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!

Weekly Writing Challenge – I Wish I Were…

. . . able to quit my job and be a full-time college student again.

Now, I doubt I’m pining for what you think I’m pining for.

Midway through my freshman year in college, the first love of my life died in a motorcycle accident.  I managed to stay in college another year before I realized I just couldn’t finish that just then in my life.  So I quit, became a baby nurse, and then a nanny, and after that, my life went another way.  The first part of my college “career” was pretty much the same as high school – cliques and not really feeling like I fit in – but with alcohol.  The second part is a blur, as I sleep-walked (is that a word?) through my life mostly (but not entirely – I’ve forgotten my roommate’s name, but will never forget the night she came into my room to find me crying in a heap on the floor, picked me up and held me until I stopped and when I finished, left the room, closing the door behind her – all without saying a single word) alone because people assumed at 17 years old I couldn’t possibly have loved my man as much as I did or been as affected by losing him as I actually was.  The truth is, his death changed the entire course of my life.

So, no, I’m not just wanting to throw off my adult responsibility to go back to some (for me, imagined) free time with no real responsibilities.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve taken the odd college class here and there – two online and one live and in person at a local community college.

I miss being able to focus on something (with a goal – somehow wandering around on the net isn’t quite as satisfying to me in the same way) that is so unlike my real life.  I’ll admit it, I’m bored with my work.  It requires a specialized knowledge base, and technology is infiltrating it too which is interesting for me to watch (being a bit of a tech geek), but I’ve been doing it for 14 years now (with a stint of something else tucked into the middle here and there).  In that time, any intrinsic pleasure I’ve gotten from it has long since faded away.

I will say that if I have to work, I’ve landed at a pretty great place to do it, so I am grateful for my employment, managers and colleagues.  It’s still not the same as wanting to come to work every day for the work itself.

I realize I’m making choices here, and I stand by them; that doesn’t mean I don’t wish some things were different.

Between a mortgage that’s upside down, a year or so of un/under-employment that ended about a year ago but we’re still digging out from, and being in primary breast cancer treatment which my budget did not have room to accommodate four months ago when I was diagnosed and still doesn’t have room for, I doubt (unless I win a big lottery) that my ‘wish’ will ever come true.

I was 38 years old when I bought my first house and survived keeping it despite Hubby having an accident 3 months (yes, not a typo) after moving in, breaking his back and having his own year-long healing hurdle to overcome, and despite being un/under-employed for a year quite recently.

When I was looking for work that would financially replace what had been lost, Hubby (last love of my life) wanted, more than anything, for me to find work that would make me happy.  He explicitly told me that he would be willing to change our housing situation to meet that goal, for which (among other reasons) I will love him always – but I wasn’t – I’d worked too hard to get it and keep it through one hardship already, so this is the choice I’ve made, and some days it’s harder to remember why I made it than others.  I do the best I can at this, and lots of other things, every day.

Bottom line – I wish I were able to quit my job to go be a full-time student, have that intellectual excitement and stimulation again and finish my degree . . . but not enough to give up my house.

I’ll have to keep looking for ways within the structure of my current life, or find something else I’m willing to change, to get that need met.

Copyright Ridingthebcrollercoaster.com 2012 All rights Reserved.

SNL (1975-1980, 1985-Present): October 27-28, 2012

Who gets the reference?

This has been a rough one – again.

[Friday Night:

– took phone call from Dr. Rex Hoffman while standing in Costco, thereby ruining the upcoming weekend, which had looked promising after the catharsis of sending the email Thursday night, and was now a total loss
– emailed MOnc requesting a phone call this weekend]

Saturday:

– coffee
– took call from MOnc re how to handle Dr. Rex Hoffman issue
– trip to Oak Glen, CA with Hubby [See “General Gratitude – For Small Things That Help Me Get Through A Day“]

Our shopping list:
– peach fruit-only preserves/sourdough bread at Mom’s Country Orchards
– Apple Blossom Honey (in place of the Buckwheat I was looking for – Buckwheat only available from April to July – except for the Buckwheat honey I bought in October 2012 <shrug>]
– apple turnovers from Apple Annie’s Restaurant & Bakery
– jewelry from That Jewelry Lady
-pulled pork sandwich and Jonagold ice cream (made on the spot!) for lunch in the courtyard at Snow-Line Orchard
– apples, granola, apple wedger, cider, apple cider mini donuts and apple cinnamon bread from inside Snow-Line Orchard

– dinner on the way home with Hubby at Maria’s
– quick stop at the market for a few basics
– unpacked the truck of our ‘haul’ onto the kitchen counter [I figure Sunday is time enough to divide up, freeze, put away, etc.]

