The Worst Superpower Ever

“That sounds like the worst superpower ever!” –my sister making me laugh after I told her how tired radiation had made me, unlike its effects in comic books.

I’m done with radiation, for now at least. I’m already impatient with myself for not recovering faster. Even though intellectually I know that the dosage of radiation was way higher than the last time I did radiation, so therefore the fatigue is still expected despite fewer sessions of radiation overall — my spirit doesn’t seem to know that.

Yeah, that’s currently me. I had my last session on Tuesday. The nurses and techs at Johns Hopkins Sibley Memorial were amazing — kind, skilled, and understanding. They even gave me a certificate of completion with friendly notes from the nurses most involved in my care. It made a very tired Bethany smile.

certificate of completion for finishing my radiation treatments
Yes, that is a note telling me to stop apologizing…

 

I am incredibly grateful to my sister for asking for help for Jarrod and me, and to the friends who took time out of their days to help. Aside from how expensive it would have been to hire a car to take me to and from Sibley on the days when Jarrod had his own appointments elsewhere, as I told a friend, I’m okay falling asleep in a friend’s car or asking a friend to stop their car so I can throw up, but the idea of doing either of those in a Lyft weirdly freaks me out.

I’m still exhausted from the radiation/chemo pill combo. Plus, I’m having trouble sleeping again (yes, I’m doing everything I’m supposed to, including drinking warm nutmeg/vanilla milk). So, that’s not fun. I’m still trying to regain strength and endurance so I can do the 5K part of the Stride & Thrive to raise money to research and treat gynecologic cancers.

Haven’t donated yet? Please consider making a donation. Even the cost of a cup of coffee or wine helps. Don’t believe me? Let’s do some math.

Estimates and Facts

(based on observations in my neighborhood)

  • a cappuccino or latte costs around $5 with a kind tip to the hardworking (hopefully not super racist) barista
  • a glass of wine out with your friends costs $10 with a similar kind tip to the also hardworking waiter
  • many people get at least more than one of these (or similar delights) each week
  • I’ve had 188 views of my blog this month, as of the writing of this post, even though I’ve only published one post in April prior to this one. Let’s pretend that this post will have similar stats.
  • 54 people have donated so far to the fundraiser
Math

Let’s assume that we’ll have 105 unique viewers and that those include all 54 people who have thus far donated. That leaves¬†51 people. Let’s round that down to¬†50 to make things easier.

If half of those readers (25) give up one glass of wine (10) and half (25) give up one coffee (5), we’ll raise $375 to help research and treat women with terribly underfunded gynecologic cancers. If half of you readers give up both one wine and one coffee ($375), and just under a quarter (12) give up one wine (10), while the rest (13) give up one coffee (5), we’ll have raised $560! That’s kind of amazing to me!

If you can’t donate now, I do understand. I simply ask that you at least read the common signs and symptoms of gynecologic cancers at the Below the Beltway Penguins page, then share with at least one friend. You never know whose life you might save.

In the Meantime

I’m going to do my best to be worthy of your donations. I lost a lot of endurance and energy during radiation. Pre-radiation, I was able to partially run, partially fast walk a 5k in under an hour. I think my record was 50 minutes though I felt like death afterward. On Wednesday I barely completed a 0.77 mile walk in 20 minutes and felt utterly exhausted by it. Yesterday, I did two 0.7 walks, one in 16 minutes and one in 18 minutes. The 18 minute one included a flight of stairs, but I didn’t feel like death after either walk. I’m hoping to balance patience with pushing myself. As the saying from the Bible goes, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

My spirit is willing and stubbornly determined. It’s also deeply scared about whether or not the radiation worked on my two largest sarcomas. I learn that in about a month. I’m also scared of whether temporarily halving my chemo pill dose allowed the other tumors to grow. Ironically (maybe?) I’m scared of increasing my chemo pill dose back up to its pre-radiation levels. I’m scared of a lot. However, I believe that my spirit can and will help my body recover as quickly as it can and to (slowly) complete that 5K so that I’m worthy of every single donation that has been made. I am amazed that we have raised so much already. It seems surreal that so many people have been so kind and generous. That helps me have courage and it helps me force this tired body to try, but also to allow it the rest that it needs so that I can fight again another day.

Let’s keep fighting. It’s the only way we can win.

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