Halfway through radiation treatment side-effects and faith are both up

I’m halfway through my radiation treatment for prostate cancer. Not surprisingly, there’s good news and not-so-good news. But the best news is good.

It’s 4 weeks done, 4 weeks to go.

Or, if you like bigger numbers, 19 sessions done, 19 to go.

Whether or not the side-effects are at a halfway point is still to be seen. They tell you right up front, side-effects do tend to get more noticeable as the treatment progresses.

One of the guys who did my initial scanning to set up the computer model for doing the radiation told me something else that will probably happen over time. He said I’d eventually probably get sick of going in 5 days a week for eight weeks. And I’d get tired of even seeing the people.

For Christians, there’s also the question of whether our faith will be challenged as all this happens. Worsening side-effects and being tired of going in so often sound like they’d be challenging my faith. But is it? So far, that is.

Halfway through radiation treatment – physical side-effects?

Am I halfway through the side-effects? I really don’t know.

One of the original ones, diarrhea is still with me. But it isn’t as bad as it was originally. Of course, if you’ve been reading the series, you know some of that’s because I changed what I eat.

Almost no spicy food. Since that was nearly a daily thing for me, it wasn’t something I was really happy about.

I tried eating a banana a day to solve that. The first bunch I bought had all large bananas. Too large, as it turns out. They brought on the opposite problem! Oops. A small one, almost every day, seems to be working better.

Eggs are a good protein for me, since they don’t seem to cause any digestive issues. But then, all those eggs aren’t exactly good for cholesterol. I’m going to have to do some major reversals of my diet when this is over.

Now, I can add some nausea to the side-effects. It’s been getting more frequent these past several days. Today at least, some coke (the soda, not the drug) took care of it. We’ll see how things go.

I am getting more tired as the weeks go by. Most days, after treatment, I lay down on the couch and listen to music for an hour or so. That helps. Mikey, our current 4-legged K9 “kid” lays on me most of the time. I’d probably get more rest if he was calmer. Every time he sees or hears anything outside, he jumps off of me, runs to the front window, and barks at whatever’s out there. Then he hops back on top of me.

And there’s even a side-effect for Mikey. I’ve done so much work with him to calm him down. He spent about a year on the streets and nearly another year in foster homes before we adopted him. But now, since I don’t have the energy to go on long walks with him, and aren’t home as much and therefore don’t take him with me in the car very much, he’s regressing somewhat. He’s still the same in the house, unless he’s bummed about me not being there, but is slipping on outside trips.

Halfway through radiation – personnel rotation side-effects?

I wrote before about how the people doing the treatments are an (unexpected) answer to a prayer for the care team. They’ve actually made going in fun. But now it’s a new month. Some rotations will take place for Monday’s treatment, since the April rotation happens then. Unless them telling me it would change turns out to be an early April Fools joke. That’d be really funny. But sadly, it’s probably true.

Now, I pray it will still be as much fun in April as it was in March. They are what will keep me from getting tired of going in five days a week.

Halfway through radiation treatment – faith side-effects?

You know, after writing all that, I should be at least a little depressed. Although, knowing me, it’s more like a surprise I’m not majorly depressed.

But I’m not. God’s gotten me this far. Plus, I know it’s nowhere near as bad as it could be.

However, having said that, I also know something else.

Even though today’s Saturday, I was kind of tired so I took a music break with Mikey in the afternoon. It got me to thinking about something that happened maybe six or seven years ago.

God took me to the edge back then. To the edge of life. I was in the hospital with a staph infection.

I went into the ER Friday morning, after three weeks of not feeling good, feeling awful, and being misdiagnosed by Urgent Care. Then there was a week in the hospital. Four weeks at home with a portable/wearable IV pump for antibiotic drip line, and another week on tablet antibiotics.

Tuesday night in the Hospital I asked God if it was time to go home. Wednesday, some of the doctors told me my kidneys took a “major hit” Tuesday night. They changed some of my meds to ones that wouldn’t make it worse. My liver numbers were getting bad. I had pneumonia so bad I could feel it when I moved and had oxygen and people coming in to watch me do the breathing exercises I was supposed to do.

Later, my regular doctor told me I “beat the reaper”.

If you want to check out the whole thing, it’s at “God – is it time for me to go home?

So yeah, God took me to the edge and back.

However, as I wrote earlier, even if He doesn’t bring me back this time, if the cancer isn’t in remission or removed by the radiation, I still have His promise to be with me through whatever happens. And ultimately, I have the promise of eternal life through Jesus dying on the cross.

So, my other prayer is that my faith continues to not waver. That I can continue to write about what’s happening, to help others who may be going through something similar. And that I can continue to teach at church. The bottom line then is that I can continue to bring glory to God through whatever happens.

He is faithful. And I know, with His help, as long as I continue to accept His power, strength, peace, and love, it is possible. No matter what.

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