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Birthday fun

Happy birthday to me! Yes, on father's day I turned a year older. I decided to have a big bash this year, and even though not everyone I was hoping would show up, showed up, it was still a good time. My parents own an 80 acre farm, so what better place to hold an event such as this! 

Getting ready for it was a bit stressful, but what party isn't. I had to clean out the quonset (large storage shelter) and set up the tables. I bought some burgers and brats and a whole lot of beer. Oh, and don't forget the port-o-potty. My mom decided to get me a My Little Pony cake and some pony ears. :-D Did I mention I turned 36?

The party didn't really kick off until 7, though a few people stopped by earlier. When 9 rolled around it was time to light the BIG bon fire. My dad had a brush pile just aching to be burned. I swear the flames flew 30 feet high! We were up until 4 am watching that thing burn despite the big storms that rolled through and soaked it down. It really was a great party.  I am really happy people were able to celebrate it with me. 

Radiation 

I had my first radiation treatment on Tuesday. It was pretty easy. The mask they made was sitting waiting for me on the scanning bed. They had me lay down and they snapped it over my face. When I was comfortable and the nurses were happy with my placement, the bed slid into the scanner. After about a minute the scan was done and the bed slid back out again. I laid there for a couple minutes while they reviewed the scan. After they made the adjustments to the lasers, my bed slid back in and the radiation began. It kind of sounded like a guy shaking maracas around my head. I could feel a little bit of tingling on the treatment area, but that was about it. After a few minutes the machine turned off and the bed slid back out and that was the end of my treatment. Today was about the same, but this time I had a little bit of a metalic taste in my mouth.

I have to do this every day so I will keep you posted as symptoms emerge. I want to think of this as a journal to keep track of how I am doing as well as give anybody going through it themselves an idea of what to expect. I know I am always looking for experiences, so it is only fair that I share mine. 

I drove up to Madison today to get fitted for my radiation mask. It was a little disconcerting to say the least. They put this wet plaster mesh over my face and let it dry for about 10 minutes. When they first stretched it over my face, I was almost afraid to breath because of how wet it was, but once they got it on there, it wasn't so bad. Shit's getting real folks. They want me to start radiation on the 20th. That is 5 days a week for 6 weeks I have to drive about 2 hours there, hang out for a half an hour, then drive 2 hours back. I am going to have to load my cell up with some tunes!

 

For those of you who have never seen a radiation mask before, this is what one looks like. It essentially holds your head completely still so they can very accurately shoot the high energy particles at a localised spot exactly the same way every time you step into the office. You can then later use the mask for your super hero rampages.

There is a melanoma forum that I visit daily. Mainly to see how others are doing and to give advise where I can. I am not anywhere nearly as knowledgeable as many of the people who visit, but I do have experiences worth sharing. There are a few people who are in the thick of it that I like to hear updates about. Some are doing well, some are fighting for their lives. There have been a few times this year where people who I was very hopeful for have lost their battle. These are the updates that I find the most difficult to read. Will this eventually be my path as well, or will I have a happy ending? I guess only time will tell. 

 

To Josh: I hope you have finally found peace.

Hey there. So I am working on my new site here. The old site just wasn't fitting my needs anymore, so I am redoing it to make it easier to update for me. I also wanted to add the blog, because well, a lot is happening in my life that I want to talk about. So please bare with me as I try to get this thing up to full speed.

Thanks!

April