03 May 2010

Gotta get things "just right"

May 5, 2010
It's been two and a half weeks since my last surgery, and for the most part, I am doing well. My biggest complaint is how heavy the implants are, and that I am constantly aware of them on my body. The feeling does not go away, and they almost constantly sore. It is difficult to believe that I will ever get "used to them".

Let's put this into perspective. Most of you have probably seen on TV what a breast implant looks like. It is a clear balloon-like ball that is filled with saline (or silicone, but those are the ones of great controversy and not what was used for me). A 20 ounce bottle of water is 591 ml. My implants each have 750 ml of saline in them. Now, ya'll know how heavy a full bottle of water is! Just imagine a bigger bottle strapped to both sides of your chest. Now you see what I mean. One of the other reasons they are so uncomfortable is that the space left in my chest is much smaller than what they put in me. So, my skin, muscles and what is left of tissue has to s-t-r-e-t-c-h to accommodate the new residents in my chest area.

I have met with the Radiation Oncologist (Dr. Sailer) and they have begun creating the radiation treatment plan for me. I had the first part last Friday, and tomorrow I go in for the final adjustments and a simulation of the treatments. I begin radiation on Monday. I will have at least 28, but no more than 33 treatments. We won't know until we get into the thick of it. I will go for treatments every day (weekdays) for 6 to 7 weeks.

I find out on May 17th if I really truly do not have to have those last chemotherapy treatments that I didn't have back in January and February because of the horrible side effects that I was having. I am optimistic, but prepared to hear those words that I really don't want to hear.

I have enjoyed the last week and a half as I have been able to be more mobile and drive myself on errands. I even when to Kohl's yesterday and got some new clothes to fit this new body shape that I have right now. It was great.

I have felt so happy to not be so home bound. It's been great to feel more active. I know that there is a possibility that radiation will induce extreme fatigue, so I am taking advantage of every moment while I have energy to move and get things done.

It's been so great to see many of you as I have seen you at different events. Those of you who have seen me know that I am not wearing a wig right now, rather sporting my very, very, short 3/4" long hair style. I become less and less self conscious as I embrace my new look. It will be a year before my hair grows to have any length that I can really work with in a style. It took four months just to get it to 3/4".

Update 5/12/2010

There were some small complications in getting my treatment plan for radiation complete. Nothing serious, they are just trying to get it just right. I had my first treatment yesterday (Tuesday) and my second one today. This is life for me for the next 6 weeks. Everyday at 11:30 I arrive at Wake Radiology Oncologists for my treatment. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. The hardest part is staying still for that length of time. It's not the actual staying still that is hard as much as having to take my arms and fix them above my head. This is not a good thing for my temperamental right shoulder. It had been doing so much better (what with not working like a mad woman on crazy amounts of cake each week) but when it gets into a fixed position for any length of time, those joints just seize up.

My skin is already feeling like I have a sunburn. Not cool. It hurts more as my clothes rub up against it. They give me a special lotion that is supposed to help. I hope it does.

I noticed that I have been more emotionally sensitive since the Radiation phase has begun. I have bouts of melancholy. I have tried to examine my mind for the why. All I can come up with is that after weeks of just recovery from surgeries, I am once again in the thick of the cancer treatment, That means more discomfort, and new side effects. It just is a daily reminder of my diagnosis. I was started to feel more "alive" again. I don't want to see that go, even if it is for only a few weeks.

I know that I just have to get up and get going each day and do whatever is physically possible each day so that I don't dwell on the part of every day that is uncomfortable. I cannot let this intrusion of the world break my spirit. So I won't.

I am amazed how already the time of chemotherapy seems like a distant memory. A pretty horrible memory, but it is over. The surgeries (the big ones) are over. And I am still me, my body is just a bit "damaged" here and there. Radiation will be done at the end of June, and then THAT will become a memory. And then HOPEFULLY, that will be the end of that.

Hope springs eternal. :)

1 comment:

Dr Nicholas E. said...

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