Thursday January 24, 2013

It's another chill-you-to-the-bone kind of day here in Rochester.  With my treatment schedule, I am forced to leave the house at least once each day, otherwise I might be tempted to stay home, in my fleece pj's, under the covers. 

I have had my first four radiation treatments and, while the first two days were a little rocky due to scheduling issues, the last two days have been quite routine.  Routine is good.  From here on out my treatments are scheduled for first thing in the morning, which is perfect.   I want to go there, get in, get out, get on with my day. 

Dr. Laack met with me yesterday and showed me what my radiation plan looks like on the computer.  Amazing how they work a plan to attack the affected tissue while keeping the vital organs out of the way.  She showed me the razor thin margins they are dealing with and how they have to come at it from a sharp, low angle on my left side to keep my heart out of the radiation field.  Better to radiate a little back fat than to radiate my heart...

In all seriousness, this is going to be fine.  I'm going to get through it.  For Erin's sake, I want to make it not such a big deal.   Erin sat in the waiting room at Desk R with me a couple of times this week.  Monday she and Dan were both there, but Tuesday it was just me and Erin.  She waited patiently that day, and when I finished she said, "It's kind of freaky to think that everyone in that room has been touched by cancer.  I wonder how many of them have been touched twice?"  By age 11, two of the three people she loves the most have been diagnosed with cancer.  God, I wish I could take away her pain and her worry.

But, all I can do is continue to reassure her that I plan to stick around.  Yes, I am going to the same place as Shannon went for radiation and that makes it seem similar, but my cancer is very treatable and longevity is expected.  Women are diagnosed with this all the time, and they carry on with their lives after a little bump in the road.  That's my plan, too. 

Hopefully the end of the semester today and a no school day tomorrow will give Erin a little boost.  Add to that a busy weekend that includes a basketball tournament and a night in a hotel with her teammates, and I think we're in for a good couple of days.

We also are gearing up for the Shannon Cup hockey tournaments this weekend and next.  We are again leaning on our hockey mom friends to volunteer and fundraise for us, and we're so grateful for their help and support.  When we can, the three of us will be on hand to watch the Rochester teams play.

The Rochester Post Bulletin did a nice write up today about the Shannon Cup and the Shannon O'Hara Foundation.  For those of you who aren't local, you can check it out here: