30 days of radiation An exercise in gratitude

Day 1

April 17- We (my mom and I) arrived safe in Santa Monica and all went smooth. My doctors, nurses and team are so nice. I met with a new nurse named Timo today and she talked about side effects, but that is not to worry about yet. I should be feeling fine these first 2 weeks. We also checked into a beautiful condo and we will be very comfortable here.

Our condo is very nice, in a great location and has beautiful views.

Day 2

April 18 - Radiation went well and I met with Dr. Wollman who I will be checking in with every Tuesday (he's a cool guy). I had a slight metallic taste in my mouth but all is still well.

I got out on a 4 mile run this evening...

Views along my run today. It's fun to see a new place and some iconic views. The people watching is good too.

Day 3

April 19 - All is moving along just fine. I miss home and routine and had some frustrations today, but physically I feel fine. I had friends and family check in on me. I so grateful for the love and support. I also explored the bike path and ran 5 miles today and saw a little more.

Sights from today. The people watching and "sights" are not boring.

Day 4

April 20 - Today was better than yesterday in that I feel like I'm getting used to the routine. Radiation went smooth (it's easy so far) but I am going to ask for different music to listen to. I also made it in a run/walk to Venice today. I like this project because it has me looking at things different. When you look for good, think good, be good... Things are good. Today was good. I also saw a good sunset.

Venice and a great sunset.

Day 5

April 21 - all is still going well and I still feel good. My 5th treatment was this morning and then we drove to Pasadena for my grandmother's funeral/memorial service... Whew, what a way to end my week. My greatest take away is that family is soooo important and as we spent time together today I know I am blessed to have a good one. I am also reminded that life is short and is to be appreciated and celebrated. My grandmother used to tell me to always use the good silver, don't wait for a special occasion, life is the special occasion.

Steps to climb. I was struck by how many photos of steps I have taken in the past few days. It seems symbolic to me of the hills and challenges I have to climb over the next five weeks.

Day 6

April 24 - it's a Monday again. My mom and I drove back to LA today for week #2 of radiation. I had a great weekend home and am so grateful for my home, Eric, Lucky and friends this weekend, but now it's time for week #2. I had a successful day. Radiation is still easy. The hardest is being away from home, but this evening we got out again and I still enjoy finding/seeing new things. Tonight I went three miles round trip and some of it with my mom and some running along the waterfront bike path (slow).

Some steps are more challenging than others here.

Day 7

April 25 - Today was good but on very little sleep after crazy winds and stuff crashing around last night. Radiation went well again. ...Moving right along. I get a weird metallic taste after radiation, but that's the only notable effect so far. I have a slight headache but I think that's the environment. Good thing was a sandwich shop reccomendation from my doctor and I also nailed a presentation for work today. I walked a little this evening to and from the YMCA which is the oldest YMCA I have ever seen. It's like walking into a time warp... but the people are very nice. Friends and family keep checking in on me and I am so grateful for the love and support.

This YMCA is huge and very old.

Day 8

April 26 - Today also went smooth. Radiation is still easy on me. I haven't been sleeping very well which has its own problems. I feel only slightly down, but that may be due to interrupted and less sleep. I still get a metallic taste in my mouth, but I buy myself candy at the gift shop as a treat after radiation and it helps. I like the banana Laffy Taffy. I also figured out why they call it Laffy Taffy... and the jokes are laughable but not really funny. Today I also had another productive and remote work day which makes me feel good. My aunt and her boyfriend came to visit this evening. I love my aunt. We all went to dinner at Santa Monica Seafood and I ordered an ahi poke bowl which is one of my favorite foods.

Ahi Poke and Laffy Taffy. A few of my favorite things today... I didn't take photos of family, but that was cool too.

Day 9

April 27 - Radiation went well. There was a German Shepard service dog named Greta there today too. Greta got in trouble for licking my face... I think she knew I am a sucker. I got outside and went to the pier and back for lunch time. It was a nice day out. My mom and I went to 3rd Street Promenade after work today and went to a salad restaurant for dinner.

I got outside at lunch time too.

Day 10

April 28 - Today was day 10 and 1/3 or the way done with treatment. I had a busy and full day and also made it to a class at the YMCA that I like. The class was a fit class with weights and light cardio and fun music. I enjoyed it. It's also nice to come home. I missed home. I came home to sooooo many roses too.

I came home so some amazing first blooms of my roses.

Day 11

May 1 - I can't believe it's already May. Today is Monday. Last night (Sunday) I got super sick. I threw up a couple times and had major stomach pain and diarrhea. It was terrible, but the worst passed by midnight. Regardless, today was difficult. I had a successful work day but barely pulled through what I needed and then I went to bed at 5:15.

I felt terrible today after getting sick Sunday night and my dad had to put Bogie to sleep today but I didn't find out until I woke up Tuesday. I am sad about Bogie.