Sunday:

– coffee
– blogging
– sharing on FB [Different content on each platform]
– brunch @ home out of the freezer with Hubby
– more blogging & sharing on FB
– packed apple gift bags for Mom, Dad & someone at Hubby’s work, plus packed up granola bought in Oak Glen for someone I work with
– dinner & Phillip Island MotoGP on tvC

Schedule: Week of October 22-26, 2012

Monday:

7:00am-8:00am Drive from Home to ROnc
8:20am-9:10am CT Simulation for Radiation Therapy, including getting tattoos
9:10am-915am Drive from ROnc to Starbucks to get coffee
9:25am-9:40am Drive from Starbucks to Work
9:40am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Short – to make up work time stolen by medical appointments]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Tuesday:

8:05am-9:15am Drive from Home to Work [With 1 stop to get gas for the car]
9:15am-1:00pm Work
1:00pm-2:00pm Lunch [Shopping at H&M – got a few good lightweight t-shirts for winter layering & 1 scarf] [Oh, and the first time I’ve taken an hour for lunch maybe since I came back to work after my surgeries on September 10, 2012.]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:50pm Drive from Work to Support Group [Jack in the Box dinner & Starbucks coffee in the car on the way]
7:00pm-8:30pm Attend Support Group
8:30pm-9:10pm Drive from Support Group to Home

Wednesday:

8:25am-9:25am Drive from Home to Work [I actually made a conscious decision this morning to accept being late to work so I could clean up my bedroom (clothes needed putting away, my bag needed to be fully unpacked from my overnight stay at Mom’s last week) – to take some time all for myself to do something I wanted to do, even if I could only steal a few minutes.]
9:00am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Short – to make up work time stolen by a few minutes of ‘me time’ this morning]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Thursday:

7:10am-8:20am Drive from Home to Physical Therapy [Why can I not get my ass out of the house on time to make it to physical therapy on time?]
8:20am-9:00am Physical Therapy
9:00am-9:20am Drive from Physical Therapy to Work [Driving through Jack in the Box on the way to pick up a Platter for breakfast – OK, I’m aware I’ve now gotten fast food twice already this week, and it’s only midday Thursday.  Apparently, I’m wearing down a bit this week (well, no wonder, see “Dr. Rex Hoffman – Office Visit – October 22, 2012“) and putting healthy food in my face is something that is suffering for it.  Hopefully, I can find some energy somewhere to fix that.]
9:20am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Short – to make up work time stolen by medical appointments]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Friday:

8:10am-9:15am Drive from Work to Home [With 1 stop @ Starbucks for the weekly coffee treat – don’t tell anybody it’s my third Starbucks this week!]
9:15am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Short – to make up work time stolen by medical appointments]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Costco
6:30pm-7:15pm Shopping at Costco [Including a 2nd phone call from Dr. Rex Hoffman which, after starting to feel better after posting last night and therefore looking forward to an actually relaxing weekend unlike the last one, ruined this one too, See “Dr. Rex Hoffman – Phone Call – October 26, 2012”]
7:15pm-7:30pm Drive from Costco to Home

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– walked at least 20 minutes each day
– blogged
– managed to carve out a whole hour for lunch at least one day
– used my hasn’t-happened-in-several-months one-hour lunch to practice some minor retail therapy
– cleaned up the bedroom
– wrote a scathingly honest email to Dr. Raul Mena, Medical Director of Cancer Services at Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank [Hm, after going anonymously under the radar and promising pseudonyms, I’m blatantly and completely naming names all of a sudden – Please See Rule -1 and Rule 0 and “Dr. Rex Hoffman – Office Visit – October 22, 2012“]
– remembered to write & leave a check for our every-other-week housecleaners

SNL (1975-1980, 1985-Present): October 20-21, 2012

Who gets the reference?

