A New Life - pg. 4

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Over the next several months we adjusted to hospital routine. We would visit the playroom and take part in the arts and crafts and I even learned how to ride the IV pole. I would stand on the bottom bars while my mom pushed the pole to wherever we were going. I met other patients and had great nurses. One of my nurses would blow bubbles for me and eat them when it was time for the strong chemo. He made me laugh and then the chemo didn't seem so bad. My mom was asked to leave the room while they gave me the strongest type. The nurses looked like they were going to another planet all suited up in thick rubber gloves, face shields and full suits. The blinds even had to be closed because there could be no sunlight.

Side effects are all part of the program when it comes to radiation and chemotherapy. One of the first major effects was that the radiation had fused my jaw shut. One of the suggestions was to break the jaw, allow time for healing and continue. My grandma Lona is a massage therapist and said she would be willing to work on my jaw to see if she could help before they resorted to more drastic measures. It worked and within a few weeks my jaw was fine and treatment did not need to be interrupted. Another side effect was that my foot stiffened up which was very common among chemo patients. When I would run it would look like I was riding a horse. Grandma worked on my foot too, but I always had my own little gallop.

Dad and Mitch would visit when they could. Mitch was in school and dad worked to support the family. One day they came when I was having my routine scans. I would have bone scans, MRI's and several other tests. When I was waking up from the MRI my family was standing around the bed. I had a small cone that was giving me oxygen. I picked up the cone and pretended it was a microphone and started saying, "Helloooooooo" just like on Winney the Pooh. It made them all laugh. It was always nice to see dad and Mitch.

A little over half way through the treatment I started to get really angry. I wondered why people weren't coming to see me not understanding that they couldn't come every day. As a result I wasn't responding to the treatment as well as the doctor's would have liked. They discussed my situation and made arrangements with a doctor in Pocatello to continue my treatments on a test basis. I would still need to return to Salt Lake for all my scans.

It worked out great. I was closer to home, mom could spend the night with dad and Mitch and my friends and family could visit frequently. They gave me the largest room at the end of the hall because I needed to be away from other patients. I was the only cancer patient on the floor of the hospital and my immune system would be in danger around other patients.

The only thing I didn't like about this hospital was the food. Every week they would give me fish on the first day. I didn't like it and started packing my own food. Mom bought me a lunch box and I would fill it with good food like Kit Kat bars, chocolate chips and candy, just the essentials.

By this time both mom and I had a good understanding of medical lingo. We could say things like Rhabdomyosarcoma and all the types of chemo that I had received. In addition to hard words we were very familiar with shots, cleaning bandages and taking care of my tubes which required changing the saline in the tubes regularly. Mom had given me shots and to make it better she would always have a few balloons blown up that I could pop with the needle as soon as I received the shot.

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Philippians 4:6-8  NIV

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

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