Radiation Therapy Journal – Day 19 – Monday November 26, 2012

Treatment Notes:

– really nothing to report, except for slipping by one of my guys at the front of the suite on my way back to the machine – being Perfectly on time and having him scramble to catch up with me today – hehehe (well, I’d take credit, but I think we’re maybe headed into that amorphous time of half-holiday-light traffic as we gear up for schools to start letting out for Christmas Break (yeah, I’m Jewish, I celebrate Chanukah, I’ve been known to have a Christmas tree, not a Chanukah Bush, get over the ultra-political-correctness already, will ya?)

Doctor’s Visit:

– Yeah, long story short:

She said she called my RSurg, had a discussion with her, and that my RSurg was okay with a “regular boost,” but was concerned that I was getting a “super boost,” and therefore was comfortable with the boost plan in place for me

. . . which claims, all of them, will be checked out by me, hopefully telephonically, with my RSurg, since I trust her, but do Not trust my ROnc to have the Whole Me in her best interest.  I wish I did, but I don’t.  Oh well.

. . . which boost plan has not been drawn up – What?  Yes, the boost plan (the last week or so of treatment where they take the daily amount of radiation currently spread over the whole boob, and concentrate that amount of radiation in the tumor bed only) has Not Yet been planned.

As I was writing the last sentence, my ROnc called me – she wants to get new CT readings (since I’m having some swelling – or she finally believes I am – she never got to see me before I started rad therapy and I swelled almost immediately) but using my existing tattoos – to make sure the boost plan is completely accurate (since my body has changed with the swelling since beginning this treatment, the CT scans done a week before I began treatment may not be accurate to my anatomy today).  Then she will take Thursday and Friday to do the boost plan.  She will print it out for me (like I asked her to do today with the regular plan) so we can discuss it next Monday at our visit.

Then I’ll have all of next week, still on the original and unchanged first part of the plan to decide if I want to do the boost or not (which, if I do it, will start the following Monday) without getting me into a situation where I don’t have enough time to consider boost or no boost before we’re forced to consider an unintended break in treatment.

So, that’s the plan for the moment, so to speak.]

Side Effects:

– Um, other than blood pressure of 140/75 this morning (WAY high for me – I’m usually – well, BC as in Before Cancer anyways – around 110/60 normally), but since I was planning to follow my “new normal” Monday schedule of 1) get my radiation treatment, 2) put my doctor in her place, 3) go to work – I was okay with that reading (this too shall pass) – the good old “white-coat syndrome” magnified and all that.

Update: This early evening before acupuncture, Mo took my blood pressure again – 110/70.  Not surprising at all.  I was having the Pavlovian relaxation reaction just being there knowing what we were about to do was going to make me feel better, immediately and for days to come.

In fact, when I left I shared the elevator down with another cancer patient I had met at acupuncture and we both had that ever so slightly sleepy, very relaxed ‘I just had acupuncture’ look on both our faces and shared that moment together in the elevator on the way downstairs.

– less pain today.  I’m inside the week that my acupuncture treatment effects seem to last (I managed to get another appt with Mo tonight – yay!), and the past 4 days of not having to wear a bra, and being able to rest and/or sleep Whenever I Want have helped too – a much needed break indeed.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Schedule: Week of November 19-21, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 16]:

7:10am-8:05am Drive from Home to RTher
8:05am-8:15am Waiting for RTher
8:15am-8:25am RTher
8:25am-8:40am Waiting for appointment with ROnc
8:40am-9:00am Appointment with ROnc
9:00am-10:00am PTher
10:00am-10:10am Post RTher-ablutions [in other words spreading boob goop]

[Yes, you are reading correctly – I had radiation therapy, a doctor’s visit And physical therapy, All Before going to work. :)]

10:10am-10:25am Drive from RTher to Work
10:30am-1:15pm Work
1:15pm-2:15pm Lunch

[I’m pretty sad about this Hostess thing – not only because I’m tired of upper management in companies being greedy, bankrupting their companies in the first place, And Then blaming it on the workers who put all that stolen money in their pockets!  And Then of course, a world without Twinkies and Ding Dongs would make me sad.  Are they healthy to eat?  No.  Is it okay to eat them once in a while?  Yes, I think it is.  Are they a reminder of my childhood I would be sorry to see disappear from the earth?  Yes again.