This has been a rough one.  As soon as I got home from work on Friday, and mentally left this past workweek behind me, there was only one thing I could see ahead – Monday and the tattoos I’d have to get for my radiation therapy.  I’ve never wanted a tattoo.  Please see “My New Ink – The Tattoo I Never Wanted.”

Saturday:

– coffee
– was interviewed by S (with interview trainee L observing) as part of the Mya Research Project being conducted by UCLA to help tailor future resources to better meet women’s emotional needs in the first year after diagnosis – for those who come after me.
– blogging
– reading
– watching TV
dinner

Sunday:

– coffee
– blogging
– thinking about tattoos
– brunch @ Thelma’s Morning Cafe
– errands [vape store, tattoo shop]
– coffee from Starbucks
– dinner & Sepang, Malaysia Moto2 on tv

Schedule: Week of October 15-19, 2012

Monday:

7:10am-8:15am Drive from Home to Physical Therapy
8:15am-9:05am Physical Therapy
9:10am-9:25am Drive from Physical Therapy to Work
9:25am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch [Put gas in the car – bought lottery tickets]
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-5:45pm Drive from Work to Acupuncture
5:45pm-6:45pm Acupuncture
6:45pm-7:45pm Drive from Acupuncture to Home

Tuesday:

8:00am-9:00am Drive from Home to Work
9:00am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home [While listening to pre-debate show and debate]

Wednesday:

Woke up at 4:30am – Could not get back to sleep before 6:00am alarm.

8:00am-9:00am Drive from Home to Work
9:00am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Thursday:

8:00am-9:25am Drive from Home to Work
9:25am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:40pm Drive from Work to Mom’s

[Slept at Mom’s to save 1-1/2 hrs driving time Friday morning – not my house, not my bed, couldn’t fall asleep ’til almost 11pm (way past my bedtime)]

Friday:

8:35am-8:55am Drive from Mom’s to RSurg
9:00am-9:45am Appt with RSurg who released me to begin radiation treatments on October 29, 2012 [which means I get my very first tattoos (that I never wanted) next Monday October 22, 2012]
9:50am-10:40am Drive from RSurg to Work [with 1 stop for my usual Friday Starbucks treat]
10:40am-2:05pm Work
2:05pm – 2:35pm Lunch
2:35pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:25pm Drive from Work to Home

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– walked at least 20 minutes each day
– blogged
– paid bills
– did laundry
– completed AFLAC claim forms

SNL (1975-1980, 1985-Present): October 13-14, 2012

Who gets the reference?

Saturday:

Welcome to my Saturday!   – Your Loss, I’m Awesome on Facebook

– coffee
– blogging
– brunch
– napping
– blogging
– watching tv
– dinner

Sunday:

– coffee
– watching tv
– brunch @ Lazy Dog Cafe & bought “Bark for the CURE” t-shirts for Hubby & me

Now please understand I am Not into the stupid pink ribbon everywhere and on everything, But I thought the way they did this was very cute – and 100% of proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, for those who come after me.

– marketing to the tune of $250+!  (It’s been a while since we did more than an emergency run for the basics.)
– napping
– dinner while watching MotoGP Motegi

Schedule: Week of October 8-12, 2012

Monday:

8:00am-9:00am Drive from Home to ROnc
9:00am-11:00am Consultation with ROnc
11:00am-11:15am Drive from Dr. to Work
11:15am-1:35pm Work
1:35pm-2:05pm Lunch
2:05pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:30pm Drive from Work to Home

Tuesday:

7:45am-8:45am Drive from Home to Work [With 1 stop to get gas]
8:45am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:45pm Drive from Work to Support Group
7:00pm-8:30pm Attend Support Group
8:30pm-9:15pm Drive from Support Group to Home

Wednesday:

