Posts from the ‘The Cancer Period’ Category

Just Call Me….

Leather tit because that’s about what it feels like, leather. I’m exhausted going to hang out with a friend and do nothing but sit around requires a 3 hour nap after, yet I can’t see to sleep through the night. My breast itches and I think the skin is going to split open. You know I almost made it through the entire course of radiation with no adverse side effects besides a bitchin’ tan… until this past week.

I try to stay thankful and focused on the fact that it could be so very much worse but it’s hard to be resilient when your so tired you don’t have the energy to not have energy.

I miss my horse. I miss me. I need a vacation. I’m trying not to whine …. but its getting hard. I know this will pass. I know it will be fine. I’m just ready for it to be over with. … and to think, I’m one of the lucky ones.

The Last 5 Weeks

I’m walking through the hospital this morning on my way out of radiation. A couple passes me. They are young or at least my contemporaries, early to mid 40’s. They are tall, attractive, well dressed. They held hands. He was focused on her. Their demeanor is sober but not catastrophic. I knew that if I turned and watched them go down the hall that they would turn into the radiation clinic.

Over the past 5 weeks I’ve watched women come and go from the clinic. I’ve watched them in the waiting room. They almost all are accompanied by their husbands… all but one. I have spent the past 5 weeks sitting in that waiting room alone. I have spent the past 5 weeks getting progressively redder and more sore, itchier and more swollen…by myself.

I know Maitre would have been with me, by my side, holding my hand the whole time if he could.  I guess I’m really sad because the person whose job discription that is in hasn’t.

Cycling

I can tell, today is going to be a prolific day. Here we go… post 2 of ??? for March 10, 2009.

The end. The Tamoxifen is definitely going to take my cycle from me. My period was 1 day this month and it wasn’t “right”. This is bitter sweet for me.

Much of how I have defined myself most of my life has been manifest in my monthly bleed. My fertility is gone. The capacity to bear children is gone. My girl is my fourth and only pregnancy take to term. Why are young women revered? Because they can bear children. Menopause marks the beginning of the end, where life ceases there is death.

I am an odd bird by any measure and evidently by this one as well. I am one of the few women I know that actually appreciated her monthly blood letting. For most of my life it has been brief, not overly painful and not particularly heavy. Afterwards I always felt purged, clean and refreshed. That first week after my menses always felt as if it was all potential and anything was possible. I also enjoyed that high I would get at the beginning of the week prior to it. My sexuality would go through the roof. You would touch me and I would become wet and swell in readiness. But I suppose that little bit also got me into a fair amount of trouble. 😉

How is it to be always the same? I don’t remember life before the ups and downs that hormones bring to a woman’s life. I wonder if things will feel flat and a “sameness” will creep in around the edges.

Will there be things I won’t miss? Sure a day’s worth of wanting to tear some poor passerby’s throat out, if not my own, the hassle of remembering supplies and the hassle of having to be able to find a place to change said supplies. But really… that is it. Otherwise my cycle is as much a part of me as anything else.

B always said I smelled richer, fuller, more sexual a couple of days before. He said he loved it.

Attitude Adjustment

I have a couple of girlfriends who mean well enough but seem to be offended by my “damn it I’m going to smile and be thankful” attitude through all of this cancer crap. They feel as though I’m not acknowledging it, or that I’m repressing my pain and anger. HA! They OUGHT to know me better than that.

The truth is that if I let the cancer steal my smile… then the cancer wins. If I don’t wake up happy to be here another day…then the cancer wins. If I sit around and mope, bemoaning my fate that my body turned against me…then the cancer wins. I refuse to let the cancer steal one moment of time from me that doesn’t have to!

Does that mean I don’t have tough moments? Hell no! I cry, I’m sad, I’m angry. I’m tired AND sick and tired of dealing. I’m over my breast hurting. And quite honestly there are moments when the next three weeks seem overwhelming because chances are it will all only get worse. My fatigue will increase, my mood will continue to tank and my breast will hurt more and more … I’ll consider myself lucky if I don’t lose a layer of skin to the fucking radiation.

But I’ll be damned if I’m going to give in! We are doing this on MY terms. I’m not letting the disease rule me! Anyway… I’m going to be fine, this is more a pain in the ass than anything else. There are those far sicker than I am. I have nothing to mope about.

So between now and 4 weeks from now when I expect to be on the upswing, radiation over and skin healing, I plan on being just as tough and ornery and positive as I can muster.

Now… all I need is for him to come home because the refuge of his big arms, to be sad and overwhelmed in, makes it that much easier. I’m missing him a great deal this morning.

Medical Update

Just a quick update on my medical life. Today finishes week 2 of 6 in my radiation treatments. I’m swollen, sore from the swelling and the skin is juuussst beginning to get sore. It is definitely pink. 

 

They are concerned that because I am turning pink already that I might have a “tough time” with the radiation. When I asked what “a tough time” meant I was informed that some women peel. Well I guess that makes sense… it’s a radiation burn after all.  But when I dug a little further the nurse frankly told me that it is like the first layer of skin coming off. Mmmmm… lovely (not).  They have adhesive foam they give you to help cover the raw peeled area’s. Joy. I’m soooo looking forward to this.