It has been said (most likely correctly) that another company will buy up the assets of the company (the brands and their accompanying product recipes – at least where the Hostess brand is concerned), so that these bad-for-you but occasionally good-for-your-nostalgic-soul-and-sweet-tooth cakes may indeed survive their original maker’s demise.  Just in case they Don’t get sold and survive, I was going on a hunt for ’em in my local neighborhood – namely my closest (within 5 miles or so of work) Hostess Outlet.

Long unnecessary story shorter than it could be – I came away with two bags of powdered sugar Donettes, but there were no Twinkies or Ding Dongs to be had at all in the outlet (good thing I have a box of each coming from Amazon – let’s not talk price – we definitely achieved the ‘silly’ level, but Did manage to stop short of ‘crazy,’ ‘ridiculous,’ and my personal favorite ‘batshit insane.’)  I’m low on time and energy in general these days (and interest too – a touch of depression anyone?  Yeah, I’m being treated for that – it’s cool.), but I’m thinking that was a lunch hour well-spent.]

2:15pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-5:45pm Drive from Work to Acupuncture
5:50pm-6:05pm Get blood drawn for lab work

[Please see “Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again.”]

6:05pm-7:00pm Acupuncture
7:00pm-7:45pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

[Including a quick drive-through of a pharmacy to drop off the Rx for pain meds I was grudgingly given this morning.]

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 17]:

Hm, I completely did Not (obviously) keep track of this day, and since this is actually being posted Monday November 26, 2012, I’m gonna let this one go…

Wednesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 18]:

[Otherwise known as (effectively) Friday this week, with Thursday and Friday off from work.  :)]

7:05am-8:00am Drive from Home to RTher
8:05am-8:15am RTher
8:15am-8:20am Post-RTher ablutions
8:20am-8:35am Chatting with “Georgia” at the main lobby reception desk at the RTher facility
8:35am-8:45am Driving from RTher to Work
8:45am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-1:30pm Lunch

[On days before holiday weekends, my company intends to close early.  To that end we’re asked to take short lunches.]

1:30pm-3:00pm Work

[Yup, we did close.  Yay!  (You see, I work in a fairly small shop, and the policy is ‘we all go or we all stay,’ so work that has be done by any one of a handful of us can scuttle an early day for all of us.  I’ve been both the scuttler and a victim of someone else’s scuttling in the past – but not today!)]

3:00pm-4:15pm Drive from Work to Home

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– RSVP’d to two Thanksgiving Dinner invitations – one yes and one no
– indulged my returning knitting habit by buying more yarn for the stash (yeah, I know but it’s a thing with us crafters)
– that’s about it – it was a short week, ya know?

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

SNL (1975-1980, 1985-Present): November 22-25, 2012

Who gets the reference?

Thursday:

– coffee
– reading in bed
– breffast with Hubby
– napping
– off to Thanksgiving Dinner

[At the house of one of Mom’s best friends since they were in high school, whose house I grew up in with her 3 daughters as much as I did my own – therefore kinda my second mom growing up.  Only the eldest of 2ndMom’s daughters was at dinner.  There was an interesting moment in the kitchen as we were finishing the dishes for serving: 2ndMom is an 18-year breast cancer survivor, so we were casually sharing tumor size, location, stage, treatments, side effects to treatments – you know, generally the basic get-to-know-you conversation for those of us in the club.  Her daughter said,” We don’t have to compare.”  (I think all that deeper than surface conversation was making her uncomfortable.)  Without even thinking I said, “You don’t have to be here for it, but yes, we do.”

