Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All That Glitters ...

Radiation Treatment Status: 22 done. 8 to go!!

I saw my radiation oncologist today for the first time since before radiation started. He looked at my skin and told me I'm doing great. He said my radiated skin is very fragile now and that friction of any kind can tear the skin. This means smoothing lotion on gently and frequently, splashing water on it when washing ... no rubbing with soap ... and gently patting dry ... no brushing with a towel ... and NO scratching even if I get itchy. If I get itchy, they'll give me a hydrocortisone cream. So far I've only had some minor itches that I've taken care of most gently, through clothes, with the soft edge of a wooden spoon. I'll try to avoid scratching. So far, though, it doesn't feel too bad. Just minor discomfort.

This series of radiation treatments will be finished on Friday. The 5 that follow are "booster shots" and are very localized to the area where my tumour was. I'll get 4 of those done before Christmas and then, after a 4 day break, I go back on December 29 for the FINAL shot of radiation. Then ... PARTY!!

My joints haven't been moving with the relative ease of yesterday but they weren't as bad as they had been. I don't understand why one day would be better than another but I've learned through all of this that there's little logic to the body's response to cancer treatments. I'm glad I kept my hopes in check yesterday. Patience is required. I'm hopeful at least, that my joint issues will continue to improve even if not at the rate I would wish.

I otherwise had a good day. Luke and I ran some errands. I did a little bit of shopping and found some things I hadn't initially thought of but am happy with. YEAH!! Since I was walking by and he looked like he was between clients, I stopped to say hi to Van, my hair dresser. For obvious reasons, I haven't seen him since he so kindly and compassionately shaved my head for me in June. I showed him my wee bit of growth and told him that I look forward to spending some time with him sometime next year.

Christmas cards, photos and emails from friends are giving me lots of reason to smile. Thanks, everyone!



  1. I'm very curious, Heather. What is the "soft edge of a wooden spoon"? That sounds like, don't worry about my fall, I landed on the soft spot in the concrete sidewalk!

    Your joints will get better. The end of radiation is near and then maybe your body will be able to respond to having very little bombarding it and get on with being itself.


  2. Hi CDB!!

    First ... just so you know ... I laugh when I see "CDB" because it reminds me of the William Steig book, "C D B". You know the one that tells a story with nothing but letters, such as ... "I M A U-M B-N," a boy patiently explains to his attentive dog. "U R N N-M-L." Funny! I'd forgotten about that book until I saw your initials!

    Okay ... the wooden spoon. I guess the edge isn't really "soft", it's just "softer" or at least less dangerous than the edge of my metal flipper.

    I hope you're right about the end of radiation, Cheryl. In fact, I'm counting on it! I'm feeling positive energy all round so it must be so.


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