It’s been exactly 4 months since my last chemo session and 1 week since my last radiation treatment. Treatment is done!!! I made it through and am still intact and doing ok. I’m so thankful for everything and grateful to be alive. Each day truly is a gift.
My hospital was downtown so after my last treatment on Thursday I met with some friends after work at Rosewater nearby. It’s a Thursday after work hot spot now and by 6pm was packed. Nice lounge menu, food was good. We got there early so had a nice sitting area by the windows on the main level. I had a wonderful time. Christiane brought me beautiful flowers and a card. I read one line and started tearing up so had to put the card away until I got home. Of course when I read it later there were tears rolling down my face. What she wrote was heartfelt and touching. Sean had them write ‘job well done’ on the dessert plate which was sweet. It felt good to be social again and I wasn’t exhausted by 9pm?! Maybe I was just so happy to be done with treatment that I was wired lol. My life was at risk and I was fighting the battle that know one wants to be in so the people that were there for me have a special place in my heart. At a time like that you need support, I can’t emphasize that enough. I don’t know how I would have made it through without my mother, my family, and my friends. Even the people who simply said something kind or showed me that they care. It’s something that was appreciated more than they know. For those on and off friends, sorry but I’ve turned that switch OFF.
The next evening I went to a friends surprise birthday party. It was a family friend and he’s very sweet. His wife planned the party and I had a nice time. These are a different group of friends and all in the suburbs near my parents. Not all of them know what’s going on with me so I had my wig and eyelashes on. Again I didn’t feel exhausted and stayed pretty late! I always feel a little weird not telling people because then I have to pretend I’m working and still living in the city. Oh well, maybe it’s better to just be normal for a night.
My mom had some family over on Sunday to have a celebration dinner which was nice. With CAKE! Yayyy! It’s been a really good week.
My skin is not too bad. Depending on how much of my décolleté you can see you may notice that the left side is red/brown and darker than the rest of my skin. It’s also itchy and sensitive. The entire area from my neck to the bottom of my ribs looks like I’ve been in the sun too long. Hopefully will get better soon. I’m also emotional at times. I’ve been crying more this past week. I think it’s being overwhelmed with emotion realizing that my treatment is done and everything I just went through. Also being thankful to be alive after eight months of hell. The radiation was the easiest part for me. Now it’s time to focus on rehab and recovery.
Right now have a few follow ups, consults, blood tests, and ct scan. First follow up and blood test down, all good. Next …
My alarm goes off at 8:45 but I hit snooze. I never go to bed early so waking up before 11am usually doesn’t happen and if it does it’s a struggle. Not to mention that I now need 11 hours of sleep. I get out of bed 15 minutes later and get ready to go to the hospital. My mom is downstairs and has made French toast for me (she’s been great through this). I grab some water to take with me. 10am we’re out the door. My mom’s driving … Wed afternoon parking is always difficult so I usually go in while she finds parking.
I’m at the hospital now, I check in and fill out the weekly assessment before seeing the Dr (radiation oncologist or his fellow). I see the dr every wednesday. My mom is with me and I get called in. The usual dr that sees me isn’t there and I see another ‘fellow’. She comes in and says hi, and then rolls her stool over to my mom and asks how she’s doing. She just assumed my mother was the patient! Do I look that young? Did she not look at my chart? Did she think my mom was 43? Whatever happened she had no comeback. She could have just said she thought my mom looked young or I couldn’t possibly be 43! Haha. Anyhow she was embarrassed and we continued with the appointment. She asked how I’m doing and examined the radiated area. I’m doing fine, some redness and sensitivity but otherwise ok. Moral of the story … Never assume.
We now go back out into the waiting area and I scan my card to let the radiation therapists know I’m here. My room is on schedule. Unit 15 is where I go everyday and switch between the same few therapists. They’re all very nice. I get many compliments on my Kate Spade light turquoise bag. Bought it in August shortly after diagnosis. My cousin and I went shopping. Fun! The bag is my perfect hospital bag as there is nowhere to put my clothes when I change into the gown for radiation (annoying but whatever). So my bag fits my clothes and I love the spring happy colour of my very roomy bag. It’s a great tote and I love it!!
The radiation therapist now calls me in. I change into the robe and wait for them to call me in. Once I’m called in they ask for my birthday to confirm. I lie down but there is a fold on the table which ends up being right at my tailbone. Ugh. So we put a folded sheet underneath (everyday). I lie down and everything including me is being adjusted. The lights go off and there is a panel above me. One of the two techs comes over and asks me to take a deep breath and hold and takes some measurements. I can see a ruler like image on my chest in the reflection above. She takes a few more measurements and then puts the nose clip on, puts the snorkel in and gives me the emergency button. My right arm is down holding the button and left arm is up. I’m semi comfortable minus the nose clip.
