Today marks the halfway mark of radiation, hooray hooray. Only side effects I have noticed is a horrible sore throat and slight pink on the top of my chest. The sore throat is different than a sore throat that you get when you get a cold. This sore throat is super painful, even when I was swallowing my own spit. When I saw my doctor last Tuesday (I see her every Tuesday) she gave me 3 different medications to help. All of the medications she gave me are a bit tricky, since I wanted to use them on the retreat I planned and went on this past weekend (more on that in a bit). The first one was a “mouth wash” (its actually called magic mouthwash. Its given a lot to chemo patients who get mouth sores) that required to be stored in a refrigerator, which doesnt really work when I dont have easy access to one. Second one was also a liquid, but I was warned I would be very sleepy on it (as in dont drive when you take it), which again doesnt work well when your planning and putting on a retreat. And the third, a giant pill that I dissolve in water and have to take 40 minutes before I ate. Still not super easy to work with, but thats the med that came with me this weekend. Thankfully, I used the magic mouthwash before I left town, and it tasted terrible (brought back childhood memories of cherry flavored medicine) but worked really well. Basically numbed my throat, so I didnt feel much of anything that went down. It helped over all because it was only during meals that it hurt to swallow (it hurts to the degree that I cringe when I swallowed food, Ive never done or experienced that before). And its usually the worst in the mornings. So that side effect is getting under control slowly. The slight pink skin, well, they expected it last week, so that its just now sorta showing up now is nice. I’ll start using my gel they gave me morning and night to avoid anymore skin change.

Like I mentioned, I had a retreat this weekend. It was so nice to be fully a part of a big youth event like this. I had to miss a lot of the summer mission trip we take every year in June, which was so hard. Even being there for the last bit, I felt like I missed so much. That June trip usually helped me learn students who I didnt know, which really is great get ready to go into a new school year. It was a very rational trip for me, which I loved about it. Which is why I was so thankful to be completely involved in Fall Retreat. I knew it would be the true test of my energy level though while on radiation, being its a weekend where I get tired from long and full days and not a whole lot of sleep anyways. However, I didnt find myself more tired than I typically would be on the retreat. It was such a sweet relief to feel normal. Normal is something I long for. I remember running to get something and making the comment how great it was to run when most of the year I hadnt been able to do that (and I really hate running). And to be within the mist of the students, they fill my heart so much. Talking last week with my doctor how I hadnt felt tired at all yet, she mentioned that most of her patients who have fulling jobs, tend not to get tired. While others, who have jobs that are just hard to go to, she even tells them not to go. Im so thankful for a job that makes this process easier in more ways than one.

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