 

I keep telling myself that it could be much much worse. I am dodging the bullet on the cancer. I could be fighting for my life instead I’m just going through this to make sure that any loose buggers are fried out of existence. A friend described it as barbaric… he is right.

 

I’ve got other news but I’ll put the happy fun stuff in another post.

Finally!

A damn medical test that doesn’t find something wrong with me!!!  Yesterday’s colonoscopy found no polyps, no spots, no nothing beyond diverticula which we already know I had. YAY!!!

The procedure itself is nothing. The versed works like a charm. I remembered absolutely nothing although I am assured that I was awake. Upon regaining my senses I was aware of no tell tale signs for feelings that someone had been up my butt with a camera. LOL . Seriously, they cleaned me up so well that there wasn’t ever the slightest trace of KY (which I am sure they must have used at some point and no soreness or discomfort. Then again whatever they slipped up me would be a fraction of Maitre’s girth so there is no reason for me to be surprised. 

The “prep” for it was singularly unpleasant though. The absolute worst part being the sludge you have to drink. It tastes like sea water, you body doesn’t want to drink sea water. If any reading this has to deal with this? Here is my hot tip…. instant lemonade. It finally got 2 liters of the crap down me. And to think I was suppose to drink 3 of the 4 in the jug. There was no way on god’s green earth that was happening!!

Anyway, it’s so very nice to have undergone that and know I’m good, that the diverticulitis was just that and not some secondary effect of something evil growing in me.

On ward and up ward!!!

Remiss

I have been remiss in keeping up with any sort of posts. Though, I do wonder if it really matters in the grand scheme of things.  

I’ve been cleared for treatments.

We were waiting for my genetics recurrence score to come back. This score would have indicated whether or not I would want to consider. The resulting score came back low as expected. Not as low as I would like mind you. My chance or recurrence is 10% in 10 years. That is still a fair bit more than I would like. Look around you next time you are in a group of people. Isolate 10… 1 in 10 would have a recurrence.  

So… I need to go fill my Tamoxifen prescription and I start radiation not next week but the week after.  I’m struggling with the Tamoxifen which will throw me into a chemically induced menopause. I’m resenting the hell out of having my youth stripped from me.  I resenting having my skins elasticity stolen. I don’t want to get thick around the middle. I don’t want to become matronly. I’m hating this. 

But I need to remember it’s a small price to pay for staying alive.  Right? … yeah..well, it still sucks.

Update on the “unpleasantness”

Just a quick cancer update for anyone who is reading and following my drama. As you know the lumpectomy went great, my lymph nodes were benign and they got the whole thing taking a grand total of 7mm out of me. But tender is definitely the word and I have 2 lovely scars now. I’ll need to post the picture.

 

Last week was spent weighing the pro’s and con’s of the two radiological treatments available to me. I won’t bore you with the details, since they are pretty obtuse, but suffice to say that it wasn’t a cut and dry decision. It was also a decision that could conceivably impact me in the future. But we treat what I have today, and worry about tomorrow when it gets here.

 

I’m in a holding pattern at the moment. But it comes to a close tomorrow when I meet with both my radiologist and my oncologist.  I have a number of tests still out there than I haven’t heard back on. One them is a second indicator of how aggressive my cancer has the chance of being. The first one is estrogen receptivity. This one is another hormone indicator.  I’m also waiting to hear back on the genetic profile of my tumor. This test will give me a recurrence score. The two together will tell the docs if I need chemo. No body is expecting me to need it but nobody is making any promises.

 

Oh…and I get tattooed. LOL. They put little marks on me to line up the radiation be with. I’ve been toy with the idea of doing something creative with my scars too…but what I don’t know.

 

OK…that’s it… back to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Tired

I’m tired of being tired.

I’m tired of hurting.

I’m tired of being drug addled. 

But I am not tired of being home, whole and healthy (or reasonably close enough)….so I’ll take all the tireds and shut up.

I finally got a shower today after 3 days. I took a long hot bath the night before the surgery so I wouldn’t have to face a shower without caffeine in the morning.  So yep, three days.  It was kind of tough washing my hair. Although I loosened up in the shower some but I’m sure I’ll be sorry I used my right are so much.

What I would really have liked? For Him to have given me a bath, scrub my back, wash my hair and wrap me up in a big warm fuzzy towel.  And then I think I would have liked something very prurient afterwards.

I TOLD you all

…. that I was going to be harder to kill off than THAT!!  :dancing:

Yes, I have a morbid and twisted sense of humor, but we already knew that. LOL

We have good news right here in River City folks…. the nodes came back negative, meaning that the devils spawn in my body hadn’t left it’s little nesting area. So they cut it out and that should be it for surgery. Now, on to radiation and hormone therapy. …. sound the charge!

Obviously, I have gotten out here soon than Daddy has been able to. While I was looking forward to seeing his words on my blog , I am please as punch that I’m the one writing. Otherwise the news would not be so shiny bright and happy.  

Note to Daddy:  You are welcome out here if you want to be. If there is something about Us you would like to share. I would be honored to share this space with you. Really, any space for that matter 😉

OK… I see a in percocet my future so I’m outa here for now.  And allow me to say how nice it is to feel like my old self again. I was sooo scared that things were going to be worse than expected.