Saturday, January 30, 2010

Half Way There

Today was Peggy and LeRoy's 39th anniversary! My dad drove down for the day, and to take my mom to dinner. I was extremely glad they had a chance to go out and celebrate their wonderful marriage!

I was able to go up and spend some time with Melanie, while mom and dad enjoyed dinner. While I was there, Melanie was scheduled to have her brain boost of radiation for the day. Today was day three of radiation, which means she is half way done! They are figuring out some things that are making the process a lot better. Today they sorted out a way to allow Melanie to lay down during her full body radiation. She said it was so much better. There was no puking during the process, so today was a better day!

I went with Melanie down to the radiation therapy area so I could document how the brain boost portion of her treatment looks. We'll have to get some pictures of the full body another day.

The nurses from radiology come and give Melanie a nice ride down. It is quite a walk, so this is a great thing. Melanie says that the ride down makes her nauseous as well, so it is a good thing they always give her Adavan before they come.

Once in the radiation therapy room, she gets to change beds. During the brain boost, she lays on her back. The bed in the background is what they figured out today for the full body. She has to lay on her side now for that one.

The face mold was not the funnest for Melanie to have made, but it looks pretty sweet!

After she lays down, they put the face mask on and then screw it down to the table. There is NO moving the head at this point!

You can kind of see a black line down the mask. This divides the head. Everything behind the black line is being treated and everything in front of the line is being blocked. Good thing the radiation only takes about three minutes, because Melanie feels very claustrophobic! She says she does not like radiation at all. It just makes her feel so yucky. Worse than chemo! Her glands get swollen and she just feels...blah. Only three more days!

Melanie had a visit from some friends in her ward, Monica and Mark Edlemeyer. Monica used to be Melanie's visiting teacher. It was nice of them to stop by. I know Melanie appreciated it, even though she was feeling a bit drugged up on Adavan. She is loving her cozy quilt from the faculty and staff at Providence Elementary. We like to read all the nice messages each person wrote. What a treasure! My dad was able to give Melanie a father's blessing before he left this evening. I know it brought a lot of comfort to her.

7 days until transplant!


Grandma Smith said...

Thank you so much for the bolgs. It is so nice to be able to follow along on this journey with Melanie.
Hang in there. Today is "hump" day. You're on the down swing. I can't even begin to imagine how you feel. What strength! What faith! Our family continues to pray for you and Kayden and the rest of the family. You are all awesome.
Sure love you Mel!

Aunt Lenie aka Grandma Smith
(I still can't fix that!)

Alean said...

I think you are amazing. I would have to be knocked out to get through the claustrophobia. You are amazing. I can't wait for Saturday to get here for you. Are you going to be able to have visitors post transplant?

Kerren said...

Wow, Mel. . . Who would ever have thought you'd be experiencing ANY of this just a few months ago? It is just phenomenal! Your strenth and faith really amaze me, and the support of your family never ceases to dimish. This was such a thorough post, Angie. Thank you for keeping all of us "right there!" We're learning things we never dreamed to know about. The most important realization for me is what I'm learning from your faith and the love of your family. Prayers continue, with much love.

Steve said...

The face mold is my favorite. It looks like something you could use when driving without a windshield through trees. Or, it could maybe used at Halloween after you run out of candy to keep the late kids away.

Mel, we miss you and hope you know that we are praying for you.

Stay strong!

Soto family said...

Big hugs and kisses Mel!
I think the face mold is sexy. That's something you'll definately want to show the grandkids. And make sure to take it home with you- it probably cost your insurance around $12,000. It could be a lovely plant holder.
Love your guts!!

Monica said...

It was great to see you on Sat. You are amazing!!! If I knew we would be on the blog I would have hidden behind the IV bag. Just kidding. We love you Good luck with the next few days!!! Monica