Another thing cancer has actually brought me is a new aspect to my relationship with 2ndMom.  Our relationship first changed when I grew up and we started to interact with each other as adults instead of adult & child.  I appreciated her more then as I could see more than just the surface aspects of her (which were not quite as overtly warm as I was used to).  Now, with the breast cancer, the relationship has changed again, become closer again.  We share something that we both hope her daughters never know about like we do.]

Friday:

– coffee
– reading in bed
– knitting in bed while Hubby naps
– quick something to eat
– napping while Hubby works on continuing to put our garage back together from when it had to be completely emptied just a month before my diagnosis because our garage doors would not function anymore, so needed to be replaced – thereby requiring us to completely empty the garage 12-15 feet back from the doors (including overhead racks the full width of both the double and single doors, and fully loaded shelves on each side wall from front to back, including everything those storage systems carried – fun)
– vaping with Hubby

[We happened to be watching a food show extolling the virtues of burgers around the nation.  As we had napped on opposite schedules, I doubt either of us had eaten much that day (we prefer to eat together, and both sometimes try to wait for the other) so we were both hungry.  Obviously we were having burgers for dinner.]

– dropping off dry cleaning with Hubby
– picking up burgers & fries for dinner with Hubby from a delicious local chain

[I know tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, but we practiced that today.]

– eating yummy dinner while watching Fringe marathon

Saturday:

– coffee (hm, pattern?  Oh yeah!)
– checking FB, surfing the net for chunky yarn hat knitting patterns
– blogging

– buying/downloading audiobooks
– emptied/loaded dishwasher
– did dishes
– cleaned out fridge
– ate lunch cooked by Hubby

[leftover Costco chicken breast/thigh/leg, shredded
3/4 can of green beans
1/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 can of corn
whole can of chopped tomatoes with juice

all sauteed in schmaltz from the cut-up chicken
with garlic powder
and served over brown rice with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese

Oh man, was it good!]

– blogged

– upgraded computer to Mountain Lion

[And it survived!  Yay!  Now I can re-engage Time Machine – my poor ‘puter hasn’t been backed up in over a month and I don’t like that at all.  So tonight it’ll do its first new backup.]

– blogged
– called Mom
– massage in my living room by Randy

[I lay there when we were done and it was a magical moment – I didn’t hurt at all!]

Sunday:

– blogging
– handling collected e-mail (filing, dealing with, etc.)
– brunch w/ Hubby at home while watching the Brazilian GP 2012

[Brunch was:

– smoked sausage
– parmesan and garlic coated potato wedges rescued from the freezer
– toast
– eggs scrambled with onions, cheese and basil

I’m not quite sure how we did it.  After a quick outing early Friday evening to drop off dry cleaning and pick up the hamburgers & fries that had to be our dinner, Hubby and I didn’t leave the house ’til Monday morning.  We also hadn’t done a serious grocery store run in quite a while, resulting in the fact that we kept running out of basic supplies, like, well, milk, in addition to other things we Always have around.  Yet, somehow we kept finding ways to have delicious, plentiful and dare-I-say-it relatively healthy meals all weekend!]

– vaping and hanging out with Hubby some more, while dealing with more email management

[One of my email accounts went from 800+ in my inbox (I Hate Not having empty inboxes) to 26!]

– actively, consciously and mutually (although I wouldn’t be surprised if Hubby gave it up to keep me happy) bailing on our previous notion of hitting the grocery store and filling the larder with all of Our Basics we were out of
– dinner w/ Hubby (fresh, premade shepherd’s pie w/ brussel sprouts in a light butter sauce) while watching the latest Castle

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Radiation Therapy Journal – Day 17 – Tuesday November 20, 2012

Treatment Notes:

– some odd pain this time during treatment – some at the spot where my ribs in the treatment zone attach to my sternum, and some in the fold of my left armpit – at two separate points in the five minutes it takes me every morning, but still – weird.

