Well ya’ll, I’m getting soooo close to being done! I finished up my scheduled radiation treatments last Friday. I was set for a total of 25 and we checked #25 off on Friday. My appointment was a little longer than normal because immediately after my treatment Friday, they began marking me up and getting the machines set up for the next series of 5 “boost” treatments……and the doctor had to come in and make sure everything was set up as it should be. These 5 treatments will specifically target the tumor bed. My incision from the lumpectomy surgery is under my left arm pit. The machine is set up very close to my incision site – and they radiate me for about 20 seconds each day and that’s it.
Last week was by far the hardest yet. Not in terms of pain or anything – just getting up and getting going. The fatigue showed up big time……and even though you know to expect it…….I don’t think you are ever quite prepared for how quickly it comes on at times. Like one minute you feel great and full of energy and 10 minutes later, you’ve hit a brick wall and getting off of the couch to get a snack seems like too much of an effort. Craziness!
With Monday being a holiday – my son was out of school and I had the day off from radiation…….so we decided it was a perfect weekend to head down to the beach. Who cares if it was freezing cold. The beach makes everything better. My mom and dad were able to join us – and we had a great time just hanging out, watching TV, eating good, watching for horses on the island, and lounging in our PJ’s………it was just what the doctor ordered.
And speaking of mom and dad…….let me just say that I can never thank them enough for ALL the help and support they have offered me since all this mess began. Whether it was moral support…….or accompanying me to doctors appointments……..or chemo……..or driving me to radiation………or making sure Hunter had transportation to school or dental appointments……..or picking me up a loaf of bread so I’d be prepared for Snowmageddon (not just ANY bread, it HAS to be the BEST bread in town from IGA!)……they have gone above and beyond to support me and I will be forever grateful for all they have done. Honestly, I hit the jackpot when it comes to parents (and Hunter, Jalen and Haden hit the MegaMillions in the grandparent category for sure). My parents are two of the most giving and selfless folks that I know……and I’m glad that God chose them to be mine.
Today was my first “boost” and it was quick and painless. Truthfully, it takes me longer to change from my clothes into the hospital gown than the treatment takes! All I have to do is lay there……completely still…….but this time I don’t have to do any breath holds so it’s super quick and easy. So I’ve got 1 down and 4 to go. And yeah – they are calling for lots of snow tonight……so I’m praying I can get #2 in the books tomorrow. I’ll have to call them in the morning to see if they are operating on regular schedule or not…..or if I need to come in at a later time. I’ve all ready advised my brother that I’ll need him to get me over there if the snow comes…..so we’re all set to get there provided we can do it safely. I’m too close to the end now to let a little snow stand in the way!
I also had a follow-up appointment with the pulmonary doctor this afternoon. My latest pulmonary function test was completely normal…….so he’s taking me off of my daily inhaler. While it’s difficult to know if the asthma was brought on by an allergic reaction to the chemo Taxol…….or from me being anemic……..I’m just glad it’s gone. He wants me to continue to carry my rescue inhaler as a precaution. He said cold weather can definitely induce breathing problems (and baby, it’s definitely cold outside)! I will follow up with him in 6 months just to be sure I don’t have any pulmonary issues after completing radiation and he will probably repeat my pulmonary function test at that time. Hooray for a great report!
So here’s a few pics of how things looked once I wrapped my 25 treatments. The collar bone area took the worst beating……but it’s healing up a bit. She prescribed me some silvadene cream to apply to that area. Please know I don’t post these pictures to be boastful in any way. As I mentioned in my very first blog entry – my goal was to be as open and honest and authentic as I could. Not to pat myself on the back – but to encourage others who may be going through something similar. To see that it’s DOABLE…..it may not be pretty – and it may not be fun – but in the end, it is DOABLE.
The center of my chest is by far the place that itches the most. It’s starting to peel like a sunburn would…..so hopefully that’s starting to heal as well. I’m expecting the area under my arm to get a little more tender since these last boosts focus directly on that area……but so far so good.
My hair has really grown ALOT over the past two weeks. Let’s just say that it’s a tad bit lighter than I remembered! 🙂 That’s okay – I’ll take it. And somehow…..somewhere in the middle of all of this…….this happened!
Ugh……seriously? I have NOT missed shaving my legs lemme tell ya! I was sooo sad to see that hair growing back!
Well……it’s time to call it a night. Hang on a few more days………I’m so close I can almost taste it! 🙂
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[a]being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!