Tag Archives: radiation treatment

Saw my surgeon today . . .

15 Jul

Today I saw my reconstructive surgeon. She believes that there is no damage to my implant from the accident. Fortunately, I was far enough out from surgery, healed enough, that the accident didn’t have a bad impact (no pun intended). I am still pretty sore and it definitely caused soreness around the areas where muscle was taken from my back and moved to the front (places that had been painful after surgery, but, had since felt fine, now hurt again . . . but, the good news is that my surgeon is not concerned about that, she says that everything looks fine).

The meeting went well, she was pleased with how everything is healing (scar wise, etc.).

We discussed a possible surgery date of September 9th, although, she told me not to get attached to that date as she would have to see if it was available or not. I sure hope it is. I desperately need to get back to work and can only do so if I am healed up from this next surgery in time for the next bar round . . . I fully intend to work the next bar round. So, if I can not get the surgery date by the middle of September (or, maybe even a little further into September), then I will have to postpone surgery for March of 2011.

I really do not want to postpone. BUT, I am not going to sit out another busy season.

Today I was able to make progress on a book I am working on. So that was good. It is slow, but, at least I am beginning to be able to do something with this brain of mine . . . besides cutting fingers and crashing cars . . . ugh.

Last weekend I got to see my friend Janice. She was visiting her son in San Diego and made the trip North to Orange County so that we were able to have a visit. It was great to see her and her son. We grew up together and I always thought of her as a sister. I will post some pictures from our visit soon.

Oh, the other update from my doctor’s visit is that my surgeon will start the expansion process this coming Monday . . . of course I have no car to drive now, but, will figure that out somehow . . .

I will go in every week for an expansion (saline injected into my expander in my right side of my chest). I have not had this done on the radiated side . . . not since I was radiated. I was expanded before radiation, but, then had to be deflated. So, now we start all over again, but, with radiated skin. There is no way to know right now how I will do with that. It is a bit painful and gets uncomfortable . . . changes my mobility in my right arm . . . but, it should go fine. It better, as I have two gigs coming up in a couple of weeks . . . need my arm to be working that bass!

Well, enough on all of that.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers . . . I thought by now I would not need it anymore, but, I was wrong . . . 🙂

Much love to all,

Lisa

"One of the most adventurous things left us is to go to bed. For no one can lay a hand on our dreams." E. V. Lucas

10 Nov

Tonight I will dream that there is no cancer left in my body.

I had my first radiation treatment today. Although it was somewhat intimidating – the machinery, the noises associated with the machine doing it’s job etc – it did not seem all that bad.

Then, a few hours later my skin began to sting in places and then an hour or so later, it simply just began to burn. It is not a bad burning sensation. But, it concerns me because I was told I would probably not have any reactions until the second week.

So it went from, “Woo-hoo, one down, twenty-seven to go” (I will have a total of 28 radiation treatments) to “Hmmmm. Not so sure about this.”

But, I will do it, I have to do it and I have to get past it. And, maybe it will be easier after the first week or first few days, not worse like they say. And, they do say that everyone is different – some women experience a lot of redness and pain and some do not. Here’s to being in the group that does not. 🙂

All I know is that I am completely exhausted  (fell asleep today in while waiting for my oncologist – granted he kept me waiting a long time). But,the exhaustion has to be from only getting two hours of sleep last night. I doubt that it was the effect of one radiation treatment.

Well, it is late and I need to get some sleep. Another treatment tomorrow and every week day after that until December 18th. Assuming all goes well – and I am going to assume that all WILL go well.

While the radiation treatment is causing me some anxiety (again, more of the unknown), I am also very glad to have made it through so much – the chemo, the surgery. That makes me feel pretty good to have that behind me.

Please keep prayers and positive thoughts coming my way. I greatly appreciate it.

Much love,

Lisa

Radiation Starts Monday . . . most likely . . .

6 Nov

So today I go into Hoag for a “radiation simulation” – sort of a practice run I guess. Actually, it is pretty high tech (for which I am glad). Wednesday I went in for a CT Scan so that the doctor could make marks for where beams of radiation should go so as to miss as much of my lung as possible while at the same time radiate the areas needed. This is what the CT scan was for – to create a map of my chest so that the radiation will radiate my remaining breast tissue, the chest wall and lymph nodes above my breast (all of this is on the right side where I HAD cancer). There is no indication that the lymph nodes to be radiated have cancer. However, studies show that radiation after mastectomy reduces the rate of recurrence of breast cancer in the same breast (recurrence of cancer is most often in the same breast that had cancer originally).

I will also get tattooed today. So two things I never would have done in my life time: get breast implants or a tattoo. 🙂 The tattoos will be freckle like in size – so these will hardly qualify as a real tattoo. Still, that is what they told me – that they were going to tattoo me today. The tattoos will be used to line up beams and things like that so that the treatment is to the right area each time. who knows, maybe it will be in the pattern of some part of a constellation like ursa major or minor – maybe the big dipper or little dipper. I will have to use my imagination to come up with some kind of connect the dots. Maybe this isn’t funny at all. But, I don’t know how else to look at it today.

I know I am not going to enjoy the experience and I know it will be uncomfortable. But, it is the coming weeks that cause me the most anxiety – going in everyday with the intent to burn the skin so as to kill any possible microscopic cancer cells lurking about waiting to grow into something again. I know it is the right thing to do, but, I am not looking forward to the pain and discomfort that lies ahead. Still, I am choosing to expect the best, the least amount of pain and the least amount of fatigue from this treatment.

Another aspect of today will be to see if the mold they made for my right arm to make a thing for my right arm to go into , works. It will serve two purposes: 1) to keep my arm in the same position each time I have treatment and 2) to protect my arm from being radiated.

So today we will check these things all out and assuming everything fits and matches up, then my first radiation treatment will be this Monday.

Wednesday I saw one of my surgeons and she removed the pick line out of my arm. It is soooooo nice to go to bed and not be constantly wakened by snagging it into blankets or just bumping it into my side. It was quite annoying. it was not the end of the world, but still, I am very relieved that I do not have to deal with it now.

Well, wish me luck today.

Thank you for your continued prayers and positive thoughts coming my way.

Hoping for Blue Skies Ahead

5 Nov

Last night was a rough night. I woke up at 2:00 am in a lot of pain and there seems to be very little that can be done about it. The pain is less severe right now. But, it still is preventing me from doing a lot. And, this, my one day this week that I do not have the interruption of a doctor’s appointment. Tomorrow I have two appointments.

Anyway, enough on that. I am trying to get back to work. Oddly enough, I worked full time during chemo (the time I was told would be the worst and most difficult of this whole process). Instead, it has been post surgery that has been most difficult. I guess my immune system being shot down by the chemo prior to surgery didn’t help matters. So, hopefully I am on the mend.

I have a radiation “simulation” appointment tomorrow – where they calibrate the machine with measurements taken earlier this week via a CT scan of the area to be radiated. Then I am supposed to start radiation on Monday.

Please say prayers for me on all of that.

I miss everyone and hope to see you all soon.

Lisa