Thursday, March 29, 2012

Checking Up

Tuesday I went to see Dr. Suh and see what the next steps were for me. I knew mostly what she would tell me, but there were some things we needed to discuss. So for the next 5 years as planned I will be taking a drug called Tamoxifen, it basically keeps my estrogen levels down, causes hot flashes and some other side effects that aren't exactly thrilling, but its what thus far is the next best step. Dr. Suh also urged me to discuss with Nate about having the heredity test done to see if I have the cancer gene. Initially I was very much against this I do not want to worry about my kids possibly having this gene, and I figure by the time they would be near the age of getting cancer there is going to be huge strides in medicinal treatments or even a cure. However, if I get the test I will know if I am at a greater risk for ovarian cancer, and then it would be recommended that I have a hysterectomy to lessen that risk. It is a lot to consider, and I have a month in which to decide. The last great news of the day was I got to schedule my port removal!!! Yeah! So on April 10th I will be port free!! My skin was checked out also at another appt. on Tuesday and it still looks pretty bad from the radiation, but it is healing slowly.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Radiation Week 6

Monday Mar. 19th - It's official! I'm done with regular radiation treatments today! Tomorrow I start my 5 treatment boost. 1 giant step more headed in the right direction. Almost there! Had breakfast with my friend Tera from high school she has been battling ovarian cancer since 1996 when we were juniors. It returned in 2004 for her after surgery in 96 and she struggles with it every day. So glad I got to see her.

Tuesday Mar. 20th - today was my first boost treatment. It took a while and my body it turned in such a way that its a bit uncomfortable but the actual treatment only last about 2 minutes. There were 4-5 people in the room today making sure everything is set up correctly. I feel like as they talk over me about what to move, where to move it, and all their numbers I'm in the OR and should be sleeping.

Wednesday Mar. 21st - same as yesterday with less people in the room, the set up time took about the same amount of time. Got to have breakfast with my Grandma and Bob & Jo stopped in to say hello before my appt. Also took Max to Kindergarten round up when I got home. Next year no more kiddos at home during the day.

Thursday Mar. 22nd - It was a long day I had a double treatment today so I can finish off this week and be done. one treatment at 7:40 and one at 2:30 there has to be at least 6 hours in between. I spent the day hanging out in Goshen visiting as many people as I could fit in my schedule it was nice to see them all. I came home feeling very tired today, but its Max's 5th birthday so of course we had to celebrate!

Friday Mar. 23rd - Its a very bittersweet emotional day so far. I finished my radiation!!! I'm so glad to be moving on from this, but a little anxious about not being near my doctors, nurses, and therapist regularly. This journey has been long. It was one that I wouldn't have chosen, but one that I was chosen for at first I didn't want to accept it, but once I did I was shown so many blessings God has brought to me through this. Saying that I am finished seems a little wrong, because I feel as if things are just beginning. This has forever changed my life and those around me I can only pray that things will never be the same, but so much better!

Thank you, thank you to everyone who has walked this with me. You will never truly know how much you are appreciated there are not enough words on this earth to express how grateful I am for each and every one of you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Radiation Week 5

Monday Mar. 12th - Nothing new and exciting today same ol' same ol' 9 days left! I'm counting down!

Tuesday Mar. 13th - Same today as yesterday scheduled my appt. to feet the new bolus block for my boost treatments.

Wednesday Mar 14th - Its my birthday and I got to start if off with the doc. saying he wanted me to take time off because my skin is so bad. It hasn't broken open but it easily could. Not sure what I want to do. I don't want to take time off, but if I keep going and have to take more time off that won't be good either. I just want to be DONE!!!

Thursday Mar 15th - Doc was more then happy to let me finish my treatment after we chatted today. My skin is looking pretty bad, but he said actually its better to keep going rather then stopping, although its not horrible  to stop I'm glad he isn't making me. Also went to the "Pink Sisters" support group at church tonight, got a little emotional talking about the kids, but I don't think its something I'll be going to again or often, it just doesn't seem like talking about my cancer time after time is something I need or want to do. I was glad to support my friend Laura though while I was there, and its always nice to be in the company of her and Renee that keep me on my toes that is for sure!

Friday Mar. 16th - Normal treatment in and out, got to stop in and say hey to Nicole today it was nice to see her I miss the infusion room nursing staff a lot, but not chemo! One more week!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Radiation Week 4

Monday Mar. 5th - nothing new and exciting today, normal treatment. I was suppose to have an appt. with a lady who was going to teach me the Wii exercise program, but she forgot so it got cancelled.

Tuesday Mar. 6th - Had my normal treatment today and then got all marked up for my 5 boost treatments to my scare at the end of my regular 28 treatments. I feel kinda like a dot to dot page, there are a lot of stickers and markers on me. Had a CT scan so they know where they'll be doing the boost, and so they can make another kind of bolus device for me that sits on my scare. It was a great day today, and the sun came up a lot sooner during my trip to Goshen then usual. I also got my first haircut today. Just a trim around the neck and ears.