Side Effects:

– pain – less of it today.  🙂  I’m crediting Mo (acupuncturist) and Dr. Chu’s acupuncture pattern he calls “WTF,” which I got, with a pain relief “back” as they say in bar lingo.  This is the second time (with Mo in particular, and with Dr. Chu’s WFT with a pain relief back) that I’ve had a better week, both on the energy and pain scales, after having their needles stuck in me for half an hour or so.  I’ve currently been doing this every other week (alternating with Support Group weeks, so I’m doing something other than strictly required medical appoints, but only one, every week – I kinda figured that was all I could handle time- and energy-wise), but I may have to add this into every week (even though it would mean on Support Group weeks, I’d be doing something after work both Monday and Tuesday) if it has the positive effect I’ve now seen twice.

–  more lightheadedness – this time as I was walking back to the elevator after coming back to work after a late lunch break.  I ate a big breakfast and I had some lunch before I ran my errand.  Ah well, how I feel these days is, sometimes, an hour by hour thing.

RTher

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Seriously, this Woman Knows Her Way Around a Vein – I’m Naming Names Again

So Monday [See “Radiation Treatment Journal – Day 16 – Monday November 19, 2012.”] I talked to my doctor about bruises I don’t remember getting.  While it is unlikely that I would get Thrombocytopenia from radiation therapy alone (without also having or having had, chemotherapy), it is not out of the realm of possibility, plus I’m on two other drugs that contribute to this condition.

So, in order to humor me (which is generally Not okay with me – I do not like to be “managed” as anyone who knows me offline will tell you – but in this case is okay, because a test that tells me there’s nothing wrong will set my mind at ease and allow me to let go of it), she ordered some blood tests.

Of course, Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I wanted to get this done and get results before the world all crawls into the Thanksgiving hole this year.

Therefore, I tried to shoehorn getting blood drawn into my day Monday (See “Schedule: Week of November 19-23, 2012” to be published later this week).

[Hm, do I put Thursday and Friday of this week in the week’s schedule or the weekend’s schedule?  Dunno yet.]

In order to try to be less of a bull in a china shop, while at work I called the lab in the building across the compound (for lack of a better word right now) from the Disney Family Cancer Center to make an appointment.  No, they don’t take appointments.  And of course, the time just after work is busy because everybody Else who works and needs labs done wants to come when I do – between leaving work at 5:30pm and having my acupuncture at 6:00pm (or in their case whatever else they have planned for after work).

I will admit at this juncture, that my tolerance for other people’s scheduling issues is realistically, well, nil.  If you’ve been reading my schedule posts, that might make more sense to you, because when I say I don’t have time for this shit, I Literally Do Not Have Time for this shit.  In fact, I think I’ll make a new Rule for this – Rule #3: I Do Not Have Time For This Shit.  You may still think my looking at things that way is not fair or not okay.  And I’m not saying it is right or fair of me to think that way.  I am, however, accepting of the fact that at this point in my life, it is my reality.

So, no appointment made (because they don’t do such a thing there), I walk into the lab lobby to find it completely empty!  Seriously, this holiday light stuff is finally working for me!  I signed in and headed down the hall to the actual lab as directed by a receptionist in that office’s lobby.

And I walk in, admittedly, like a bull in a china shop – because I needed my vein tapped, taped and me across the way in 10 minutes to make my acupuncture appointment on time.

Okay, so I was there 12 minutes instead of 10.  In that time Nick (dude, you rock!) managed to take my bad attitude and turn it around so that I was smiling and thanking (them both) on the way out.  For you being able to do that alone, thank you.  Yes, you talk the talk “[his] job is to help patients, not to be an additional burden to them,” and you walk that walk, seriously.  🙂

