A man struggles to keep his head above water

Swallowing My Pride and Asking for Help

It's been over a month since the completion of the stereotactic radiation to my upper right lobe. I had SBRT in 2013 to my lower right lobe. This area of my lung is not very useful anymore. I'm okay with that because I'm alive. However, that treatment in 2013 was a cakewalk compared to the side effects experienced after this round of radiation.

Taking time to recover from radiation

Since the active cancer was so close to the heart, the low dose radiation had to pass through my heart muscle. We did it in 5 rounds because of the location to the heart and esophagus. As I was going through it, I slept. A lot. I was somewhat like a sloth for those 3 weeks.

After finishing, my boyfriend came to Atlanta to pick me up. I couldn't drive myself home in sloth mode. I don't even remember the trip back. An old high school friend made me two huge casseroles to take home. It was a given that I wouldn't have the energy to cook. I didn't have the energy to do anything, hence my radio silence on my personal blog and here.

Kindness from my community

I love my church, but I think I'm used to being in a southern baptist church. They were kind enough to call and ask if I needed anything. I did need someone to bring homemade food. Unfortunately, all they could offer was gift cards. I couldn't even cook, much less grocery shop. Luckily I lost my appetite and my daughter's father bought her plenty of frozen dinners. I am so thankful she is 14 now and can help me when I need it.

Grateful for my supportive, loving daughter

I remember that age and I don't think I could have ever been as nice to my mom as my daughter is to me. Like most teenagers, I was only concerned about myself. However, when my daughter was in pre-K I found out how empathetic she was. This was during the parent-teacher conference.  The teacher also informed me how this shows signs of intelligence at that age.

She has been so helpful. Although my church couldn't help, I realized I had friends here that could and would. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. Pride has always gotten in my way and I always thought I could push through everything. I never wanted to ask and it took all I could muster to actually write a blog requesting assistance since my family was in Atlanta, 5 hours away from me.

Discovering a new support network

I began getting offers from other mothers who loved Karley. She's so outgoing and kind that she makes an impression on so many people. I don't have many friends here, but the ones I do have cleaned my entire house before I came home after a month. My boyfriend stayed with my animals. My people came to my doorstep in my time of need. I would do anything for these people, I guess they knew that.

Being prepared for next time

Coming home to a clean house was amazing. I always expected my scans to be good like they have been for so long. One thing I've learned is that I should always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I left a lot of things unfinished because I thought I would be back as soon as my scans were done and stable. Except, this time they weren't. It was a hard lesson to learn, but valuable. I know to prepare before each one now.

I've also started a list of passwords and logins for various accounts. This is in the event I'm unable to promptly take care of everyday bills. My circle of people are able to manage them. My sister is also a contributor to my personal blog. I did this in the event I couldn't post. So, although I'm still recovering, I'm still getting help. And that warms my heart.

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