I've basically been getting on with my life. I started back at boot camp on March 15th, ran in the St. Patrick's Day dash on March 17th, then promptly got deathly ill with a horrible cough and missed boot camp for a whole week because I was hacking up a lung. Maybe I pushed it a little jumping back into things when my immune system was still not where it should be.
The biggest news is that I started radiation on March 26th, which is a fascinating process (if you ask me). First of all, it's very easy. Before you actually get your treatments, you go in and they do this "mapping" of the area and give you teeny tiny tattoos which helps them to align the lasers for your treatment. I have a total of four; one under each arm, one in the center of my chest, and one on my cancerous boob. They created a mold of my head and arms (positioned over my head) and each session you basically lay into the mold and it helps you to know how to position your body. Once you're laying down, the radiation therapists pull your body a millimeter here and there until the lasers line up exactly with the tattoos. They strap you in and away we go! The radiation machine itself is crazy-like something out of a science fiction movie. Here's a picture of what it looks like.
The actual treatment only takes a couple of minutes. For me, they're doing three different areas and the machine spins around you and makes these crazy noises. You don't actually see or feel anything happening at the time. Once it's done you hop down, get dressed, and you're done. From the time I park my car until I get back in to leave, it's about 15 minutes. Some days they have to do additional x-rays and it takes a little longer, but compared to chemo, it's NOTHING!!! I have to meet with the radiation oncologist every Wednesday so they can check the skin and how I'm feeling. So far I've had some minor side affects (sensitivity) and yesterday I noticed my skin is turning red. I've completed 10 of my 35 treatments so almost a third of the way done...woo hoo!!!!
My hair is coming in...SLOWLY. I look like I have baby hair right now but with a bunch of strands that sort of stick straight up. It is NOT attractive. I am sick and tired of looking at my ugly bald head. I just hope I have enough hair by summer that I feel okay going without a hat.
I'm so ready to get on with my life. I already feel like I'm moving from being a cancer patient back to a normal person. Not everything centers around treatment or how I'm feeling, and I think about the future without being paralyzed by fear (most of the time). The flip side is that you start to lose a little of the perspective that a diagnosis gives you. It's easy to get caught back up into the monotony of daily life-which is good-but easy to forget that it all means nothing when you're faced with your own mortality. It's good to remind myself of the journey and to remember what's really important because I really have come to appreciate life as well as my family and friends. Five months ago I never would have thought I'd feel "normal" again...but life really does goes on!
Well, that's the latest. I PROMISE to do a better job of updating!
Bye bye now!