Gomez.  My type of cancer fell out of his expertise.  Dr. Gomez did tell me the treatments that would be offered to me and I was going to be referred to a radiation oncologist in Peoria.  When I was at the appointment desk I was given 2 choices.  Marilyn, the receptionist, told me that one of my choices, Dr. McGee, had saved her son’s life when he was battling cancer.  That was enough recommendation for me. 

Then I began winding my way through several doctors until I finally met Dr. Parrish who outlined 3 different choices of treatment.  I chose the most difficult treatment because Dr. McGee had told me that if I completed the 2 hospital stays and the 2 different sets of radiation that my remission rate would be somewhere around 90%.  Dr. Parrish was involved as the ENT surgeon who removed the lymph nodes from my neck.  I have stated before that the lymph nodes were not malignant.  I was not surprised to learn that McGee and Parrish had worked together on many cancer cases for 17 years.  This was good to know.

I have stated before that Dr. McGee is a kind, gentle caring doctor. He has a gentle voice and takes the time to explain to you just what you can expect while you are undergoing treatment.

I also mentioned before the timid little oncology nurses that in my opinion would  have been better off in another field of nursing.  I am not saying they were unkind because they were not.  They just didn’t want to come into a hospital room where radiation was involved if they could send some peon in their place.

One day during my second hospital stay Dr. McGee came into my room to tell me that my radiation was going to last a day longer than he had thought.  He had brought with him his own nurse, Julie, who has been his nurse since he first started his practice.  Julie reached for my hand and patted it.  I cannot begin to describe how much that meant to me as I was so very near tears and in so much pain with my mouth.  I did take the time to tell Julie and the doctor after I was out of the hospital how much Julie’s holding my hand meant to me.

I have a doctor appointment here in town today.  I am dreading going out in the heat.  The temp here yesterday was 98 real temp with triple digit heat index.

Keep cool!  Stay safe and be happy!!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peorian’s song to wife goes viral..


The tears were streaming down my face as I read this and watched the video. Please take the time to read the article and watch the video.  It is heart warming.

I will be back tomorrow with the blog about my oncologist.

Have a great day.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Monday, August 26, 2013

The days are passing…

I missed summer.  September is right around the corner and I will soon be a year older.  I honestly had this fear that I would not wake up from the first surgery on July 23rd, and then I would think how silly that was.  If I didn’t wake up how would I know the difference?   That was the day the lymph nodes were removed from the right side of my neck and the first round of radiation was put into my tongue via the wire implants.  Then the second round of radiation began 2 weeks later on August 6th.  My last surgery was on August 10th to remove the radiation ball and the wires.  I did have the good Lord holding my right hand through all of this and the prayers from my blogging friends all over the world were life sustaining.

I don’t need to worry about a wrinkled neck anymore as I have a lovely network of surgery lines.  I thank God for the fact that I am here to make mention of this.

While I was in the hospital room in the midst of the clutter, etc. I would lie in the bed and I would write blogs over and over in my head.  I so wanted to write a blog about my oncologist and I will do that soon.  He is such a kind, gentle caring man.  I thought so many times how much I would have liked for him to have been Jim’s oncologist.  I don’t know that Jim’s prognosis would have been different but at least he would have had a caring doctor.

I did want to let you all know that I am beginning to feel a bit better.  I still am not able to chew but that will happen soon I know.  I am drinking a lot of Boost, etc.  I have lost over 20 lbs. which I didn’t need to lose.

I do have 2 big red tomatoes that my s-i-l’s brother sent to me.  I have them in the refrigerator hoping they will last a couple of weeks at which time I will try a BLT.

Thank you to my new visitors.  You all have a great week.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Life in a hospital room…

with radiation is not pleasant.   To begin with I  have these lead wires going up underneath my chin into my mouth.  There is a ball of radiation (somewhat like an over size BB that has been planted in the base of my tongue someway.  I don’t even want to know how.  I am praying all of the while that it is securely attached someway and I am not going to swallow it.  

Add the wires that are delivering the radiation to the right side and back of my tongue, then to top it off the guard that the dentist made which is protecting my teeth and jawbone and seems to be cutting my mouth to shreds.  I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that the pain is excruciating. 

