Take that cancer!
As of this week and I am now half way through treatment. Three weeks from today I am all done with radiation. I never thought I would hear myself utter these words, but I am looking forward to going back to work.
For those that know me, I am habitual about my yearly exams; teeth cleaning, physical, “peek-a-boo” and mammograms. So this morning I had my 6 month teeth cleaning. I always look forward to getting my teeth cleaned as it always feels so good when they are done. They do a little scraping, polish and I’m out of there. Imagine my surprise when things didn’t go so well this morning. I told them when I got there that I didn’t want to have x-rays as I was already going through radiation treatment and I didn’t want to add on.
My usual hygienist was away so the new gal Jackie would be cleaning my teeth. Wow was she thorough. Turns out that when they did the probe between the teeth and gums, I now had 4’s and 5’s where I was always a 2. They said that because of radiation, all my gums are inflamed. So now I have to have a deep cleaning on some of my teeth, brush my teeth with a special toothpaste and get my teeth cleaned every 3 months until things get back to normal. Before I left today, they painted my teeth with fluoride. This was a side effect I wasn’t prepared for. I pride myself on my good teeth.
Skin seems to be holding up well. Just sunburned and tanned. No fatigue at this point. I will hold off celebrating until I’m completely done.
Today I completed my third week of radiation. The boob is turning a lovely bronze color. Due to the holiday on Monday, I’ll get a 3 day break.
So far I’ve only had a couple bouts of exhaustion. When it hits, it feels like I’ve been crying for hours without the puffy eyes but then the next day it’s gone. I’ve had some pain that feels like I’m bruised and it’s tender to the touch but that’s it. I’m still forcing myself to go for my 3 mile walks as soon as I get home from treatment. I’ve read that I should be doing at least 4 hours of exercise a week. My walks take an hour so I’m getting in 5 hours.
This past week I had my weekly x-ray and I also had a CAT scan. The CAT scan takes readings for when I go through the boost treatment which is the last week. This next Wednesday will put me half way through the process.
Now to take a few days to relax. Have a wonderful Holiday Weekend!
Today I completed my second week of radiation. Other than having one nicely bronzed breast (that no one will see), everything seems to be going well. I meet with Dr. Shimizu every Monday, just to give a status report. Other than one day when I felt kind of wiped out, I’ve been feeling good. Every day after radiation, I come home and take Charlie for a 3 mile walk. When I told this to the doctor, he seemed kind of surprised. I told him, I was going to keep it up until I didn’t feel like I could.
This week they had a service dog in the gowned waiting area. His name was Boomer and he was an English Yellow Lab. They are there every Monday. Next Monday will be Amber.
I found out this week as well that after every 5 treatments I get an x-ray. It’s done by the same machine that zaps me. This next week I have to get another CAT scan and plan for my boost treatments. I thought my last week of treatment was when I got the boosts but apparently it gets done in the middle as well.
I finally received my payment from disability. It only took a month.
Today I finished my first week of radiation. So far, it hasn’t been bad. I already got the burn starting and as of today it has turned into a tan. The first tan in decades. 🙂 Unfortunately or fortunately, however you want to look at it, I can’t wear a bra since it rubs in the burn area. YAHOOO! Finally a legitimate excuse for going braless. The girls are free!!!
I’ve started to get a routine down: first thing in the morning I put on the lotion I got to minimize the burn, drive to La Jolla, take of my top, put on the gown and robe, wait to be called and go into the room. Below is a picture of the machine similar to the one I am in each day. Once I am in the room, I take off the robe and lay down on the table. They line up the marks on my chest and leave the room. The machine rotates from one side to the other for 30 seconds each and I’m done. I’m literally in and out of the radiation center in less than 20 minutes. Once I get home, Charlie and I head out for our walk. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep it up with the walks. I’m just not sure how the side effects will hit me.
The three ladies that work in the Sierra Treatment room are so nice. Everyone so far that I have come in contact with since being diagnosed has been wonderful and supportive.
Thank you also to all my friends and family for the well wishes, prayers and cards. It is appreciated more than you know.
Today was my first radiation treatment. Once I got all marked up again with water soluble ink and I was ready to go. Today took a little longer that it will for the rest of the treatments but all in all it’s a very quick process. I can breathe but can’t move. You have to keep your arms above your head and can’t move them down. Of course my nose started to inch. They told me to begin the aloe vera lotion as soon as I got home and use it 3 times a day. I just can’t use it 2 hours before treatment.
When I left they gave me my schedule for the next 32 sessions. I go every week day at 10:15 am. The last 5 sessions are the boost sessions.
I’ll have to wait and see how my body and skin reacts to treatment.
Yesterday I got a call from Dr. Bernstein’s office with the results from my bone density test. Turns out I have Osteopenia in one of my legs. This is the beginning before Osteoporosis. Great, another plus to going through menopause early. I guess I’ll have to increase my calcium intake, along with milk and more green vegetables. Right now this is the least of my worries. 🙂
Just a quick little post. Just got a call from the Medical Oncologist, Dr. Bernstein. He had the tissue re-tested from my surgery and found that the cancer was not Estrogen receptive after all. This means once radiation is complete, I am all done. I’ll have to be watched with testing but no additional medication is needed. Yahooooo!