And then there’s Prudencia.  I’m here to tell you, if you ever need to get blood drawn for labs anywhere close enough to Burbank that it makes sense to go to 201 S. Buena Vista, Suite 125, Burbank, CA – make the trip and ask for Prudencia.  This woman took hold of the butterfly dealie they use, I felt one tiny stick, looked down to see no blood in the micro tube connecting the needle to the catch-tube-container (yeah, not very medically precise, but you know what I’m getting at, and if not, check out the pic at the top of this post), and watched her connect a tube at the collecting end and it sucked my blood right down there with no further pain at all!  Two tubes later, she removes the needle, covers the microhole she made with a gauze pad, attaches the red self-adherent gauze I provided to her (See “I’ll Take Red Please“), and I was on my way to acupuncture.  Since then I’ve had no pain there at all, and the next morning I had a tiny little red mark beside what may be a tiny little bruise – about the size of a pea or so.  Today, no bruise at all.

I mean on the one hand, with what-all this cancer shit is putting me through, so what if one needle stick turns out to be an (Capital-E) Event?  That would pale beside some of the other things I’m getting to experience (yup, that was my tongue in my cheek, you aren’t wrong).

On the other hand, with what-all this cancer shit is putting me through, does a simple blood draw need to be an (Capital-E) Event?  Because really, with all that other stuff do I need something More to be bigger than it has to be?

Thanks to two great people, last night mine Wasn’t.  🙂

I thanked you guys Monday night before I left, but if you ever land on this page, thanks again for helping me shoehorn that into my schedule and even though I came in the door snarling, for sending me back out of it smiling.

And yes, I now believe this cancer journey is maybe making me just the tiniest bit crazy – I just wrote almost a thousand words about getting my blood drawn <facepalm>.

Well, if you’re still here, Happy Thanksgiving to all – please be present with thankfulness about something in your life (even if what your thankful for doesn’t make any sense to anybody else), and tongues explicitly permitted in cheeks during this exercise.

Radiation Therapy Journal – Day 16 – Monday November 19, 2012

Treatment Notes:

– some warmth during the up-from-under portion of today’s program, otherwise not much, kinda in-zap-out

– I laid myself down on the table this morning Without taking my dress down – they had to remind me (and they were so good about it too)!  Oops!

Doctor’s Visit:

– there’s a first time for everything – I’ve never been treated like an addict before.  I finally realized that is the POV that Dr. Sanghani is coming from.  (Yep, naming names.)  I told her that I haven’t had a pain-free day in 14 weeks (since my first surgery).  My intention was to convey the fact that when one’s been in pain that continuously, one’s pain-tolerance may drop.  My dad had a different interpretation – one which never occurred to me: that I’ve been on pain meds every day for the last 14 weeks.  Which I have actually.

What she did not seem to hear and/or take into account is that what pain meds I’ve been taking have changed with my needs over that time.  The highest I was taking was Norco 10 (10 mg hydrocodone/325 mg acetaminophen) right after my 2nd surgery – for about a week or so.  Then something miraculous happened…I stopped taking it because I didn’t need that much pain relief anymore!  :-O  Oh my gosh, I have the ability to self-regulate my intake of pain meds according to actual need – just like a real non-addicted adult!  Can you imagine such a thing?  As it happens, when I first started radiation, I was down to two Aleves twice a day and that was doing the deal.

But let’s be real – the object of my radiation treatment is to destroy cells.  Sorry, well actually I’m not sorry if that makes some people uncomfortable, using those words.  I’ve left my sugar-coating this stuff behind a while ago.  The object of the treatment is to cause damage (a measured amount, more or less, to be sure, but still damage) in my body.  Causing damage to the human body nearly always results in pain.  This treatment causes skin damage – irritated skin can be painful.  This treatment causes swelling in the radiated area.  Swollen tissue presses on nerves – often causing pain.

It is not nearly in the neighborhood of crazy that I should be experiencing pain (increasing pain, as more deliberate and intended damage is done to my body over the course of the treatments), and desire some relief from that pain.  Also, I have recent experience with some pain relievers, and you know that disclaimer they put on narcotic Rx’s: “May cause drowsiness – Take care while driving or operating machinery until you know this medication affects you?”  Guess what, I actually know how these medications affect me, from recent, personal experience!  I actually know I can function, work and drive on 2.5mg hydrocodone.  It’s when I take 5mg that things get a little weirder.