8:10am-9:10am Drive from Home to Work
9:10am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-6:35pm Drive from Work to Home [With 1 stop to get meds]

– awake for two hours in the middle of the night

Thursday:

7:10am-8:10am Drive from Home to Physical Therapy
8:10am-9:10am Physical Therapy
9:10am-9:25am Drive from Physical Therapy to Work
9:25am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work [See “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”]
5:30pm-7:00pm Drive from Work to Home [With 1 short stop – thanks to fucked up traffic from rain]

Friday:

7:45am-8:45am Drive from Home to Work [With 1 stop at Starbucks for my weekly coffee treat and to pick up Starbucks iTunes Freebie cards for myself and those with iDevices in my office – something I’ve been doing for a long time and something that helps me keep the barest amount of ‘normal’ in my life right now]
8:45am-1:30pm Work
1:30pm-2:00pm Lunch
2:00pm-5:30pm Work
5:30pm-8:00pm Drive from Work to Home [With 1 stop at an errand the opposite direction from work as home]

Additional Tasks Accomplished This Week:

– walked at least 20 minutes each day
– blogged
– scheduled all radiation therapy appointments [See “Upcoming Appts – as of October 11, 2012 (and Probable Holiday Impact)“]
– reconfigured physical therapy appointments going forward to mesh with radiation therapy appointments
– notified husband, parents, work about reconfigured appointments

Upcoming Appts – as of October 11, 2012 (and Probable Holiday Impact)

This morning when my physical therapy was done, my PTher and I reconfigured my upcoming physical therapy appointments to coincide timewise and medical-needwise with my upcoming radiation therapy (which, conveniently, I have chosen to have at the same facility).  When we had rescheduled my upcoming appointments, she printed out a schedule for me so I could be sure of what was what and when was when.

My first glance at the sheet of paper must have had me looking very confused because I was very confused.  Then my PTher reminded me that it showed not just my physical therapy appointments, but all my upcoming appointments for that facility.  The sheet is attached below:

In case you’re missing the import of that – every single line on that sheet of paper is a separate appointment, all mine, and the last radiation appointment is currently scheduled for Tuesday, December 11, 2012.  This is my upcoming schedule, of course, if and only if my RSurg releases me to begin radiation treatment on Monday, October 29, 2012 (because I have healed from my two surgeries to her satisfaction that the radiation therapy will not seriously damage me), which RSurg appointment is currently scheduled for Friday, October 19, 2012.

If she does Not release me to radiation when I next see her because I have not healed enough for her to do so, then every appointment in the above image starting with the October 22, 2012 appointment to do a CT simulation of the radiation therapy and get my tattoos (see upcoming post “My Boob Is Not the Mona Lisa!”) and continuing to the bottom of the page will be pushed however many weeks she decides I still need to heal before starting this next phase of treatment.

And now we get to the second part of this post’s title – Holiday Impact.  Please take notice that while I will (hopefully) be aware of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas as they come and go this year, I likely will be spending the majority of the next three months or so attending doctors appointments and treatments, working, and sleeping.  I therefore will likely not be:

– giving candy to the kiddies on Halloween (OK, because of where I live I really don’t ever do this anyway)
– giving any thought whatsoever to a Halloween costume this year
– participating in any Halloween parties at work or elsewhere
– cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner (OK, another thing I don’t really ever do anyway)
– cooking anything at all to take to any Thanksgiving dinner I may manage to attend
– bringing a Hostess Gift to any social occasion at all I manage to attend
– buying, writing, stamping and/or mailing holiday cards
– OR
– choosing, shopping for, buying, wrapping and/or delivering holiday gifts – for anybody at all in my life

In other words, I’m giving myself this Holiday Season off – I simply don’t have the time or energy.

And for anyone who is hurt and/or offended by the above comments, or thinks it’s not a big deal and I’m being a wuss – you’re welcome to come keep me company at all thirty-two (32) of those consecutive 8:00am weekday appointments (not including physical therapy and other doctors’ appointments during that same 6-1/2 week period), and then we can both go do a full day’s work after that.  Comment and leave me your email, I’ll share the location with you privately.  🙂