Now it begins with a panel moving into position on my right. I hear “first breath in, breathe out, second deep breath in” and now I hold my breath until I hear “breath normally”. Although I couldn’t breathe if I wanted to since the snorkel is attached to some sort of device and my air is cut off when I’m holding my breath. After that this happens a few more times as the panels move around me. They come back in and take a few more measurements, then leave and we repeat the process. Then I hear “you’re all done”. I sigh with relief … Until tomorrow.
Yesterday I was quite excited about this beautiful loft. This morning I had the meeting with the owner who had to meet his potential tenant before making any decision. I put on my wig and eyelashes and went to the meeting. The owner’s realtor was an older gentlemen and actually a bit arrogant. They had a couple of unreasonable clauses in the lease agreement. One being that no one can stay over for more than 24 hours?! Totally controlling who and how long my friends and family can stay with me!! Wtf?! He removed that clause but who even says that! Then beyond first and last month they wanted an additional 2 months deposit. That would be a few grand. Not cool. Then because my credit score was ok but not fantastic they wanted a cosigner. Seriously??? I own my condo and bought it myself. Truthfully buying the condo was less hassle. So as much as I loved the place I discussed with my brother and mom and decided not to take it. Oh and his realtor said that my realtor was doing me a favour. He also made it seem like they were doing me a favour. Implying that no one is going to rent to me because I am on disability right now and not working. I explained that I have money put away and am still getting paid. I should have shut it down right then and there but my brain isn’t as quick right now. Damn chemo side effects! I had to process everything after I came home. I’m not worried, I’ll find something else. And if it’s not a loft, it’s ok. Still haven’t sold my place so I’m in no hurry. I would just like to have my own space again but right now I need to be with my parents or have them very close by. My energy is still nowhere near back to normal.
I did feel good having the wig and lashes on, although I think I look better sans wig. Definitely love the lashes. Was wearing very long ones today 🙂 I do look and feel a lot better than before. My personality is slowly coming back. I’m laughing more than I used to. Actually for months I rarely laughed or even smiled. Now I laugh and smile most days. Sometimes I wonder if it’s the drugs or I’m just feeling better. Maybe it’s both. Regardless I’m glad. That feeling of depression and hopelessness is gone (for the most part). I still have moments where I’m scared or sad but it doesn’t derail or overwhelm me like it was doing before.
PS. Rolled up some material and put it in my bra this evening. Haven’t bought my prosthesis yet and had a dinner to go to. From the outside all looked normal. It worked and I looked fabulous.
I now have 2 weeks of radiation left … It can’t come too soon. My skin is noticeably darker now, like a partial tan. There’s a certain area which is sensitive but it’s not too bad. Going downtown to the hospital everyday is exhausting. Also, chemo fatigue can last for months afterwards. I’m also having numbness and tingling in my thumb, index, and middle finger every morning. It then goes away after an hour or so. What is that about?! Chemo side effect 3 months after chemo has ended. The gift that keeps on giving.
Another loft came up so we went to look at it today. I fell in love! It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for! The bedroom has 2 walk in closets. They’re his and hers but will be hers and hers :). The closets also have built in shelving, space for my clothes and shoes! The closet downstairs also has racks for my shoes. This place was made for me!!! Then the huge 2 storey wall which is all windows is beautiful. Thinking of living there makes me smile. Being in my own space will make me feel somewhat normal again. I will probably transition over from my moms place and decorate and keep my mind busy. It will also be a fresh new start. I’m excited and hoping that my offer is accepted. We will know soon enough. Stay tuned …
I feel like I’m working again … So happy it’s Friday!! Wooo! Radiation is Monday to Friday for 5 weeks. And I have a half hour drive to the hospital, sometimes longer with traffic. There’s additional fatigue from the radiation itself. It’s all exhausting but will be done in 3 weeks!
Today was day 11 and my skin is pink and sometimes looks a tad darker then my normal skin colour. The good thing is I’m not in any pain. I’ve been using pure aloe with baby aveeno on top. Seems to be soothing and working well so far.
Emotionally I’m feeling a lot better than before. Maybe because the end of treatment is near, maybe because my eyebrows/eyelashes are coming back so I look a little more normal again. Oh and the hair on my head is growing but it’s soft and fuzzy.
My only worry is that my ct scan come out clean next time. Prior to radiation there were still some cancer cells in my mammary node, which was inoperable. Chemo and radiation is supposed to get rid of it. It was pretty small and chemo reduced it but it was still in existence. Why can’t they all just die! Leave me alone, get out of my body, my life and stay out! I had a nightmare last night that the radiation didn’t get rid of all the remaining cells. I guess in the back of my mind I have that fear. I must think positive and know that as my dr told me the radiation will get rid of it.
Oh I’m sleeping better and not crying as much. Actually much less. 🙂