June Recovery Blog

AA is back with KK for her last week of Radiation and Chemo and will blog the week. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Feeling the fatigue this week, but getting fabulous reports from the PAs and Physicians about KK's progress. She is headed to radiation in a few moments.  (She refers to her radiation appointments as her "trips to Portugal.)  After today, she has 3 trips left. Wahooooooo!  Photo below:  Meet Adelaide--one of the many unsung heroes of MDAnderson. 

June 7, 2023

AND THEN THERE WAS ONE!  About 1 hour from now, KK will begin to suck down her last dose of carboplatin chemotherapy and the bells will peel afterwards!  Nothing like that last day...lots of smiles and congratulations from everyone for the hip survivor in the shiny tiara!  

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Well, our week has almost come to a close. As AA begins writing this missive, we are currently in the radiation waiting room at 6:30 a.m. for her next-to-last cancer treatment #28. So, as KK prepares for her trip to The Algarve, I want to share with you what her cancer treatment procedures have been like. First of all, let's send a giant THANK YOU to the people of congress who voted for the Family Medical Leave Act. Cancer survival is a full-time job and there is no way patients can juggle all of this without help. (As I write this, there is a young adolescent girl buried under a binky on a gurney with two medical aides to transport her to treatments. As KK just whispered to me, "I have no problems.") 

After dancing and celebrating M&A at Springdale Station until late Sunday, we were up Monday morning at 5:00 a.m. to pack and make our way to Houston. By 11:30, KK was in radiation. Afterwards, we grabbed some protein-enriched smoothies and crawled into the hotel bed for a much-needed nap. Later that afternoon, AA shopped Whole Foods for soups and avocados while KK had a 2-hour acupuncture session. We drove home in the rain, nibbled on soft foods and soup, and slept the night away. All the things left out of this itinerary are the rituals and care it takes to endure the treatments:  filling the humidifier, the Rx schedule, putting the moisturizer on, taking the moisturizer off so it doesn't fry during radiation, ulcer ointment, bandaging the raw skin at night and removing in the morning, not to mention the numerous methods of eliminating phlegm and mucus, and numbing the mouth sores or 'razor blades' as KK calls them. It's a lot. Honestly, it's a full-time job. 

Tuesday, we met with a nutritionist, one of her oncologists, and got a new list of post-radiation procedures she'll do from home over the next month--with a new bag of bandage goodies and more Rx. Then she had her 2nd radiation of the week. The pain and fatigue are really kicking in this week.  Afterwards we had a bit of a nap followed by a trip to the speech pathologist. (AA went and filled up the car with petrol and got KK a $10 chocolate brownie milkshake.  Turns out, chocolate is something she can taste.)  Then we trekked over to Bellaire for some of Disney's FROZEN with the granddaughters while JL made tacos for Taco Tuesday.   Bed couldn't come soon enough as the fatigue she's feeling is real. 

Wednesday was a long, but rewarding day. CL arrived from Austin and the morning began with another trip to radiation and Smoothie King. Then we met with the chemo oncologist and learned of a new product:  Boost Soothe. It's a liquid protein drink with a numbing effect for cancer patients. Amazon will deliver a trial package to the hotel today. After waiting over an hour for a room, KK was escorted into her chemo cubbie for her last chemotherapy. Once her tubes were removed she was escorted to "the bell" and proceeded to serenade us all...until she broke the bell. ROFL. AA then took her out for supper to celebrate...and KK really enjoyed the onion soup! The taste buds aren't completely fried. 

And now, as I complete this, she has completed radiation #29. She picked at breakfast and will now rest before a therapy session, a PT session, and her last acupuncture session with Dr. Marie.   All eyes are on tomorrow--her 30th and final radiation with another ringing of the bell!  

Friday, June 9, 2023

"LOVE IS BIGGER THAN ANYTHING IN ITS WAY."--Bono  ("Which means that love is bigger than cancer!--KK)

Today is the magic day!  KK's 30th spiritual trip to The Algarve in Portugal for her last radiation!


Donned in her tiara and a cape, this Superwoman has been an A+ patient according to her oncologists. To KK, the cape represents all of the friends, family, staff, and acquaintances, who have offered love, prayers, gifts, texts, and hugs that have given her the strength of Superwoman to endure this cancer journey with grace. 

We're just minutes away from the final timing of the bell!  

And then she was done!