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. ¬†ūüôā ¬†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

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Radiation Therapy Journal – Day 11 – Monday November 12, 2012

Treatment Notes:

– not much to report – kinda in-zap-warm-out

Dr. Visit:

– She’s very encouraging, says we’re two weeks down, we’ll get through this. ¬†She’s a good listener, says the red bumps in my axilla are likely foliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles), another not-unexpected-side-effect of the radiation (except to me since this is the first I’ve heard of it, of course). ¬†We have a good visit, my skin is holding up okay,and we’ll keep on keeping on for now…and then as I’m leaving (‘cuz I hafta get up to the 2nd floor for PTher) I see her making her visit notes “Pt is doing fair . . .” ¬†So I decided tomorrow I’m gonna get all my progress notes and see what my docs Really think. ¬†I’m actually okay with her taking an encouraging stance while maybe being more strictly realistic in the notes – I feel heard, and I feel like my side effects are being adequately managed so far.

Chaplain Visit:

– I’m sitting with Mom waiting for the treatment to start (she comes on Mondays to make sure I don’t miss something in my doctor visits that I need to hear), and the Chaplain over to meet me. ¬†I, politely, tell him that I can’t see him today because I have my weekly doctor visit today and have to be upstairs for PTher¬†by 8:30am. ¬†Maybe tomorrow? ¬†He hands me his card, and says maybe when I’m at home we can talk by phone. ¬†Facepalm! ¬†I’m tired of having this conversation, you know, the one where I tell him I work full-time? ¬†Yeah, I managed to do that politely, then walked away to have my treatment. ¬†So we’ll see if I see him tomorrow.

Side Effects:

– well, let’s start with fatigue. ¬†Of course, I didn’t feel rested waking up this morning, and I’ve had RTher, a doctor’s visit And PTher¬†Before getting to work at 9:30am. ¬†So basically it felt like I had a full day before starting my workday. ¬†Good times.

– the pain is changing, it’s not so focused anymore near the hematoma or the nipple, and less sharp – it’s more achy, tenderness and is occurring less frequently (making me think of ice packs in my bra less) and more like when I mistakenly tried to carry a heavy bag of groceries high up and close to my body (to make life easier on my back) and ended smashing Lefty – yeah that wasn’t so much fun.

– still lightheadedness/is it nausea or not, I can’t tell – at unpredictable, non-patterned times.

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Radiation Therapy Journal – Day 10 – Friday November 9, 2012

Treatment Notes:

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

– one of my guys loves Friday like I do – another one of my guys was looking forward to seeing my Mom on Monday

– waiting for my guys to test the machine this morning I met another patient in the girls waiting area (they’re segregated by gender – for patient privacy – which is a pretty good thing – lots of people are more modest and more freaked out about that stuff than me, and that’s fine too), “Dana” and we had a nice chat while waiting for our respective machines (I think she’s either the 8:00am or 8:15am slot on one of the other two machines in the place).

Side Effects:

– lightheadedness/dizziness, fatigue, nausea: at the end of my morning walk around my work block, just as I was getting back around to my building I got all three kinda at once. ¬†I had started to become worried that this journal was gonna get boring, but this cancer thing really is an hour-by-hour, day-by-day thing. ¬†Kinda like the weather in Hawaii – wait 5 minutes and it’ll change.

– yeah, so 11:00am, nearly on the dot, as I’m coming back from taking my morning walk around the block I ran out of gas. ¬†I guess I’m pretty done for the week.

– I know these twice a day short walks are good for me, on a number of levels, but today, they both seemed to just make me more tired than I was before. ¬†The afternoon one seems to be “hitting the wall #2” today alone.

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Radiation Therapy Journal – Day 3 – Wednesday October 31, 2012

Slightly less freaked out after Not being poked/fought with for two whole days. ¬†We’ll see what the doc has to say about my stomach issues – took anti-nausea meds on the way to RTher this morning.

When I came in to the suite this morning I asked the waiting room receptionist to let my ROnc know that I wanted to see her this morning after my treatment.