The funny thing is this: I realized that the very fact that she is treating me like an addict (by doling out the bare amount needed to get me through to our next scheduled visit on the amount I’m telling her I’m taking now – not thinking that my pain may increase with more treatments – two more to go this week – and if I have to take more than we planned on, I’ll be stranded right in the middle of a 4-day streak when I can’t easily get to her – nice) – is actually making me act like one!  In order to get my needs met, I’m gonna get my pain meds from another doctor (because I don’t need to have this begging, bullshit conversation every week until the end of my radiation therapy)!  So, because she assumes I’m an addict and therefore is treating me like one, I am actually displaying doctor-jumping drug-seeking behavior…too fucking funny!

Of course, it’s not really funny, because that was one prong of a two-pronged visit wherein Dr. Sanghani completely lost my respect and trust.  She has now given me the strong impression that she really does not care what happens to me after she’s done with me.  And that’s fine, for her.  Not so much for me, since I actually get to live in my body (hopefully for another 40-50 years – yep, not a typo – if this treatment business does its job).  Part of that for me is what the girls look like and how I feel about them specifically, and me generally.

To that end, my RSurg has recommended against me getting a boost because it causes more damage, that she will be having to fix.  But Dr. Sanghani is focused on (and Only on) eradicating the cancer as best she knows how – side effects, temporary and permanent, be damned.  Don’t get me wrong, I want the cancer to be completely gone.  I”m not stupid, and I get what this is about.

And…

I also expect 40 more years of living after this treatment course is over.  I’m currently 46 years old.  That means I expect to live almost as long as I have already been here.  That’s a Long Time to deal with physical defects that could be avoided.  And, if I don’t come out of the other side of this feeling good about myself, healthy And sexy, then really, that’s not a successful outcome – it’s the classic quantity vs. quality of life question.  I want both.  Am I greedy?  Yes.  But wouldn’t you be too in my situation, if you thought you could have both?

So my problem with Dr. Sanghani is that the quality of life issue is not at all important to her.  She doesn’t have the same overall gameplan for my recovery as a complete person that I do.  She’s too focused on the tumor and/or the disease and forgets both of those are attached to an actual human being.

Whereas, my RSurg sees my outcome as a whole person.  She has been involved with this since almost the beginning – certainly before my first surgery.  Her opinion has been dismissed by other saying “of course she cares about how you look when this is done – she’s a plastic surgeon.”  What they don’t know is that that perspective comes from an understanding of breast cancer recovery as a unique blend of mind, body and soul, in a different way than almost any other cancer because of the physical disfigurement attendant to it.

Why do I believe she has my best interests at heart and I don’t trust Dr. Sanghani?  When I met my RSurg, it was the very first time since my diagnosis almost a month before, that I actually felt calm – I could take a deep breath.  I have re-experienced that ‘safe haven’ moment in each of my subsequent visits with her.

I knew also that she had pioneered a one-step mastectomy/implant procedure for breast cancer patients.  She is experienced not just with cosmetic procedures, but with reconstruction after cancer.  She called me (as did my CSurg seprately) to explain why she was not comfortable with and therefore could not do my reconstruction at the same time as my excision surgery – namely that if my CSurg did Not get clean margins the first time and my RSurg had already used my own tissue to do the repair, then my CSurg would have to go in and re-excavate the tumor bed in order to Get clean margins, thereby wasting all of my own adjacent tissue (it would have to be removed along with more edges of the tumor bed) and that tissue would be forever gone for reconstructive purposes.

Why is reconstruction such a big deal for me?  Please see “A Lesson in Volume.”  Let’s take a divet this size out of the front of your body and see what you think, eh?