Day 12

May 2 - I slept 12 hours last night! I have the beginning of a cold now too. It's mild discomfort but I got over the counter medicine and will be watching it. At radiation today they said they would still continue to radiate even with a cold. I don't want the double discomfort and will fight this. Radiation is going well still... it's just this cold thing that is a new challenge. Tonight we walked to 3rd Street Promenade. It was fun to get out. On our walk over it was old furniture to be given away night... there was even a stove older than mine.

These make my appliances look soooooo new.

Day 13

May 3 - Today I am definitely sick. Dark green boogers came out of my nose. I feel horrible. Good things today were the fact that got to have lunch with Monica and her family today (Monica was in town for a doctor appointment for her knee. She'll be having surgery in July and I am grateful I am not having knee surgery). I also took an afternoon nap and woke up for a movie on demand and then went back to bed. I got some work done but not much due to feeling sooooooooo crappy. The rest is a luxury although I wish I didn't need to be sick to make myself rest.

These colors make me happy.... I get to see my roses in a few days.

Day 14

May 4 - Thursday and I'm almost half way done with radiation. I feel a little better than yesterday but still battling being sick. My eyes hurt, my head hurts and I'm fighting a good fight but don't need a cold on top of this. Eric sent me a wonderful email today. He said, "I know that you are not happy with having to go through radiation and the situation you need to endure. Please think of the following. Love, Eric"

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Thank you Eric!

Day 15

May 5 - Friday, half way done and also my mom's birthday. I woke up feeling the worst I have yet. I got very little sleep. I have been sick and uncomfortable and no aspirin or over the counter medicine has been helping. After radiation today I went sent to see my ENT doctor (who wasn't in but a saw someone else very nice in his office named Dr. Price) in Brentwood. After a check up and a CT scan of my head I was given steroids and antibiotics. I didn't want steroids, but I don't want this pain either. It took me until 3 pm to get home from LA and to the pharmacy. The steroids worked pretty fast as far as relief goes and I was able to make it to my moms birthday dinner at the Yacht Club (although I did have to leave a little early). We had fun at the Yacht Club. I'm half way done with radiation!

Super appropriate dinner behavior. I think we had the best party going on at the Yacht Club this night.

Day 16

May 8 (Monday) - Today radiation was at 3:20. I worked in the am and my mom and I drove to LA at 1. We had lunch in the hospital which has a great salad bar and the peanut butter cookie wasn't bad either. My laptop is still in the shop so I had to bring my desktop down again and I forgot my keyboard so I had to go the Apple Store. I was/ am frustrated. So many costs right now... as I hear and am afraid about health care policies and am trying to work so that I don't use all my leave banks and be a burden, I feel frustrated to work so hard yet have fear that it's not always about how hard you work. Stuff happens. Anyhow, I am fortunate to have coverage for my continued costs and love and support from friends and family and help and support and love and a job that wants me healthy and not stressed and supports my healing, and love and support and great friends, great family... repeat this...

Lucky has been so supportive and helped me feel better this weekend.

Day 17

May 9 - Radiation went well again and on Tuesdays I see my doctor. I still have a headache but it's better than last week. Today was my last day of steroids. I was told to try Tylenol instead of Bayer for pain now. I hope the pain never returns like last week. My mom and I went to El Cholo for dinner which was nicer than I thought it would be. I'm glad we went. Thanks Mom.

El Cholo was nice and the food was good. My mom picked up the bill (she's gotten a lot of those lately - I'll make dinner tomorrow). We cleaned our plates. I slept well after.

Day 18

May 10 - radiation. Is still going fine. I made it to the YMCA for lunch to the light weights class I like. My mom went to lunch with a friend of hers although she is now super sick. We rented the movie Hidden Figures which was excellent. Edible treats came from the office too. This was very nice of them.

My office is sooooooo thoughtful. 8 felt the love and loved these chocolate dipped cold fruits. The bananas were even better when I put them in the freezer.

Day 19

May 11 - I'm tired. I slept from 2:00-3:00 and then 3:30-4:30 and then watched the movie La La Land with my mom and went back to bed at 8 pm - 6:30 am. Whoa! My head hurts and I have some nausea. My only adventure was going to the hospital and to rent our movie. The rest of my day I worked some and got floored by fatigue. I liked the movie Hidden Figures better than La La Land. My mom went to visit her mom's grave at Forest Lawn and put new flowers out. She also went and bought new shoes for her tango lessons somewhere in Studio City. I also opened a present from Eric's mom. Thank you Lizzie!

Thank you for the thoughtful gift Lizzie. My bedside also looks like an old ladies, or a drugstore.

Day 20

May 12 - I'm 2/3 done with radiation and I got to go home today. Those are good things! I also got to take Lucky on a slow walk up Franklin Trail today (to the first gate) and that was super huge treat.

Franklin Trail slow and awesome walk on Friday. I haven't been here in about a year and I am so glad to be home.

Day 21

May 15 - Monday. I'm back in LA. Radiation went fine. I feel much better after plenty of sleep and just having been home for the weekend. I had a nice weekend and also watched lots of good TV. My mom and I had lunch at Huckleberry today and it was delicious. My mom bought me the cookbook which will not get me any thinner but some of those recipes will bring great happiness. The light tonight was also cool.

