Thursday, September 16, 2010

To Radiate or not to Radiate?

I have waited for this day to arrive, not that it was one I was looking forward to, but it finally came. We didn't know  if I was going to have to undergo radiation and today we met with a radiologist. When I was first diagnosed my surgeon and first oncologist told us chemo would be necessary but no radiation. When I transfered my care to Huntsmans Cancer Institute, we told my oncologist that we were under the impression that radiation wasn't necessary, he wasn't so sure he agreed with that.

We met with Dr. Kokeny, Radiologist, this morning and discussed the need for radiation. After meeting with her we decided it would be necessary and in my best health care interest to take all medical precautions to treat my cancer so that it won't come back. Approximately 2 weeks after my last chemo treatment (3 left BTW), I will start radiation...6 weeks, 5 days a week. We anticipate increased fatigued with skin trauma anywhere from sunburned skin to pigmentation. Mid December I should be done with radiation. 2-3 months after radiation is complete I will finally be able to start my breast reconstruction - hallelujah

I just cant wait to get this wicked expander out of my chest! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Being bald....not so bad

Ok, really, I so don't like being bald. At first I just wanted to hide inside the hats or the wigs. I even wanted to bag up my closet of clothes and rid myself of the feeling of not being attractive. I admit, I have a hard time getting dressed, looking in the mirror and being satisfied with my reflection. Shallow, maybe. But its real. All I see is shiny and naked cranium, it just screams CHEMO GIRL. "You look so beautiful", "you have an amazing shaped head", "no one can rock it like you"...comments from well meaning friends and I'm sure they mean it. It's just so darn hard. But I've had some amazing experiences with this Demi Moore/GI Jane look. Strangers sharing their heart and feelings with me right down to very tears. Somehow my chemo head and the very appearance of what I'm going through has inspired others, who knew. 

While shopping at Sephora, the sales girl helped Jen and I with the plethora of colorful and shiny things that makes all girls giddy...lipgloss, shadow, blush, and more lipgloss , (like a girl needs help in the most beautiful cosmetic store ever...chic heaven). She helped us, I shared my story and we were left to browse...alone...with all that sparkle!!! Later on our visit the sales girl came back to find me, tears in her eyes, she said "this is probably weird but I just have to tell you that you have been an inspiration to me. My sister had a miscarriage today and seeing you has touched me and you have just been and inspiration". I hugged her and told her to tell her sister I loved her. It was hard to hear that I was an inspiration, I didn't do anything special, I am just a bald me. It was that day that I realized that had I worn my wig, this tender experience never would have happened. I learned to take on my trials and bare it all. "It takes courage to go bald" as one breast cancer survivor told me who stopped me at the Swiss Days Festival this past weekend. She admitted she couldn't do it.  At that moment, I did sense a feel of courage & bravery. Maybe more BC women will have courage to rock it bald and bring inspiration to others. 

My journey is an ugly battle at times, but.....I would never trade it.

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