Wednesday, November 25, 2009

When am I going back to work?

That seems to be the question now that I'm done treatment. Actually, I think I am the only one asking (that's me with my high expectations I put on myself). Answer - no idea. I know I'm not ready yet. When I meet with my oncologist in mid-December I think we'll set some goals so I'll know when I am ready. They did say at the very beginning that it would likely be a year off of work, I am finally starting to realize it may take that long (or longer).

Not complaining, but just listing the things that still 'bug' me:
  • all 10 toes are numb (pins and needles feeling)
  • fingertips sometimes get that lack of feeling too (especially right baby finger)
  • right arm gets achey and tires easily
  • right underarm still sore from radiation burn
  • still a little sore where port was removed
  • fingernails have those ridges and can get brittle (but not nearly as bad as other fingernails I've seen)
  • tire easily (the couch is my friend)
  • vision and hearing are not what they were - need to get these checked out

Chemo Brain issues:
  • when speaking, can't think of the right word, or I say the completely wrong one (kids laugh a lot)
  • when writing, misspell easy words or write the wrong word (shopping lists are interesting to decipher)
  • when asked to do something, I turn around and completely forget (not only what I was supposed to do, but that I was supposed to do anything at all). Example - Brad and Zach carrying something heavy from truck to garage - I was to go inside and open the garage. La la la, I went inside and had no idea why Zach came in and asked me if I forgot to do something. No idea.
  • no ability to mulit-task (those who know me, know I used to be a very organized person who can accomplish amazing feats in a day).
  • can spend an entire day accomplishing nothing: Open mail, go to get a pen, open drawer and see address book, think of someone I needed to call, look for phone, see magazine, remember recipe I was going to copy out, look for pen, notice kids room a mess, pick up laundry to take downstairs, see boxes of christmas decorations in basement and remember I need to sort through that, wander aimlessly back upstairs, get a drink of water, notice fridge is pretty empty, need to start a grocery list, look for pen, see open mail pile, feel overwhelmed, take a nap.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Feeling good - 2 weeks post-radiation

Two weeks since the last radiation treatment. I am feeling good - I had a great getaway with a couple of my girlfriends. Relaxing, drinking wine, and shopping. What more could I ask for? My radiation burn (under my arm) is starting to heal. That was the only area that was painful, and its definitely getting better now. My toes are still numb, which is just annoying, not painful.

Weather has been great, still no snow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

1 week post radiation

(well almost). I'm still tiring easily, but otherwise feeling really good. They did say that radiation continues working for 2 weeks after the last treatment. The spot they targeted during the 'boosts' has definitely become more tender and is looking dark red and burnt. But no broken skin. I don't think I'll ever really complain about anything again - nothing is as bad as chemo, and that is over. (my friends that are still enduring chemo remind me every day how lucky I am to be done).

I was at the dentist last week - they put the big lead apron over me while they took an x-ray. After all the chemo and radiation my body has been through, it seemed rather funny to protect me from one little x-ray...

Two more sleeps until my girls getaway...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Done Treatment!

That's it, I'm done! Yesterday was radiation #20, which was the last one. I am triple negative, so no herceptin or tamoxifen for me. I'm told my prognosis is 'excellent'. Next follow-up with my oncologist is mid-December, until then, nothing!

7 days until my girls' getaway ... other than that, its a focus on getting my strength back. When I see the onc in December we'll discuss when I'll be going back to work.

Brad and the boys celebrated the end of treatment with me at Dairy Queen.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Port is gone...

I'm glad it's gone. I'm bruised and sore, but healing fast. The procedure to take it out was only about 10 minutes. It's in a real operating room. They had me lay down on the operating table, he froze the area with a needle. Then swabbed it with COLD antiseptic. Then they lay sterile towels around it and had me turn my head away. So I didn't see anything, but I could feel when he reopened the old incision, and then there was a lot of tugging and pulling to get it out (thus the bruising). I guess a lot of scar tissue develops over the 6 months it was in there. Well, having the port sure saved my veins from a lot of poking and worse. Anyway, I was out of there quickly. My sister was in the waiting room, and my dad picked us up. I felt like fainting on the way home (delayed reaction to all the tugging), but I didn't. Bandage stayed on for 48 hours. And that's it. One more thing to put behind me...

Halloween night was fun. Another couple came over, we ordered chinese, and we had a fire in the front yard and handed out halloween candy there. Some neighbors came by for a drink, and some other parents came by as well. Then Carter and the 8 kids he was trick-or-treating with finally ended at our place (bringing our 'kid count' from 20 up to 29).

...okay, those of you who know Brad, know our fire was a little bigger than this...