One night I was just lying in my hospital bed punching the morphine pump and trying to think to say my prayers before I drifted off a bit.  I couldn’t for the life of me think what I needed to pray about.

When you have radiation like I did your room is considered contaminated.  There is a bag of protective footwear hanging on the outside door knob.  As you go into the room there is a protective radiation guard that the nurses stay behind when they come in the room.  You soon learn to separate the dedicated oncology nurses from the rest,  The ‘rest’ tiptoe in your room and ask '” is there anything you need dear” and hurry out quickly before you get a chance to answer.

All trays, garbage, etc. pile up inside your room and even though the radiation aide declares they are safe to be moved they are still in the room when I leave a few days later.  (More to follow.)

I hope this week is going well for you all.  I am determined to feel better and I keep praying for that.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Waiting for things to get better..

Here I have been waiting for things to get better.  Just waiting and not doing much to help things move along.  Getting up each morning after a rather sleepless night, struggling to get my meds down, one at a time instead of taking several at one time.  Deciding what flavor of Ensure to have for breakfast when just the sight of the Ensure bottle nauseates me.  I declare that Ensure is the most awful tasting supplement ever created.

Enough of the moaning and groaning.  When my daughter comes over today I am going grocery shopping to see if there is anything that comes close to Ensure without the nauseating taste.

I first entered the hospital on July 23.  I had the lymph nodes on the right side of my neck removed.  I found out later they were benign.  (This changed the course of my treatment).  Then I had implants put in my mouth to deliver radiation directly onto my tongue.  I was fitted with a lead device that was designed to protect my teeth and jawbone. It was all extremely painful.  Then 2 weeks later I went in the hospital again for the second round of radiation.  And now the radiation is done.  I can never have any more.

I hope this is a good week for us all.  I appreciate the kind thoughts and prayers.  Stay safe and be happy!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

So many things to write about…

It all began on Friday May 31, 2013.  My daughter and I were just home from taking flowers to my husband’s grave in the east central part of the state.

The first thing I did when I got home was to check my mailbox.  I saw that I had an appointment with Cancer Care the next week.  I thought there was some mistake and I called and told  them so. No mistake.  My biopsy showed cancer.  My world came crashing down around me. Then began a nightmare that ended last Saturday August 3, 2013. 

I was diagnosed with tongue cancer.  A somewhat rare cancer for women, usually affecting men who chew tobacco, smokers, etc.  I have never smoked or chewed tobacco.  I have been unable to talk, eat, or swallow well for the last few months.  I have lost over 20 lbs.  Right now I am existing on liquid and soft foods.  I am praying that it will get better as my mouth heals from the direct to the tongue radiation process.

I have lots more to write about.  Radiation isolation is quite something.  No visits from family or anyone and the nurses are allowed only limited time in your room.

I hope you are all having a good week.  Stay safe and be happy!!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Home again…

I came home yesterday afternoon after my second and final round of radiation.  I can have no more radiation no matter what the outcome is from all of this.  I am praying hard.  I have a wonderful oncologist  and I have lots of blogs to write about my days of radiation isolation.  

I slept 9 hours here at my home last night.  The best sleep I have had in months.

Thank you for all of the prayers from my family and my blogging family.  I love you all.  Hugs to my twin.  May God truly bless you all.

I have made it my goal to start visiting you all beginning on Wednesday as I begin a new life minus radiation.


Friday, August 2, 2013

All clear..

The lymph nodes are all clear and I hugged my surgeon this morning.  This means no chemo or radiation on the outside.  I will go in the hospital Tuesday morning for more radiation to be loaded.  This second loading of radiation will be all that I need to have.  Praise the Lord.



Thursday, August 1, 2013


Sorry I haven’t posted or visited again since I have been home.  I just haven’t felt like it.  I still am in quite a bit of pain.  I have had visits from 2 home health care nurses this week.  Each one had different advice for me.

I see the surgeon tomorrow and I should get the biopsy results on the lymph nodes.  I think I will be going in the hospital next week for more radiation.  I hope to get that all updated tomorrow.  I definitely will give a short update on the lymph nodes tomorrow.

Thank you all for your continued prayers.  They are what keeps me going.

Stay safe and be happy!!

Thank you to my Twin and to Nana Diana for asking for prayer on my behalf.