Radiation Update # 1

April 16, 2024

This is Day 81 of 180 days of cancer treatment. It is also Day 5 of 28 days of radiation to rid me of prostate cancer.

Each morning (M-F) I arrive at the University of Kansas Hospital around 8 AM. They start by giving me a new ID wristband. When my time comes, the nurse leads me back to a desk where they ask me for my name and birthdate, and then they ask me to identify what part of my body they are radiating.

The treatments are quick and painless, and the staff is unfailingly cheerful.

After turning on their machines early in the morning, they run us through, one after another, all day long. They treat some of us for prostate cancer, but others for colon cancer or breast cancer or any of a whole host of cancers.

A glance around the waiting area reminds you that cancer is no respecter of persons. I see men and women from all walks of life, some younger, some older, some talkative, and others sitting quietly and waiting their turn.

All of us are on the cancer journey, and we all line up for our treatments. In and out we go, the whole process (in my case) taking maybe 10 minutes. With my legs immobilized in a plastic cast they molded to fit me, and with my hands holding a rubber ring (to keep them still), I lie on the metal table, trying not to move while the big machine whirs and clicks and moves around my abdomen.

I can’t tell exactly when they are hitting me with radiation, and I don’t feel a thing, but soon the nurse comes and says, “We’re done,” and I get up and try not to forget my cell phone that I left on the table.

When I leave, Jeff, who who oversees the radiation, says, “See ya, Ray.” It’s that sort of place.

I’m not competent to comment on the technology, but it’s all very remarkable and well run. As I’m leaving the next patient is entering.

That said, how am I doing? The doctor told me my fatigue would increase, and that’s true for me. I would say my tiredness has gone from 4 on a scale of 10 to maybe a 7 or an 8. I wake up weary and don’t want to get out of bed. It’s a combination of the hormone plus the radiation. Evidently the fatigue is likely to increase even more as the radiation goes on.

But I have no complaints. None at all. The system is good, and I trust that the invisible rays are crushing my renegade cancer cells and rendering them useless. We won’t know the outcome of the treatment for some months to come, and like everything else in life, there are no guarantees, but I’m glad to be finally treating my cancer.

Marlene and I pray daily for faith, gratitude, and no grumbling. We often ask each other, “Who’s got it better than we do?” And the answer comes, “No one!”

From Day 1, Marlene has been a source of strength, hope, and encouragement. She says to me, “We’re in this together,” and then she smiles. It’s amazing what her smile means to me.

I was overwhelmed by the hundreds of comments on my announcement last week about the cancer treatment. We often say we are loved unreasonably, and your love and your prayers have proved that once again.

By the way, I am on Moody Radio with Chris Fabry this Thursday to talk about what I’ve learned so far from my cancer journey. We’ll be live on the network from 2-3 PM.

Thanks for your love and your prayers. I’ll keep you posted as we go along.

All is well.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?