Wednesday Mar. 7th - another regular treatment today in and out. I had a photo shoot today, this time I was the model instead of the photographer, there is a local photographer who does photos for a non for profit organization called Shoots for the Cure. It was kinda neat to be on the other side, although I'm not a fan of myself in pictures. She did a great job. I went all day without wearing my hat today, even to the grocery store.

Thursday Mar. 8th - Saw Dr. Doctor today, just a check up as per my usual Thursday routine, along with new scans. No adjustments today. My armpit is getting pretty sore, and darkening in color, but they said that is normal and ok as long as its not breaking open. Dr. Doctor confirmed today that as long as m skin is doing ok we can double up one session during one of my boost (last 5 treatments) so I don't have to come back one extra Monday, yah!!!! That means after tomorrow, again provided my skin is holding out, that I have 2 more 5 day weeks of treatment left and I'm DONE!!!!

Friday Mar. 9th -  It's Friday!! Today I had my normal treatment, and as I was getting ready to leave they called me back to the room. I had to be checked out as far as measurements for the plan they are making for my boost treatments.They actually have to put an attachment onto the radiation machine, and then put this big blue wax looking block on my chest that has been milled out to fit me properly so that the radiation is hitting me correctly in all the right areas. Interesting to say the least. But again its Friday and that means 10 more days of driving to Goshen for treatment, and 11 more treatments to go!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Radiation Week 3

Monday Feb. 27th - uneventful driving today, thank goodness. Treatment went as normal, it was very cold today, until I left I felt like my skin was burning like crazy!! My shirt was irritating as well as the seat belt. I have used the Aquaphor lotion that they gave me, but its so thick that it is kind of painful to rub on myself. I got to have breakfast with my friend Rachel again, and it was a great start to the week.

Tuesday Feb. 28th - not much new today, drive was fine saw my first deer today so thankful I haven't come across any and all I saw today was their little fluffy tails as they were already across the road, the sun also seems to be coming up a lot sooner. Not much burning today after my appt. so that is good. I'm having some crazy trouble swallowing though. The radiation therapist was telling me a little about the machine today, and how it has adjustable settings she told me my settings were 6,10 and 15. Not sure what that all means, but it was interesting when she was telling me.

Wednesday Feb. 29th - Its leap day, and it was beautiful and 69 degrees! Normal treatment today. I tend to just try and relax as I lie there on the table, but its still so hard. Today after treatment I went up to the day surgery floor where I had my mastectomy, as I got in the elevator I could feel my heart beating faster. I was going up to visit a friend from our Goshen church who's sister had just been taken back to have a bi-lat.  mastectomy. Just a hug and a note of encouragement was all the longer I really stayed, but I felt like I needed to go. I was reading a little of her story tonight on caring bridge and all those emotions are still so fresh, all I could do was cry as I read. I don't know if I'll ever get to a place where I can read or talk about this journey and it not be emotional.

Thursday Mar. 1st - What a turn around from yesterday I think maybe I was too happy about the sun and warmth because today I'm very down. My appt. took quite a while today. I had to have films taken as per my usual Thursday treatment and see the doc. They had to adjust my markings today, they said its pretty common because a lot of people are pretty tense in the beginning and once they relax their tissues relaxes so the markings they use to line me up everyday had to be changed, just by 5mm though, but because of that I had to lay there extra long... do you know what a mind that has been tainted by cancer does when its laying in a quite treatment room along for too long? Yep, it starts to think, and a thinking mind in that situation is never good. After I was done I met with Dr. Doctor and he said I'm nice and medium-rare now so they won't use the bolus on me anymore to enhance the radiation. I swear he talks to me like I'm an idiot sometimes telling me today all the things I'm experiencing are from the radiation, DUH as if I didn't know that! I am having some issues with feeling weak and jello like, so he suggested I take a Wii class... yep I said Wii like Nintendo gaming system Wii, they actually have someone at the cancer center who will teach me how to use one of the Wii games so that I can rebuild some of the muscle strength. So that will be Monday and sometime in the next week or so I'll have an appt. for them to make a "device" as he called it for them to be able to give me my 5 boost treatments after the first 28 treatments are finished. Apparently its some kind of form they have to make that I will be fitted to so they can position me for the boost treatments to my scarred area. Today has been a long day so far I hope tomorrow is better.

Friday March 2nd - Yeah its Friday, I started off the day with this quote "Hip Hip Hooray Celebrating the Dr. Suess way 1/2 way through radiation today!" I'm officially half way done today 17 treatments down 16 to go! Still having kind of a down day today, but I get to see lots of family members this weekend. My treatment went fine today, and I was able too get through it a little faster without the bolus since they didn't have to come in and move it half way through the treatment. Tuesday of next week I will go in and have the new device made for the boost at the end of my first 28 treatments. (on a side note since I don't usually do Saturday post, today is Saturday and I began my first menstrual cycle since chemo ended. It worries me a little because of the increased hormone production knowing that my cancer was estrogen positive. Sorry if that is TMI for any men reading this)