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Saturday, April 2, 2011

one week down....

Me & Scott--Radiation Day 1
One week of radiation down, 5 1/2 more to go.  Radiation has been something that I wasn't expecting....it makes me uncomfortable, I feel vulnerable and a bit humiliated.  I have heard from others that they enjoy the routine, that they bonded with the staff, and that they felt like they were fighting the cancer every day.  I don't, I haven't, and I would rather do almost anything else, literally.  I would get sick to my stomach the night before chemo, I was terrified, I didn't sleep, and I knew what was coming....pure hell.  But I did it and I felt supported throughout the process (for the most part) and it is behind me.  This is a different experience.  I show up the same time every day, and am greeted by the receptionist (who is wonderful and I enjoy her a lot). I then go and change into a robe and sit in the most unwelcoming ladies waiting room, I am then brought back into the room with the 6 foot thick walls.  In this room 'Dori' no longer exists--just the pin prick tattoos they put on my chest....they jiggle me around on a sheet while I lay, chest exposed, with my hands cradled above my head. I have to hold still and mostly the conversation continues on around me, as if I am not there.  After a few more adjustments I am done and put my robe back on and walk back to the changing room and leave.  Like a rat in a maze, but there is no cheese....

Drawings after Day 2--and you can see my lymphedema sleeve a bit too

I don't think it has anything to do with where I am receiving my treatment. The staff is friendly and I am sure that other women feel very comfortable with their treatments.  I just haven't found that place inside me that agrees with what is going on.  I work on my grounding meditation, I visualize happy shit and try to be okay with feeling like I am all alone in the room, but I haven't found the headspace yet. I feel like I have taken a step back in my recovery.....I am not in the same place mentally that I was before.  I just don't have the time to recover, because the next day I have to do it again............everyday at 3:30pm.

Today was my first day without radiation and I was still unable to really calm down.  I know that this is an adjustment period and I will get used to radiation and the routine, and I am sure if you were to talk to me at treatment 20 this would be a whole different conversation.  I didn't realize what it would take out of me mentally or physically...or at least I didn't expect it so quick. I just need to readjust my game plan--next week will be better....I will at least feel more prepared.

I have begun taking a nap for the hour prior to leaving for radiation--I am already a bit tired and that gives me relaxation time and the possibility of falling asleep if I need to.  On Thursday I woke up with chest pains and the room was spinning.  I was able to drive to radiation, but still felt a bit shaky and light headed.  When getting off the table after radiation the room was spinning and they had to help me a bit.  They then decided to take me in a wheel chair to the ER (where Scott was working) and check me in, because of the chest pain (and me being on Herceptin) they had to double check that everything was fine.  My heart was okay, they did a head CT and I was told that it came back abnormal, they said that it was either a tumor, a blood clot, or an infection, behind my right eye..........................wow.   My world stopped.  Scott and I broke into tears, and thank goodness for our wonderful nurse Maria--I don't know what I would have done without her hand on my shoulder to keep me grounded a bit.  Not only did everything stop, I started to panic..............a lot. 

I was sent for another head CT with contrast (I couldn't do a MRI because of my expander's) and we waited for the results.  My sisters came and we all waited.  Maria continued to be our support and there aren't enough words to thank her and to let her know what her being there meant to us.   The doctor brought in the results and she had me read them first.........it said that the image in the first scan was artifact and that there WAS NOTHING in my scan, it was clear.  My world stopped again.  I had just went from one of the worst feelings in the world to one of pure elation............and then exhaustion.   

I went home all doped up and mentally worn out.  Friday I had my Herceptin infusion (which really knocks me out) and then radiation.........it was a double-whammy.  And today I just tried to put myself back together.....not sure I did my best.  I snapped at Scott A LOT and felt like I was trying to catch up, but I was too tired to really do anything, and I was too tired to sleep.......I laid down for a nap and just tossed and turned.

I have been on a roller coaster the past few days and I am ready to get off.  My heart can't take any more, it hurts and I am tired.  I will work into a routine with the radiation, hell I have 5 1/2 more weeks to find one.....

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog through a friend of a friend of a friend. I read quite a few blogs, many of them are going through a life changing experience and somehow, although very sad at times, it makes me more thankful for my health and my life and makes me realize how fast things can change. I pray for you and I know that no matter what happens, you'll face it head on.

    I wanted to share with you another blog I came across through a friend of a friend of a friend. Her writing and her current journey make me think of you. Not sure if you are into readin others blogs but she's pretty kickass.

    http://areyoutheresugartitsitsmecancer.blogspot.com/

    Take care!

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