Huckleberry was delicious and this cookbook will not slim my waste line but will be fun to use. The light tonight was amazing.

Day 22

May 16 - Tuesday and all is well. Radiation went fine and they are all very nice at the hospital. My mom and I went to 3rd Street Promenade after dinner which I made and she wasn't a huge fan of. I made steamed broccoli and quinoa with amino acids and teriyaki sauce. My mom added butter to her broccoli. 3rd Street Promenade was a nice walk along ocean and I bought 2 dresses on super sale at Banana Republic. I went to bed at 9 and slept another 9 hours plus I laid in bed with eyes closed for an hour before getting up.

Dinner to my palette, not my mom's favorite and walking to Banana Republic along Ocean Avenue was nice.

Day 23

May 17 - I slept a lot again last night. Radiation is still going well. My face was puffy again today but I see the ENT tomorrow. Tonight my mom and I walked to frozen yogurt and the grocery store. I rented the movie Sing so we are watching that too.

A very exciting evening... perfect.

Day 24

May 18 - Today I woke up with so much swelling in my face. It was horrendous but got much better as the day went on. Yesterday I was swollen, but today was twice as bad. I also woke up with a headache but Tylenol worked great. I saw my ENT today and he said just to sleep upright and it's probably just the radiation accumulation which makes sense. He didn't think I needed steroids.. so here I go with some noticeable side effects but I'm glad I don't have nausea and my headaches aren't so bad this week. My dad came to visit today which was cool. He flew into the Santa Monica airport and we had lunch. I worked while he and my mom went on a walk which made me happy they got to do that. We dropped my dad off at the airport on my way to the ENT. I also got a pedicure this evening... I met Sara Goes and it was very nice. We went to a place up the street from the condo. Today was a good day.

My dad came to visit. Lunch at Huckleberry was delicious. I am so excited to have a pedicure. Today was a very good day.

Day 25

It is Friday, May 19. I have finished 25 days of treatments. I only have one more week of radiation and I get to go home today.

These are pictures of my mom and dad enjoying their walk on Thursday. I like these pictures. My dad took the photo of my mom and then asked someone to take the photo of them both. My dad posted these in Facebook. He had fun.

Day 26

Monday, May 22 and my last week. Radiation went well again. Driving to LA I got a little motion sickness but that was short and I only took one anti-nausea pill and 2 Tylenol all day. Radiation is only about 5-8 minutes so there is not much that is bad while in there. My treatment started a little late because the computer needed to be rebooted after a glitch or something. Waiting for 10 extra minutes was no problem. Radiation today was at 2:40 and then we went to a late lunch at Cerveteca in Venice. We had been wanting to go for a few weeks and it was fantastic.

A lot of photos of my lunch and Cerveteca in Venice.

Day 27

Tuesday, May 23. Radiation went well as usual but I saw Dr. Wollman after. We scheduled my follow up MRI and Dr. appointments for August 7. I won't know how everything went and what kind of progress was made with the radiation until this check up. I have to wait almost 3 months yo see what radiation did to me. My mom had a lunch date today. This evening we walked to 3rd Street Promenade and also got a frozen yogurt. We came back in time for the Dancing With the Stars season finale, but I took a blue bath using a bath bomb I bought at the beginning of treatments and had been saving for a needed treat. It was a great treat.

I took Avery blue bath tonight.

Day 28

Wednesday, May 24. This morning I didn't feel so good. Mid week last week I also felt worse so I think it's radiation accumulation. Medicine helped and although I am a little emotional, tired and achy still, it wasn't so bad. I got outside this evening too which was nice.

Here are some photos of vanishing points, stairs, paths and good light which I think are a great reminder of what I have done in this last six week and that I hope the radiation is getting rid of the tumor... I love the vanishing points analogy and am thinking of my vanishing tumor (fingers crossed).

Day 29

Thursday, May 26. One more day of radiation. I have finished 29 days today. I felt better today than yesterday and that is a good thing too. Today my mom and I had lunch at Santa Monica Seafood to celebrate and then got cookies to give the staff tomorrow from Cookie Good.

Reflections, lines, bars and a "V" on the parking gate for victory. I am emotional probably from being tired all the time (not bad but just not normal), treatment and this whole process, but I get to break away for a bit after tomorrow. I am grateful for everything.

DAY 30

Friday, May 26th and my last day of radiation. I am all done. We brought the staff cookies from Cookie Good and everyone was so incredibly nice to me. They asked if I wanted to keep the radiation mask and that seemed weird to me. I said, "no way." I also said, "I want to keep the good memories only." Anyhoo... I'm done, I'm done, I'm done. Thank you Mom for being there and Thank you Dad for sending her and thank you for renting the perfect place for us to spend 6 weeks. Thank you everyone for your love and support. I'm done.

Here is some light from the last night, the view from our condo, the radiation waiting room, the equipment that delivered the radiation and my puffy face after my last treatment holding my discharge paper work. I am so grateful for how everything went down and my treatment and everyone. Thank you.
Created By
Alison Grube

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