Thursday, January 21, 2010

Breast Cancer Update

I am now Halfway thru my Radiation Treatments - yeahhhhhhh! Physically, I feel pretty good. I am starting to get tired and I have a really deep tan on that area where my boob used to be...sigh. I have to put lots of moisturizer on that area to try to keep the skin from cracking. Over the next week or so, the tan will start turning to a burn.

Last night, I fell asleep on the couch right after Law and Order started at 8pm and didn't wake up till 10pm. Dragged myself off to bed where I slept right thru till 6am. So, yeah....I'd say I'm getting tired.

I'm still hot flashing like mad, which is kinda embarassing when I'm in public and my head starts to sweat. Of course, I also go beet red in the face, so that doesn't help either.

 I've lost a few of those pounds I piled on during chemo (which is more common than losing weight - huh!) by going out for a good walk every day. So, yippee, I have a total of 3 pairs of jeans that fit me again!

I called the plastic surgeon's office to find out when they thought I might get in for my first consultation (for eventual reconstruction)....the receptionist told me if I was lucky, I would get in this year. I figured I better go and get me one of those prothesis boobs, as I have only been using the softys...or fluffies...or whatever they are called.

In talking with my chemo oncologist, she let me know I will start Tamoxifen 2 weeks after finishing radiation. Oh and guess what one of the side effects of the medication is? Hot flashes! Aren't I lucky??

We also talked about estrogen supression and I may go for surgery to have my ovaries removed. That's OK, I haven't really been using them anyway. I figure as long as my voice doesn't deepen and I don't start getting a beard, I'll be OK. But damn...that means another surgery. How I am supposed to fit gardening into this equation, I have no idea!

My hair is growing back in. It's still coming in quite a bit darker than it was. And...there is just the odd gray hair in there too. It's strange, looking in the mirror and seeing all that dark hair. I was always blonde....well, darker at the roots and blonde on the ends. But now, it's dark, I am not sure if I like it. But hey, I am grateful I have hair!

And you know what's funny? Soooo many people have told me I have a nice shaped head, lol. Not just friends, but even people I don't EVEN Know! The other day, a Cancer Centre volunteer was driving me home, and just dropped it into the conversation. "You sure have a nice looking head". Hahahahahah, well thank you! I may be kinda chubby and only have one boob, but hey, I have a good looking bean! As the Eman would say...."Mama, that ain't just a hat rack on top of your shoulders!"

My hair is short short short....but I do have to smile in the morning when I see that ole familiar bedhead in the mirror. It's short bedhead, but it's bedhead...and it's MY bedhead, so I have a laugh about that. And the mess is to the point where I have to tuck the hairs behind my ears, or it just looks stupid , which makes me laugh too. My hair is probably not even an inch long, but I have to tuck it behind my ears. Go figure!

My radiation oncologist has ordered 3 extra treatments for me. I'm not sure why, but she must have seen something on my chart that caused her to do so. I'll find out next Tuesday when I see her next. That brings my end date to Feb 10. And I am telling ya, the evening of Feb 10, I will be sleeping in my own bed up there in the Valley....with my husband and my Wolf by my side! I will be so glad and grateful to be back home. I'll be so grateful I may even kiss my chickens....but probably not :) Sphere: Related Content


Carol said...

Best of luck with the second half Annie. This is a very moving and uplifting post. You are exemplary! :>))

Tim and Kari O'Brien said...

My mom had similar treatment and we discovered Bag Balm for the cracking skin and is sold at the feed store(!!) I would be happy to send it to you.
You are a true warrior princess! Keep up the super energy!

Yuppies Gone Homesteading said...

I will say a prayer for you and thank you for sharing your journey and recovery!


D said...

Annie, I love your attitude, and don't worry about those ovaries... mine... long gone and not a problem, and actually makes me feel safer. it sounds as though you are doing pretty well. Keep up the great work. Diana

Cenya said...

Hi Annie,
We're pretty close in our treatments. I'm a week and a half into my radiation. Hair is about an inch and a half long and coming in very silver (I'm 52 and had quite a bit of silver before, but not this much). I'm still hot flashing too. I don't have to take any medication afterwards - I was a triple negative, so hormones didn't figure in. Hang in there and stay positive.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Annie, I know the frustration of having to shelve some of the gardening projects. I spent all of last year dealing with my own breast cancer, and had no end of frustration with it. I kept telling my surgeons "I don't have time for this, I have a garden and an entire orchard to plant!" Overall, it was a giant inconvenience. However, your health is the most important, and the garden will still be there as soon as you're able to whip it into shape. Sorry you have to deal with tamoxifen...but at least you have that as an option. I'm triple negative, so Tamoxifen and Herceptin are off the books for me. I'm relieved I can skip the hot flashes, but disappointed there isn't yet a drug for us triple negs to stave off a recurrence. Good luck in the rest of your treatment!

Linda Foley said...

Yes, I agree... you have a super attitude! Ah but it's almost over - just a little bit to go...


Homecraft Framing & Gifts said...

Hi Annie,
I had 33 radiation treatments and I thought I was going to skip the blister but I got mine near the end of the treatments. I got them around the 25th through 28th treatments and they gave me Lidocaine HCL Jelly and it numbed the blisters. I got a two week break and then I came back and got 5 additional treatmens on the scar where they removed the cancer. I am happy to say, that was 5 years ago. You have got through much more that I did. I was diagnosed at stage 0 with DCIS and it was found on a mammogram. That is why it is so important to get one every year.

You hang in there and I will certainly keep you in my prayers. God Bless

Annie said...

Thank you everyone for your comments!

Another small update - I have found out that instead of surgery for ovary removal, there is a once-a-month injection. I am going to see my oncologist to see if I would qualify for that.

Kari, I'll look for the Bag Balm, if I need it. And blessings to the rest of the ladies going thru breast cancer treatment!!

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