Monday, November 24, 2008

Burnt - still...

Every Monday I get checked by Dr. Rege before starting radiation for the week. Last week she gave me a prescription for my burned underarm and neck. I also didn't get radiation in those places for a week. I still have to get 5 more treatments there, but it was set aside to "rest" until after they did a new area.

So, last week they zapped me with "electrons" in an area right in Left center where the incision was. (TechnoGuy told me that the other areas were getting zapped by "Photons".) It's red in the new place now - just no pleasing this body of mine, is there?

When Dr. Rege saw me today and how burnt I am, she said that I won't get radiation AT ALL for a week. If we have to keep prolonging this I may yet be there when they finish the Cancer Center's new addition!

I told the nurse about my feet - they're peeling. She said it's a delayed reaction to the chemo treatments. I guess it's that palmer-plantar syndrome come to haunt me.... At least my UT infection has cleared up! Dr. Rege said that having that is what made me burn so badly - she said that my body couldn't fight off both things at the same time.

And Stephen wrecked his two-week-old car Friday and has had a dozen other "tragedies" recently (And - sigh - that great behavior straight out of boot camp has finally worn off)... the middle two kiddos went to a big dance Saturday dressed in 50's outfits (you-know-who helped get the outfits together) ... Kyle's school has had parent-teacher conferences this month, so they've had lots of days off and early releases... Hmmmmm, I'm contemplating moving to a deserted island for the rest of the year..... too many things coming at me all at once!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cross your fingers...

It's gotta work - I'm crossing my fingers (and said a prayer): the antibiotics I got today will heal my UTI. The prescription for my burnt underarm will do its thing - please!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Burned... Finally

So, Last week I was a tad pink on my left side where the 180 rads zap me each day. By Friday I was burnt. Ouch! I put aloe vera on my chest, neck and back twice a day, but it happened anyway. It hurts like any sunburn, but I guess I'll live. I'm also very exhausted. Some days I can't get up for work. Today I missed church and slept the entire day. This is frustrating!!!

My blood sugars have been way, way out of whack, too, which has led to a grand UT Infection. Treated it by drinking some apple cider vinegar yesterday and more today. I may have to visit the doctor, though. Whine, whine, whine..... I need some cheese with that! (That's what I tell my kids, anyway, when they carry on and on like I have!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rads and Markings

Today I had the kids with me - appointments, shopping Value Village's 50% off sale, radiation treatment..... The radiation techs told me that I get 180 rads each day. I'm not sure how that translates or compares to other x-rays... I asked Dr. Geivers (sp) (who's stepping in for Dr. Rege this week) yesterday about my lead apron question... why you cover yourself with a lead apron when you get Dental x-rays and not with my treatments.

Know what he said? The lead apron is just a "feel good" kind of thing. It doesn't do much and the low dose of dental x-rays really don't cause any harm, either. On the other hand, the ultra-high dose of radiation given for cancer treatments would have no problem penetrating a lead apron ("like a knife through butter") and the techs give this high dose in a very specific, directional way..... So, don't know if I feel better about that or not... I had my first twinge of pain with today's treatment.

After my zap session today, I had to remain still while they added several pieces to the "head" that does the zapping and then began marking all over me again. Dr. Geivers came in to check out the tech's artwork. Apparently he approved. This was done so that they can focus on the tumor site for future treatments.

The kids survived having to wait for me through all of this. I was duly impressed and treated them to some Halloween candy that I keep in my purse (for my one-on-one student - really!) Now that our 4-day weekend is over, We head back to school for 3 days... it just might be a rest compared to what I've been doing all weekend. (Washing walls to rid the house of the "smoke" flavoring I added Sunday, sorting and doing laundry... appointments.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

1/2 way there!

I've now had 17 (of 30) radiation treatments. My zapped skin is "tougher" feeling, but I still don't have redness anywhere. The aloe vera is working...

Heather and I got our passports in the mail on Friday! yea! Now we need somewhere to go! Any ideas?

Yesterday, I got some soft ski hats to wear on my sore head - it has prickly hair and soft fuzzy hair both growing - but rub it the wrong way and my scalp HURTS! ouch! I got an eyebrow pencil, too, since my eyebrows are NOW coming out to join my almost-lashless eyes. What a dirty trick to pull - just when I figured all the damage was done and I was on the way to recovery!

Recent accomplishments: Max & I got to the temple yesterday. And we stopped at Sonic and had Sonic Burgers, onion rings and shakes! yum! We haven't been on a "date" in months! Today I led the music at church (shaking all the way!) Bit by bit I'm getting back to normal.

(I smoked up the house pretty good today - while I was leading the opening hymn I realized that I had left some beans boiling on the stove at home. After that hymn, I walked down into the congregation and asked Max to please run home and deal with the situation... Stephen had already done that (he attends the single's ward later in the afternoon). When Max got home, the smoke alarm was going - and he found that Stephen'd opened the windows & doors and taken the burnt pan of beans out onto the porch. Whew! The house is still pretty stinky. Maybe I can wash one wall at a time over the next few days......)
(And the geraniums Mom planted for me this summer are still blooming! I wonder if I can get them in the house and save them over the winter :) )

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prozac Moments

Wednesdays are usually longer at the radiation place. It was at least 20-25 minutes today (and absolutely no moving!) The techs get regular x-rays along with the treatment x-rays. I asked why I don't get a lead apron over the parts of me that aren't the target area (like when you have your teeth x-rayed.) I didn't get a very good explanation, so I'm going to try asking the techno-speak guy tomorrow.

Today I almost got a kink in my neck because I was laying in my "usual" position so long. (I lay on a platform on my back, hands over my head, head turned to the right, the left half of my gown open to expose my tattoos.) They adjust the machine to "91.5" which is how many degrees off-center the rays are so that they just touch my lungs. (There was a whole lot more to that explanation by the techno-speak guy, but I couldn't grasp the entire concept.)

I went to Dr. I yesterday. Heather made the appointment and took me. I was home from work and I'd been crying - again. I had actually been working on a prayer. I was thanking God for my chemo and radiation when I just lost it and started the crying jag. I remembered that Dr. Rege had suggested on Monday that I talk to Dr. I about Prozac. She said it's often needed for 6 months after treatments. I've been so weepy lately and it's been getting worse. Hopefully, I'm now set to compose myself... eventually. If my family can wait that long...

Dr. I answered a lot of my questions that I've been saving up. For instance, my numb toes don't have anything to do with diabetic neuropathy, it's strictly a side effect of the chemo drug Taxotere. I was worried about that. He also checked my A1C (a diabetes test to see how much sugar has been in the bloodstream over the past 3 months) it was lower than before I had cancer and the steroid treatments! Guess checking every 2 hours helped!

The young girls from church brought over a lovely gift for me this afternoon - cut out leaves with "get well" messages attached to a long braided cord. It is very cheering! I am not forgotten!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Radiation #13

So far, so good. No redness where they're zapping me with the x-rays. No pain. I saw Dr. Rege today who told me that - unfortunately - there are no "magic" pills to give me energy (I asked!) She said that people who've been through chemo and then go on to radiation are just very tired. She said she'd write me a note to excuse me from work if I needed it. I was approved for sick leave sharing last week, so I may just have to take some time off.

I actually took the day off from work today because I had the nasty flu all weekend. Kyle had it last week. Then Jacob. Then Stephen. Now me and Heather. We're just a sharing kind of family! The other family members aren't eager for us to share, however.