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#J08 (25Sep00) Halfway Point

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Subject: Watched One #08 (25Sep00) Halfway point reached (sort of)
From:     Jennifer Perlman

Hello all,

Well, I am writing with a really good attitude today and having reached to official halfway point of the radiation. I will have a total of 33 radiation treatments, and today marked 17! This means that as far as actual treatment goes we can start counting down, which psychologically, is huge. One less rather than just one more every day makes a huge difference. I know we will get through this, although there are days that are really rough.

The routine of the treatments is certainly getting easier, although we can expect side-effects such as mouth sores, mucousitis, and redness to get worse as the cumulative radiation progresses. On the bright side, my medical oncologist last week remarked on my remarkable healing and how good my mouth looks. He actually attributed it to the Chinese herbs and supplements I am taking, which was very validating. I got through my second of three chemo treatments again with no side effects (thanks to ant nausea medicines which I took religiously), so that is 2/3 done! I feel that overall, I am doing great, although I am apprehensive about how much worse things could get in the next few weeks with the radiation.  Fortunately, my parents arrived this past Friday and will be with me through the worst of things, and it is always a blessing to know that no matter grim things are, I have them to lean on.

Things with Karl and I have gotten much better. We seem to have developed some rhythms through this ordeal. He takes me to radiation every morning. We leave at 7:30a so that I can relax and meditate prior to getting into the mask for 30 minutes. For those of you who know him, getting up before 9 is a feat of will worthy of praise in and of itself, but then massaging my neck and catering to me at that hour deserves a Karly medal. He has been working long hours, so aside from this, we see not that much of each other, except for on weekends, but we are managing to enjoy one another in small ways nevertheless. It's hard to find quality time, but we have worked on some fun in-home projects lately, and we both enjoy these. I still don't feel much up to getting out much, though. For instance, Karl wanted to go fly our kite at China Beach yesterday, I did not think I could muster the energy for the drive and the sitting around. Soon enough.

In my visualizations, which I do during radiation, I often imagine being better, having my body back at full strength, feeling empowered, dancing, or swimming. There is a freedom in this which is very hopeful for me and helps me get through. Sometimes I imagine just being held by those I love, or surrounded by all the helping figures who have been there for us in these past months. It's a weird combination of high=tech machines and ethereal, or freeing images that is quite ironic.

Time is feeling like it is dragging a bit, but I am able to spend more of if alone these days. I have hardly been by myself since June, so it is actually a welcomed relief to spend some time on my own just to ponder all that has happened or quietly watch the Olympics. I think I have needed that alone time, but was anxious about taking it and being by myself. Although the crisis period ended weeks ago, I think I was still in that mode. Now, I have a regular rhythm and take naps and don't need constant watching over. And with my folks here, I know they could be here if I needed them quite quickly.

It has been wonderful getting e-mail from people, as well as telephone calls. Please forgive if I don't always pick up. Sometimes talking on the phone is too tiring. Depends a lot on the day and how the radiation has made my tongue feel. Please don't lose tough. I thank you all for your continued love and support.


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Page last updated: Monday, 05 March 2001 05:41:34 Eastern Time.