Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Need a New Game Plan

Okay, team. We need a new game plan. I have only just figured out that Radiation is a very different game than Chemo. It requires a different mental approach. In some ways it seems harder, though maybe if I can figure out a game plan, it won't be so daunting.

The difference is this: With chemo, I had to face 6 chemo treatments and then deal with the fall-out. It was shitty and required stamina and a supportive team to deal with the results of each of those 6 treatments. With radiation, I have to face 30 treatments, one day after the other (except for weekends). It's like inviting someone to kick you in the shin and having it hurt but then going back to that same person day after day after day and asking them to kick you in the same place again each time. WHO WOULD DO THAT??!! I'm feeling about radiation much the way I felt about those Heprin needles I had to have in the hospital where I finally put my foot down and refused them. In that case, I don't believe I was being reckless. I believe I made an informed and reasonable decision but only because I had such a hard time with those needles. I sense some similarities with the radiation treatments except I don't think it would be prudent of me to refuse treatment. So, I have to find a way to wrap my head around these treatments. This is where I imagine Kevin jumping in with his rendition of "Jesus Take the Wheel".

I had a bit of a teary night last night ... while I gently cupped my tender left breast. I had a nice chat with Hannah and that cheered me up. I was only mildly restless during the night. I know I had some very strange dreams but I don't really remember them. There was something about me removing some of my limbs and putting them back on incorrectly in the morning and I was semi-dreaming about that while I was awake enough at the time to be confused by it. Yikes!

This morning, still a little tender. I definitely need to go bra and t-shirt shopping today and/or tomorrow. Soft cottons ... non-binding anything. And I think I'll pick up some aloe vera gel (without alcohol) and I'll look at calendula lotion. I did quite a bit of reading last night about people's experiences with radiation and it's all over the map. Some people sail through it with very little trouble while others have much discomfort and difficulties and some people can't handle it at all and quit part way through. I don't want to be one of those people, so I have to find my strength for this.

One a positive note ... gotta find the positives ...

My edema has come down considerably! I think the increased dosage of lasix is working. I peed so much yesterday and so frequently, it can only have been because of the lasix. By last night, I'd lost 7 pounds since the day before. I even notice that the skin on my hands is looser and my wrists are thinner. I hadn't even thought they were effected at all until I noticed the difference in them yesterday. I also noticed my abdomen feeling smaller. In fact, it made me feel like I should be eating. I felt empty. I tried to resist the urge. My ankles are so much slimmer, though they still have a little way to go to get to normal. Still ... a very welcome improvement.

Of course, yesterday was the day I felt the best I've felt for ages ... and then I had to have my first radiation treatment. It just doesn't seem fair (as if cancer has ever been fair). I wish I could have had some days of feeling normal before starting radiation. It's what I thought would happen. But not. So, I'll have to wait even longer for "near normal".

My inclination is to throw myself on the floor and thrash about, kicking and screaming and raging and crying ... a big, old tantrum. I'll bet I'd feel better after. Maybe I'll try it.


  1. In the famous words of Yoda..."Do or Do Not-There Is No Try"...I say HAVE THE TANTRUM...YOU DESERVE IT! Maybe you're feeling things so soon cause I think, as you previously stated, not enough time gone by since the chemo?? Maybe cause you're getting quite a blast each time?? Hang in there, PH! Countdown to the weekend & get that Kevin doing his rendition of whatever the heck Jesus Take the Wheel is...I'm assuming a song??? A Play??? Noooo Idea!

  2. Princess Heather, I know you can tackle this radiation. Cancer doesn't fight fair so if you need to take a 5 yard penalty to set the tone for the last quarter of the game, you go right ahead. Show it who's boss! You know your crowd will be cheering in support.

    Splurge Charlie

  3. Hi ... whoever it is that calls me PH (Princess Heather ... doesn't everybody call me that?) ... You just know I love and live by the words of Yoda! And yes, "Jesus Take the Wheel" is Kevin's one country song that he just LOVES. It has quite the refrain and Kevin loves to belt it out when we're in the car. It's a song by Carrie Underwood, if you want to check it out.

    Hi Charlie!

    I love the way you put that. I feel inspired and, it being the height of football season, I can really visualize the analogy. Maybe I should wear a helmet for now instead of a tiara. You can all be my blockers, okay? My safety!

    I've been meaning to check with you, Charlie, to see if you got over that little bug you had. I trust you're okay now and I'm glad that's the case!

    Thanks, pals, for seeing me through this "LAST quarter"!!


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