Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Never ask why

Hey all! So I'm a little late, but Happy 2013!! Let's all make it a good one. Mine surely has to be an improvement over 2012. ;)

It's been a bit over a month since my last post and I figured it was time I give an update. Lord knows I'd been meaning to, but time has a way of getting away from me.

I began radiation on December 27th. All went well for the first week or two. Granted there happened to be technical difficulties on the radiation machines' behalf that meant I was unable to be treated a couple of days. On the 8th treatment is when I began having some issues. 

DISCLAIMER: This is pretty disgusting so please do not read the next 3-ish paragraphs if you get squeamish!

Ahem, that being said...

Radiotherapy is relatively painless. It has a list of side effects that may happen to your skin and I have been lucky to miss out on most of them so far. What it did cause me was some intense skin dryness on the treated area (my right breast specifically). Now, seeing as I am without a nipple on that side, and in its stead have a Sally-like scar where they had dispatched the dead skin where the nipple once lived, the skin became very taut along there. 

As I have learned over the past year, my body has this weird way of spitting out "dissolvable" stitches. Particularly little knots. Nasty, I know. I found this out from my port-a-cath placement procedure. Then it happened with the spots where I had been stitched up after my drains leftover from my bilateral mastectomy were removed. Lastly, it happened with my freshest stitch-up. After starting rads, my skin shrinkage came on quickly. This allowed for the leftover stitches to poke their way through my skin easier.

When they came out, I was left with small openings where they had been. I just figured time would heal it over and continued my treatment. Then one day after getting out of the shower, one of these openings began leaking fluid. -_- BLEH, right? So so so gross. I told my doc about it asap, she wanted to keep watch of it but didn't think it too serious. 

It stopped after a day. I was good for a week, and then it started up again. This time it wasn't stopping. So this meant an immediate halt to my rads. Had to set up to see my plastic surgeon to have him look it over. He then thought to remove some more saline from my right expander. He suspected it was sera serum coming from inflammation to the breast tissue from radiation. They took a culture and sent it to be checked just in case however.

Not long after the saline was taken out, the leaking quit again. Saw Dr. Young again, had her give the okay for me to resume treatment. Then I had to get the CT done again as guess what? The saline removal from my expander meant I'd had change in my breast. Yeah, so I had to have my treatment plan revamped. 


Haha, well I'm sure there was a good reason for this all to have happened the way it did. Good news is I'm back on track. Yesterday and today I got to go get treated as normal. 

I thought I was tired after settling back into working, and it's nothing compared to how I feel now. I almost cannot function in the early evening unless I take an hour nap at some point during the day. I guess my routine is reason enough to feel tired. Monday through Friday, I usually open at work. I get up at 3AM and start work at 4AM. Work between 4-6 hours, and then either go home and hang for a bit before going to radiation or go straight to it from work. 

So I spend probably something like an hour and a half to two hours just on driving to and from the places I need to be. That may not seem a lot, especially to those of you who commute daily, but for someone 3 months out from intense surgery, chemotherapy and currently undergoing radiotherapy, it's exhausting. Lol! As I spoke of before, my body still doesn't behave the way it did prior to all this. 

Small price to pay for an extension on my lifetime. :)

I've been trying to research ways to conquer the fatigue. Regular exercise is a common solution. So Jason and I are beginning kickboxing lessons together starting, hopefully, next week! I'm really excited about it. I'm praying it will help.

That's all my cancer related news for now! Other than going to appointments and treatment I've just been working. I can't tell you how pleasant it is to return to living world. I enjoy having minor dramas and concerns to deal with again. Haha.

And speaking of work, tomorrow will make it a year that I started at Starbucks. So crazy. 

All I will say is that God works in mysterious ways. 

Next Monday is the hubby's birthday, and this weekend we're going to celebrate. Going to see Ben Folds Five play in Los Angeles, spend the night out there and then hopefully do something neato in the area before we head home. I'm definitely looking forward to it! Birthdays are so special and I think I might even value them of the ones I love more than they do at this point. Lol, I'm grateful to be here to celebrate it with him is all.

Ahh, and of course our adorably precious Princess Chinsuela keeps me entertained with her antics too. That sweet little creature. I love her to pieces. I've taught her to highfive. Mhm, you heard me! 


My sincerest thanks again to all who have asked about/prayed for/thought of me lately. I know I did a bit of a disappearing act. Normal-ish life does that to a person! And man oh man am I ever happy that's the reason why I haven't posted as of late!

Anyway, I hope you all have a lovely week and weekend to follow. I also hope you can spend it enjoying time with people (and critters) you love. ^_^

God bless.

 "For we walk by faith, not by sight"  2 Corinthians 5:7

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