Treatment Notes:

– didn’t really notice any sensation today

Doctor’s Appointment:

– I’m glad to see my, yes admittedly combative, attitude yesterday did not put off my new doc. ¬†I brought up the concern about nausea and stomach pain leading to real permanent damage. ¬†She could have pulled the “I’m a doctor, just trust me, it’ll be fine” crap, but she didn’t. ¬†She said she didn’t do my radiation plan (she didn’t, the asshole did), so she brought it up on the computer, showing me where it was and where my stomach was and that they did Not overlap. ¬†She actually showed me medical evidence for what she was saying, thereby buying actual credibility with me. ¬†Only then did she opine that my stomach problems may be a result of my anxiety. ¬†Hm, okay, I was certainly open to that possibility (I was under no illusions that I was no more than an inch below the ceiling, and had been at least that tightly wound for almost two weeks), so let’s treat that with an anti-anxiety med – script 1. ¬†This will also help me sleep, which will help reduce the anxiety, which will help me sleep, and so on.

– And, by the way , I was Not told that I would be swelling would be this bad, or this early – I mean even before today’s treatment! ¬†I’m talking at least a half cup, maybe a full cup, and all the way around to the side of my body and up into my axilla. ¬†Swelling causes pain that is breaking through the two Aleves I have on board 24 hours a day, so is this normal? ¬†Why haven’t I heard about this happening so much and so soon? ¬†So, no, it’s unusual to happen so soon, but it’s not unheard of. ¬†Great. ¬†Okay, so let’s further help me sleep by seeing if I can Not wake up in pain, so let’s treat that with a pain med – script 2.

Side Effects:

– No nausea or stomach pain today, that’s a step in the right direction

Рbreast pain: ice pack used three times Рtwice on the hematoma lateral to the nipple, and once on the nipple itself.  One time it felt so good in there I almost forgot to take it out after 15 minutes.  Time to start using a timer on that deal again.

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Radiation Therapy Journal – Day 2 – Tuesday October 30, 2012

Generally pretty freaked out still. ¬†Meeting my new ROnc for the first time. ¬†We’ll see how it goes.

Treatment Notes:

– slight feeling of warmth when they did the up-from-under angle

Doctor’s Appointment:

– I’ll admit it, I came in swinging my sword, so to speak. ¬†I was not about to give her a chance to be like the first doctor I’d seen in that office. ¬†It wasn’t just me establishing dominance though, I was still honestly anxious about the whole deal and needed her to know that (as if I could hide it, ha). ¬†It was a kind of a crappy way to get to know a new doctor, but it was what it was. ¬†I told her that I could not wait 15 minutes each week after my treatment to see her because I had to be at work in a nearby city by 9:00am – yes, every weekday. ¬†She unfortunately gave me the “I have a lot of patients and I try to see everybody as soon after their therapy as possible.” ¬†Okay, realistically I know there are other people in the world. ¬†Absolutely. ¬†But, unless some of those other patients are going to go work my work day, or pay my bills…what? ¬†They don’t care about me? ¬†They have their own lives and shit to worry about? ¬†Right. ¬†Absolutely. ¬†Me too. ¬†I prefaced my next comment by saying I hoped she understood how I said this, but “I don’t care about your other patients. ¬†I have to manage my life first.” ¬†Told doc about yesterday’s nausea and she gave me a script for anti-nausea meds.

Side Effects:

– so yesterday’s nausea has today turned into today’s actual stomach pain, just like when my GERD is out of control. ¬†So this makes me wonder exactly where they’re radiating that I’m having such stomach problems. ¬†And I’m going to have to see the doc again tomorrow (I was told I could see a doc any day I needed to, but no Less often than once a week during radiation), because a few months of this (side effects, so I’m told, can last from 3 weeks to a couple of months After the end of treatment as your body catches back up to the damage that’s been done to it) is one thing, 40 years of it from permanent damage done is something we need to talk about. ¬†So back to the doc again tomorrow.

– breast pain: wow, it’s been a bunch of weeks since I thought about putting an ice pack in my bra, and I’m back to that – two separate times.

Radiation Therapy Journal – Day 1 – Monday October 29, 2012

Treatment Notes:

– slight feeling of warmth when they did the up-from-under angle

Side Effects:

– nausea after treatment – Really? ¬†I hadn’t heard much about nausea as a side effect of radiation therapy, and certainly not after One treatment – this is gonna be fun!