Thursday, July 21, 2011

Burning And Starving

I’m taking quite a physical and emotional beating these days.  Yesterday my radiation oncologist (Dr. Teddy Bear) gave me a break from my radiation treatments until Monday.  The skin on my neck is pretty badly burned and peeling.  While the outside doesn’t look nice, it’s the inside – the throat that suffers most.  Swallowing is a huge chore. My mouth feels and tastes like constant infection.  I live with a toothbrush in my mouth but it’s painful to brush my teeth because of all the ulcers that have broken out.  My energy levels are mixed.  My weight has fallen drastically low.  The weigh in yesterday was 92.8 pounds.  Thankfully the doctor doesn’t seem extremely concerned about the weight.  He expects that it will continue to drop.  My body looks emaciated.  There are no words to describe.  I can’t wrap my brain around it.  I literally look like I’ve been in a concentration camp.  It also doesn’t help that my body is all bruised due to the blood thinners that I am on.  The thinness bothers me.  It takes a toll on my self-esteem.  I am on a liquid diet of weight gainer shakes.  I try to take in as close to 2000 calories a day – but it’s a struggle to get there.  I dream of food.  I dream of gorging on food – being able to taste it again.  My taste buds no longer work.  I guess it doesn’t really matter when all you can swallow are liquids.  A nurse asked me about a feeding tube.  I was appalled.  As long as I can suck something down a straw – no matter how painful, I will do that.  Maintaining a sense of normalcy is important for me.  A feeding tube seems so unnatural.  It’s just not an option.

I’m feeling incredibly grateful that I don’t have to go to radiation today.  The radiation this time around is so different.  I can taste the burning inside of me.  The thought of lying on that table today and letting that machine burn me from the inside out is just more than I want to put up with.  I know that come Monday it will be time to take up the fight again.  I’ll be ready.  I’m just glad for the break.

There are 7 treatments left.  I’m so close to the treatment finish line – and then the real work begins.  Radiation is a bomb that goes off after the fact.  It gets worse before it gets better.  But better comes.  I already know that better comes because I was there when I found out that the tumor had grown down my neck.  I’m so hopeful that we will get all of this tumor once and for all and that I’ll be able to return to a normal life again.  I’m so ready – so excited to have this behind me.  I tell myself to just keep looking at this future that lies before me.  Nate and I have so much to live for – so many blessings in our future – so much life to build.

Nate is currently in Colorado visiting his parents.  His mom is doing incredibly well.  We feel extremely lucky that she is recovering the way she is.  I thank everyone that has been holding her in your thoughts and prayers!  We are extremely grateful to you!

Yesterday I was telling Ili how this whole experience has a way of putting life into such a different perspective.  My whole life I’ve been so worried about my body; about being thin enough or beautiful enough – so much time wasted on silly preoccupations.  I look at my emaciated self now and see pictures of the woman that I was just a couple of months ago.  I remember her angst, her calorie counting, her gym sessions.  I can tell her now that none of it matters.  All of those preoccupations were for nothing.  She can be set free to preoccupy herself with things that matter so much more.  It is all about the relationships with others – the love we put out into the world.  It comes back ten-fold.  I’m incredibly aware of the compassion and love that surrounds me.  It gets me through this time and keeps me fighting the fight.  It is beyond moving!


  1. I will keep I int prayers for all things are possible with God, I know Ily and Marzo he was my teacher and for a short time I worked with ily . My hubby had a tumor which wad operable but the rest had to be treated through radiation. I cam understand completely what your going through buy you are not alone for Fod is with u wherever I go , he is with u in the treatments he is with u when u ache he is with u in it joys and he is with u always. I know u will recover fr this just liked husband did God bless u

  2. Sorry for the typos I meant God is with u lol,Ely

  3. I would like you to share this prayer with you :

    Father, in the name of Jesus, I come before You asking You to heal Maria . It is written that the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.

    Her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and she desires to be in good health. She seeks truth that will make her free – both spiritual and natural (good eating habits, medications if necessary, and appropriate rest and exercise). You bought Maria at a price, and she desire to glorify you in her spirit and her body – they both belong to you.

    Thank you, Father, for sending Your Word to heal Maria and deliver her from all destructions. Jesus, You are the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. You bore her griefs (pains) and carried her sorrows (sickness). and by your scourging she is healed.

    Father, Maria gives attention to Your words, and she inclines her ear to your sayings. She will not let them depart from her sight, but keep them in the midst of her heart. For they are life and health to her whole body.

    Since the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in her, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to my mortal body through His Spirit who dwells in her.

    Thank You that she will prosper and be in health even as my soul prospers. Amen.

  4. Ely, Thank you so much for your prayer! I'm so happy to hear about your husband getting better. I can't tell you how poignant the timing of this prayer was for me. It literally brought me to tears. I was in so much pain, in such a dark place that for almost a week, I lost God. This morning I opened my eyes to your prayer with new eyes...literally full of hope and back to a restored presence in his grace! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  5. I am so glad Mari that you were blessed, even though we have never met, my thoughts of you are ever present. I pray for you continually and know that God will bring you out of this, so you can continue to bless others. I know you are going through some antiviral treatment, and my hubby had sepsis twice in his blood, a two different times. He also underwent the antiviral antibiotics and IVS, I know this is temporary, you have so many people who love you and I know you can do this. This will soon be a memory, and you will be giving your testimony of the great things God has done in your life. I pray you have a good night ...God bless you Ely