I felt a bit overwhelmed on day one, but was quickly humbled and encouraged by every single message, note, text, and phone call. The love and support I felt on that day is what helped get me through the rest of my treatment.
To give you all a quick overview on my personal situation, I was approved to join a study/trial at the UCLA sarcoma center. They have been working on this study for over a year and have seen excellent results. Traditionally, a patient is put on a 5 week radiation plan (every single day for 5 weeks). In this study they reduce the amount of days but give a much stronger dose of radiation proving that liposarcomas can be treated in less time. This study has already worked for many other types of cancer but because Myxoid Liposarcomas are so rare they have not been able to try other methods until now. Liposarcoma’s are found in less than 1% of cancer patients. From my own personal research I have found that there are only 4 types of liposarcoma. Myxoid liposarcomas are only diagnosed in about 200-300 people in the United States every year or they are misdiagnosed. About 30 years ago the only form of treatment was amputation. I have never loved science and research more in my life! 🙂
When this process first started I felt alone. I wanted the world to stop for everyone else like it had for me. But I quickly realized that we are all living to survive. We all face challenging circumstances no matter what it is. My pain isn’t worse than yours. God says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames hurt you. This is because I, the Lord, am your God.” (Isaiah 43:2-3)
So while I was in radiation, sitting on that hard table, staring at that massive machine, I knew without a shadow of a doubt my God was with me. The radiation tech asked if I wanted to listen to music and I said “yes”, maybe a little too enthusiastically…they played all my favorite worship songs. The tech gave me very specific instructions, “You have to keep your arms still and you can not move you body. But if you want to sing, go ahead, we’ll all be listening.” There is one song in particular by Lauren Daigle that I heard while driving to my very first appointment with my Oncologist. I remember hearing the chorus and thinking that this song was for me. And on my first day of treatment God showed up in that room while they played the exact same song. The machine started spinning and I started singing “Let the waters rise I will stand as the oceans roar, Let the earth shake beneath me let the mountain fall, You are God over the storm and I am yours.” See, we are all going to walk through difficult times, painful times, and even scary times. But the promise is that God is always there, “I WILL be with you, you will NOT drown, you will NOT be burned, you will NOT be hurt.” I was literally singing in the rain and I loved every moment.
Today I am finally starting to feel more and more like myself. My doctor changed my targeted treatment plan due to other possible complications which was a HUGE plus. Because of where my tumor was located, most of the radiation was targeted towards my hip bone which makes it difficult to move my leg, sit down, or walk. There has been some discoloration in the area treated and I feel extremely fatigued for most of the day. Overall I am feeling stronger and that is the most important part!
The next step is another surgery. They have to remove the rest of the tumor which is located near my femoral artery. Please help me pray that the tumor is far enough away from the artery and veins! My surgery is scheduled for the end of April…I’m nervous and excited.
As I was laying on the table during my very last radiation treatment, I was singing and praying. I was so thankful that I was finished. I was thankful that the Doctors had changed my treatment plan. I was thankful that I didn’t feel alone anymore. I was thankful for my mom who has been with me for almost 6 weeks now selflessly taking care of me. I was thankful for my family who have sent me daily messages and songs of encouragement. I was thankful for my friends who have showered me with love. I was thankful for my husband who had kept his strength in the midst of so much sadness. As the machines rolled to its final stop, I took a deep breath in and exhaled. The final song loudly playing over the speakers pierced my heart as I heard, “Oh the love that set me free, you bring hope to those in need, you have written and redeemed my story”. In that exact moment, God spoke to my heart and very silently but boldly told me…”I have written and redeemed your story”. I had tears in my eyes as the tech walked in the room and said “I’m sorry there isn’t confetti falling from the sky, there should be a more exciting and dramatic end to radiation,” I looked at him with the biggest smile on my face and proudly declared, “That was the perfect ending”.
Thank you all for listening and sharing this journey with me. ❤
– Idalia K.