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Friday, April 27, 2012

Radiation is done!

The radiation room
On the table for my last radiation treatment!


Ringing the bell!

I am not sure the significance of ringing the bell with finishing cancer treatment, but it feels really good!

My house was decorated when I came home from my last treatment.  Thanks Mary Jo! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My hair journey

I am not very good at putting pictures on the blog, so I am making up for lost time.  Here are a few of me over the last several months.

I love this picture!  I think we took it to document how pale my skin was.  
My last day of chemo, ringing the bell Yeah!!!  Not looking so good though
No eyebrows or eyelashes, and I was feeling pretty sick.
Close up of my bald head.  
Hair is starting to come back a little bit.  I think this was taken in early March
This is crazy, but my nails thrived during chemo.    This picture was taken during my blood transfusion.  My skin is starting to look a little more pink.  
Cabo San Lucas in Early February, still bald.
Paul and I on the beach
Right after the whale watching trip
My hair today, April 22nd
  













Sunday, April 15, 2012

Radiation

Radiation is like a walk in the park compared to chemo. It is more of a hassle trying to get myself to the appointment on time than anything else. The actual treatment only takes about 5 minutes, and most of it is getting my body lined up in the right spot. I now have 5 tiny tattoos which line up with lasers in the treatment room and once I am positioned, the machine does the rest. My skin is a little red, kind of like a mild sunburn, and mildly sore. But hey, the skin on my foobs (fake boobs) is numb anyway, so who cares. I have done 17 out of 25 and will officially be done on the 25th. Right after my last radiation, I have an appointment with my plastic surgeon, and will hopefully be able to schedule my reconstruction after that. They say I have to wait a minimum of 6 weeks after radiation, so that will probably be sometime in June. I know I've said this before, but I am counting down the minutes until these tissue expanders are out of me! I don't notice them very much during the day, but they bother me at night a lot and make it so I can't sleep. They look so funny, the left one is higher than the right and they are spaced about 3 inches apart. The only benefit is that I don't have to wear a bra. The nipples are gone, and my expanders aren't going anywhere, so I figure, why bother?

 I would also like to get my port removed, but it is almost on top of my expander. My plastic surgeon wants me to wait until I have my reconstruction to have it removed. He doesn't want to take the risk that my expander will become infected. So I guess I'm stuck with it for awhile. I'm supposed to be getting it flushed every month so it doesn't clot off. I let it go two months because I'm so sick of going to the dr. Luckily it was still patent when I finally made it in.

 After consulting with 2 additional oncologists, I have decided not to do a year of herceptin. They both agree that I am officially Her-2 negative, and that there wouldn't be any benefit. I am still very frustrated about the pathology lab mistake. There were a few other women that were involved, but my surgeon told me that I was affected the most because I was the farthest into my chemo. Lucky me! Most of all, I have lost a lot of trust in the medical profession. I feel like I am always questioning everything now, and am more anxious.

The next thing I have to look forward to is starting Tamoxifen which blocks estrogen. I have finally stopped having hot flashes every 5 minutes from the chemo. Some of the side effects of Tamoxifen include hot flashes and weight gain, so I'm sure they'll start up again. (the joys of menopause) I'm already 10 pounds fatter than when I started this fiasco. It's bad enough to have cancer, and now my pants don't fit. But......in a few months I'm going to have a flat belly! Just the thought of losing my muffin top puts a big smile on my face. And, if my foobs aren't big enough when my reconstruction is done, I can get fat sucked out of another place and injected into my boobs.

 I have had about a month now where I am feeling really good both emotionally and physically. I am very positive and actually have days that I don't think much about cancer at all. I never thought I would say that. Spring is here and it feels like a new beginning for me. I have about an inch of fuzzy hair on my head and I am not a pale green color anymore. I have given up the hats and scarves and my hair is long enough that I dont look like I have cancer. I am keeping very busy with my kids right now, and it feels like I am getting back to normal:)