Monday, November 16, 2009

My Phantom Bra and Other Oddities

Already I'm disillusioned. Besides some fatigue and, perhaps, some tingling, I hadn't expected to feel any effects from the radiation already. I thought I'd have at least a week before starting to feel it, but already I do.

I fell asleep on the couch after I last posted and when I awoke a couple of hours later, the first thing I wanted to do was get my bra off. But wait a minute. I wasn't wearing a bra. Even though I eventually figured that out, it still felt like I had one on. I won't even tell you how many times I reached under my shirt to check again just to make sure I really wasn't wearing one! Then I thought maybe I was just positioned in such a way that some muscles were pulling but no ... even when I sat up, it still felt like I was wearing a bra. My phantom bra. Uncomfortable AND no support. How bad is that? Okay ... ultimately not that bad but definitely odd.

My breast and the skin on my side and on my back does feel slightly burned. That's the part I hadn't expected yet. I spent the last couple of hours holding my left breast just because it felt like it needed babying. I find it alarming to feel this way already. Twenty-nine treatments left to go. SHIT! Still, I keep telling myself it can't possibly be as bad as chemo. When the radiation technologist told me that some women only experience a little pinkness, I understand now that she was giving me the best case scenario. Nobody has elaborated on the worst case scenario. Not that I would expect that, but I do prefer to have complete information so I can realistically prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. I need to do a little more research now that I have some inklings.

My left nipple feels quite uncomfortable. That's sad. And I have little stabbing pains (minor ones) in my arm pit. My throat is a little sore and there's a skin-tag/mole on my neck that is suddenly bothering me this afternoon. I'm not even sure how far the radiation extends. They didn't make marking around my neck or talk about the radiation going there but I remember the radiation oncologist telling us the first time we met with him that they would be bringing out "the big guns" for me and would be radiating my breast, nodes (arm pit) and neck. Maybe that's why my throat and skin tag/mole are suddenly bothering me? DANG!!

When I was shopping for a winter hat a few weeks ago, I had to discretely (?!!) remove my wig to try the hats on properly. A woman working in the store commiserated with me. She hadn't had chemo but when I told her I would be having radiation next, she told me that while undergoing radiation she was so cold all the time. I found that really surprising. You would think you would be the opposite, wouldn't you? Anyway, that conversation came to mind shortly after I woke up and I had some chills. Then again, maybe it was just because I'd gotten out from under a cozy blanket. Maybe that was it.

Cancer sure isn't for everyone. I wish it wasn't for me.


  1. I has a sad with you, Heather. Have a good sleep tonight.


  2. Thanks, Cheryl. It helps to have the soft but strong shoulders of others.


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