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Monday, January 23, 2017

Physical Therapy and Radiation Practice

Today I started at the physical therapist. I found out from her that in October they started requiring lymph node patients to see the therapist to learn more about care for the affected arm. I think back in July or August I wrote a little about how little I was told about my right arm after 24 lymph nodes were removed. I was happy to hear that they have changed protocol for people now and happy that I was able to learn ways to get rid of my fluid retention. I will be happy to get off of these water pills! They seem to be doing the trick. I had gained 15 pounds in three weeks and now I am back down eight so at least we are going in the right direction!

She showed me a massage technique that I can do to stimulate the lymph nodes that are there and then get the fluid moving out of my arm and hand. I was fit for a sleeve and glove which will help when I feel that it is building up. I feel good about that. If I have something I feel like I can do I always feel better than if I feel like I am relying on my doctor and really know nothing myself how to handle something that looks like could be a part of my new life.

At noon I made my way to radiation and it went well. There was no actual radiation today. They got me situated and ran the machine like they would just without the radiation. They were taking measurements and making sure that places that were not supposed to be radiated were out of the way. It wasn't too bad. Much more clinical than the infusion room, but much faster getting in and out.

I am okay with the plan. I feel like I am in good hands. It was a little overwhelming to have my actual schedule in my hand and see all the days ahead of me on a colorful little chart. As Zachary said "that's a lot of days".

The first thing I do when they take me back is put on my lovely pink gown from the waist up. You can see the drawer all full and ready with clean gowns for all us ladies.

After that I lock up my belongings and am taken back to the radiation room. There is a super thick door that looked like it may need two people to open and close. The technician today showed me my pictures on their screen and explained how they will be sitting here. Next, I was escorted in and saw the huge machine. I got up onto the table where my mold was and I still fit nicely in all of the grooves and folds.

Today the machine did everything it will regularly do except it didn't give me any radiation. We are going to save that until tomorrow. Yippie. All in all I got a pretty good picture of what to expect and got introduced to the technicians who were very nice although more clinical than warm and friendly.

Along with the tattoos they gave me last week, a permanent marker with a very sticky plastic-y circle over it so it doesn't go away. (I am glad they use permanent marker instead of tattooing that on too!) They okayed everything as "good to go" for starting tomorrow so it will begin.

I appreciate all of you who are still praying us through this. I feel especially blessed by the people who God has put in my life. There is a lot of talk about people needing "safe spaces" lately and I won't go into my thoughts on that here because I am so thankful to have people in my life who truly are my safe space in this world. When the day starts to be too much for me to handle and I have given it all to God, He reaches out to me through the people who love me all around. It is amazing to be a part of it.

So, if you are looking for specific prayer requests, we have a few:

  • Protection of my heart and lungs throughout the six weeks of radiation ahead.
  • Ease in getting used to this new schedule of everyday trips to PCI.
  • The benefit which is coming up on Saturday...more about that in the next couple of days.
  • Answers for Stacey's muscle issues in her right calf. Her tests were rescheduled for Feb. 2nd because we had to be out of town for Grandma's funeral last week.
  • Continued prayers for the kids to feel comfortable asking questions.
  • Praise that the boys and I baked a cake tonight, just for fun because everyday can be a celebration!
That is a few for now. Thank you for following my story...I feel like my brain has been mush these last couple of months but still so many of you read and write me encouraging notes and cards. So THANK YOU!

"And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." - Psalm 9:10


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! You know I appreciate it so much my Friend!

  2. You are a superstar Jody. Such an inspiration and full of grace! So grateful to you for sharing your journey with us. God Bless you!

    1. Thank you for your humbling and kind words. It is only by His grace.

  3. A month ago, I had a mastectomy but was so fortunate inasmuch as only 1 or 2 lymph nodes were removed, I have yet to know what further treatment I will require. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you start this journey through radiation, best wishes.

    1. I too had the sentinel node removed after my mastectomy in 2013. You being only a month out are still in recovery mode. Know that I will be praying for you and for wisdom as your team works on the next part of your plan. It is so very different for each person. I think it is because we are made so uniquely by our Creator. I am wishing you the best as you move forward!