Anyway, this made sense to me.  I understood it.  Although I would rather have had only one surgery (that would have been ideal, wouldn’t it?), I went into it accepting that I would have two or three (if my CSurg did not get clean margins the first time) and that I couldn’t even Schedule reconstruction until pathology on the tissue confirmed clean margins.  And I accepted it because I Trusted that both my CSurg and my RSurg had my best possible outcome – physically, mentally And emotionally – in mind when charting my treatment.  I trusted (and still trust) this about them because they had instilled this trust in me by how they interact (still) with me.  Dr. Sanghani hasn’t really done this in the same way – my calm last week was (apparently) a temporary reduction of defending myself against doctors who mistakenly think their relationship is about them and not about the patient.  <shakes head>

Side Effects:

– pain – more of it every week.  These days it can hit anywhere from the left side of my sternum where my ribs attach, all the way to past the midline of my body under my arm – and from almost up by my collarbone down to the inframammary fold – including my chest wall under Lefty and Lefty itself being just generally tender.  Lovely.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Schedule: Week of November 12-16, 2012

Monday [Radiation Therapy – Day 11]:

7:00am-8:00am Drive from Home to RTher

[With 1 stop @ Starbucks because it’s Veteran’s Day (which I don’t get off from work), so traffic is holiday-light, so I got nearly to RTher by 7:40am and stopped to get myself a treat (yeah, I know, quit counting, k?) on the way for no other reason than I had time.]

8:05am-8:15am RTher
8:15am-8:30am Appointment with ROnc
8:30am-9:05am PTher
9:10am-9:25am Drive from PTher to Work
9:30am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:30pm Lunch
2:30pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:35pm Drive from Work to Home

Tuesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 12]:

7:08am-8:15am Drive from Home to RTher
8:25am-8:35am RTher
8:40am-9:05am Post-RTher ablutions

[Walked back into the female changing room after RTher and found one of the private rooms open, with my new friend “Dana” doing her post-RTher ablutions, so I slipped into the room with her (so we could share the mirror) and proceeded to chat and do our stuff together – sharing with each other what we’re each using and having a lovely time actually.  As wonderful as my entire support system is (And They Are!), there is something incredibly freeing and relaxing about being around someone (even if, to other people, they would seem a stranger) who is going through what you are – there is an instant intimacy and community like no other.  So we slathered boob goop on ourselves and chatted, I shared this blog and my contact details with her.  She said she’d read my blog and gimme a call to give me her contact info.  I hope she does – I had to get to work and she had to get upstairs for something so we couldn’t talk for but a few minutes – but I really like her.  So “Dana,” if you’re reading this like you said you were gonna, gimme a call.  :)]

9:10am-9:25am Drive from RTher to Work

[With 1 stop to put gas in the car]

9:30am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:45pm Lunch

[No good deed goes unpunished.  I had 3 sweaters I had bought and after getting them home decided they didn’t fit well enough to keep.  Every year my company finds a family who doesn’t have all of what they need and helps them out.  One of the things this year’s family asked for was food.  I figured I’d take the sweaters back and use that money to buy food for this year’s family.  I can do that in an hour, right?  Wrong.

So after daring to take a few minutes this morning to talk to someone who, more than almost anybody else in My world right now, knows Exactly what I’m going through, I’m all of a sudden (with yesterday’s PTher) an hour down on work time this week.  And now after doing my good deed (despite giving myself an out not to do Anything for Anyone this year – oh, and I’m sticking by that for my own family – won’t they be surprised?), I’m an hour and 15 minutes down on work time.

So much for a foot massage Friday at lunch, eh?]

2:45pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Support Group
7:00-8:35pm Support Group
8:35pm-9:15pm Drive from Support Group to Home

Wednesday [Radiation Therapy – Day 13]:

7:05am-8:20am Drive from Home to RTher
8:30am-8:45am Drive from RTher to Work

[Wait, aren’t we missing an entry in there?  Yes, yes we are.  As it turns out the entire computer system for the hospital, and by extension, the Cancer Center went down at 4:30am this morning.  It still wasn’t up when I walked in for RTher this morning, and of course since the medical records are all electronic, they couldn’t even call me to save me driving an hour an 15 minutes for nothing.

