Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Time I Took A Friend

Yes, Kevin got back from Regina just in time to wheel up to the door and take me to my appointment. He came with me and I'm glad he did. Today, before my radiation treatment, we met with my radiation oncologist and I felt better being able to ask a few questions and get some reassurances (or not). I wasn't supposed to see him until next Tuesday (Tuesdays being his appointment days) but I requested an appointment today just because I had a few specific questions that had come to mind before things got underway yesterday and now I'm VERY glad I asked for an appointment. I feel a little better about it, though it doesn't change anything.

It was nice having Kevin come along. He was in the room while they were positioning me and it was a welcome distraction to hear the technicians explaining everything to him. He then went with them to the viewing station where he could see me on screen getting my radiation and also see the other screen that show all the technical details ... x-rays, coordinates, yadayadayada.

So ... TWO DONE ... only 28 left!!

After my appointment, I cried for a while. I'm okay, I just need a little time to wrap my head around this. Parts of it have been unexpected and, just in general, I didn't think I'd have this tough a time with it mentally and emotionally. I just need a little time, that's all. I'll figure that out. Already some excellent suggestions from my team have helped. I see "Charlie" suggested I take just take the penalty and then carry on. Good idea, Charlie! Or, like this popular suggests ... "Keep Calm and Carry On". That's a good reminder to just take a deep breath and keep moving forward.

After I was finished at the Champion Centre, Kevin and I went to Walmart where I bought a particular aloe vera gel that was recommended and a black, cotton undershirt that I won't care if it gets lotion and black marks (the marks they put on my skin that rub off on my clothes). We also got a couple of cotton camisoles with some light support and I'll see how those work for me. We got those at the Adidas store and at Mark's Work Wearhouse.

And now home. Today, I didn't feel all the effects I'd been feeling last night. My throat wasn't sore this morning and my nipple didn't hurt. Mostly I just felt a general tenderness under my arm and the remnants of a light sun burn on my back, side and breast. Nothing I couldn't handle now that I've accepted that I'll feel these effects before next week. I did have a big, old melt down today. It was a bit long and drawn on and I wailed and wailed and wailed. Eventually, I began to marvel at my own ability to sob so loudly and for so long and I had to laugh at myself eventually. I got out of the tub, a red-faced, teary mess and when I saw how ridiculous I looked in the mirror, I had to laugh. Besides, I kept trying to put lotion on my face and the tears kept washing it off. I had to quit crying. And I did. It was better to just do it and get it over with, though. I don't think I'll need to sob like that for a while now. I sure hope not.

Thanks, everyone, for your emails, comments and calls. I so appreciate that you are all there for me and bolstering me for this new, grim experience.

Thanks, Syl and Don, for the pretty rose. And thanks, Auntie Eileen for the soft, pillowy thing that might just be a great support for my tender boob when I go to bed.


  1. Hey Splurge friend....sounds like you have run the first 2 km of your 30 km run. And maybe you are beginning to feel the legs burning or stiffening up a bit and the chest is getting heavy. You think to yourself....What have I gotten my self into? This race sounded like a good Idea at the time when I signed up for it (one difference being that you NEVER signed up for this cancer thing at all!!!!) As in a race one has to resign themself to the fact that they are in it for the long haul and will eventually get to that finish line. Soon your breath will become regular and you will get into a zone and just go with it all. You know that goal is big but you tell yourself to just power through it---maybe slow your pace a bit so you can make it through the distance. Soon you will find you are half way, then three quarters done then only a couple more km to realize you can do it after all!! The finish line is in sight and now you are there and you celebrate!! You will feel many emotions all at once at the end of this race (as well as many along the way--and you are allowed to feel each and every one!!!no worries about that it is all part of it). You will cry and laugh and feel relief most of all at the line. I know you can make it......................your are in the midst of the race now but go at your own pace and you will eventually cross that line and get that finisher's medal. No better feeling than that. I want to be there to celebrate with you then my friend. "Have a great run Heather....You can do it and if you have to walk now and then do that!!" I will be waiting to see you at the finish line my brave strong friend!!!
    Your pal Gail

  2. Hi Heather - now, after your "posting instructions" of last night I'll try again. Just keep in mind "an attitude of gratitude". Stay still in your mind and know that radiation is doing for you what you alone cannot do. Love - Velma

  3. Hi Gail!

    Rather than just see you at the finish line, what's even better is that I feel you running right along beside me, pacing me, keeping me going. Thanks for that and for the excellent visual. It really helps to be able to imagine all these cancer treatment components as games with real physical and mental strategies. Thanks for talking me through it and for reminding me how a race can be run. I'm walking right now but I can feel my breathing becoming more regular and I'm ready to break into a light jog.

    Hi Velma!

    I really appreciated your call last night, your insight, and attitude and most profound thoughts. I feel better today and ready to forge ahead with my mental state at the ready.

  4. Thanks Gail for saying it so well. . . Heather I'm with Gail and the rest - even when I am short on words (which I found myself the past couple of days).
    I pray for comfort on your tender and swollen spots, for Kevin's speedy recovery now (thank goodness for antiseptic wipes), and especially for your continued spirit, and for successful treatments and maybe - could you get a nice suntan too while you're being radiated!!??


Sorry for the word verification thing. Without the comment spammers are relentless!

Thanks for commenting!