And if the system comes up, it takes at least 45 minutes for the machine to warm up, Then they have to go through their daily calibration (or whatever they call it), so who knows if I’m getting my treatment today or not.  So I was originally going to have my last treatment on December 12th, but since my facility is closed on Thanksgiving and the day after, we’re now taking two days on the end of my treatment.  And if I don’t get treatment today, then we’ll add this day onto the end of my treatment.  And then if I (yes, I, not my doctors, it’s not there body – I’m going to get two of their opinions and then make the decision myself) decide not to have the Boost at the end, then that adds another 7 treatments or so on the end, so I’ll be lucky to be done with this by Christmas.

And I have no idea when they’ll be able to treat me today, which means as much energy as I’ve put into making this as easy on my employer as possible, I now have to tell them I need to wait by the phone and bail on them immediately if it rings.  They’ll understand, but it pisses me off.  I simply Do Not have time in my day for it to get rearranged like this.  Please see Rule #3.

Happy Hump Day!]

 8:45am-1:00pm Work

[Got a call at 9:15am from one of my guys.  Apparently the machine is back up and he wants to know if I want to come in for my treatment today.  I ask him when.  He says he has 1:15pm, 1:30pm . . . I take the 1:15 spot, since that actually does Not need an announcement at work – I’ll just take my usual lunch hour and use it to go get treatment instead of…

…what I was going to do was make a deposit to my HSA account to get the tax breaks of maxing out my HSA deposit for this year and be able to pay some of the medical providers who’ve been sending me bills.  But now that will have to wait for another day.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, I know.  My life feels so full right now, tho, that getting rearranged is more of a big deal than it might be for, well, you.

And I’m doing things on my lunch hour sort of because I am so tired these days, in that A) there’s no way I’m doing it on the way home, I’m completely done by the end of my work day,  so this way Some of it gets done, and B) I’m afraid that if I stopped and rested at lunch I may not get going again for the afternoon, so this way I have something to keep me going while I plow through my day in one fell swoop, as they say.]

1:00pm-1:20pm Drive from Work to RTher
1:20pm-1:30pm RTher
1:30pm-1:35pm Post-RTher ablutions
1:35pm-1:45pm Drive from RTher to Work
1:45pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Thursday [Radiation Therapy – Day 14]:

7:05am-8:05am Drive from Home to RTher
8:05am-8:15am RTher
8:15am-8:20am Post-RTher ablutions
8:20am-8:30am Drive from RTher to Work
8:30am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch

[Doing today what I wanted to do yesterday at lunch – depositing some money into a couple of accounts so bills can be paid – and they can leave me the hell alone already!  :)]

2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Friday [Radiation Therapy – Day 15]:

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– blogged
– took a hat I had knitted for myself and gave it to one of the supervisors at my office to send to her sister, who has finished chemo and radiation, but whose home got slammed in Sandy – at least last week she was wearing a hat (‘cuz her hair hasn’t grown back yet from chemo), under multiple blankets and eating chips for dinner ‘cuz she had no power or heat – ‘cuz I do have hair, power and heat at home, and the means to cook a hot dinner.
– managed Not to run out of gas in the car (it was a pretty close call one day)
– emailed with my cousin on whether I will or will not be coming to her Thanksgiving shindig next week.  It makes me sad that I had to decline, but with Hubby maybe having to work over TG weekend (yeah, crappy, but oh well), and me literally not knowing how I’m going to feel day-to-day right now, since she needs to know for sure by Tuesday noon to plan her party, I had to decline as I honestly can’t guarantee knowing by then if either Hubby or me will be able to/up to doing Thursday.  So Hubby and me are on our own for Turkey Day, but it’s not the first time (prolly won’t be the last) and we’re okay with that.  We’ll either find somewhere else to go, do our own little thing just the two of us, or just hang out together and have peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

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