So my scheduled 30 minute “let’s just talk” appointment ended 2 1/2 hours later with me naked from the waist up being fondled and tattooed. If there had been drinks involved it would have been reminiscent of.. well… never mind. I am now all set for 33 rounds of radiation. 25 to the breast and axilla and then an additional 8 just to the breast. I do finally understand why I would need any radiation at all after all that chemo. Apparently cancer cells can be hanging out in the scar tissue from the surgery. Scar tissue has no blood supply so chemo is not delivered to the area as it is the rest of the body. Stupid scars. Afterwards I was asked to meet with a very nice man from the American Cancer Society. He had a lot of information but unfortunately, 8 months in, there was nothing I wasn’t already all too aware of. I’m not sure why this meeting happened now and not at the beginning of my journey, but it was a nice reminder of all that the ACS does. I took the folder full of information I don’t need and thanked him. It will be a nice addition to the burn pile along with the endless pink themed booklets and pamphlets I was given at my very first visit to the interdisciplinary clinic.
I mentioned in my last post about the lack of testing following treatment. Interestingly enough, when I had surgery (at the same hospital, different building) yesterday and was undergoing light sedation in the way of anesthesia I was told I would need to take a urine pregnancy test. I declined and then asked what the thought process was here.. I just underwent 6 months and 16 rounds of chemotherapy and not once did anyone ask me to pee in a cup first. They had no answer for me but did concede it was a good point. Umm.. yea
So much for time off for good behavior! Yesterday I had my port removed exactly one week after my last infusion. Apparently, that’s not the norm judging from the comments from the nurses and docs. Fortunately my oncologist was on board and agreed there was no reason to keep it any longer. Today I meet with Radiation Oncology to set up the next course of treatment. I don’t think I get measured and tattooed today but I’m prepared just in case. Afterwards we’ll do a little shopping. It’s a rainy day so no need to rush home. Next Monday I meet with the genetics counselor. We haven’t made any travel plans for this summer since we don’t know exactly when my 6 weeks of radiation will start, but we are going to Boston for a weekend to visit our daughter and see Springsteen. That should be fun and I’m pretty sure I’ll be done with all of my cancer nonsense by then. Speaking of nonsense, did you know they don’t recommend regular screening? Or at least not for me. No PET or CT scan. So does that mean I never get to officially say I am cancer free? hmmm.. not sure how I feel about that. I’m going to address it again at my next follow up. I’ve been pretty passive and agreeable so far. That could change on a dime.
Besides having cancer full time for the last 8 months we have been doing all the normal every day household stuff and are in the process of redoing our bathroom. They start next Tuesday! That’s what I see in my mind.. that will not be the reality, but I’m pretty happy with what we’ve chosen and it’s nice to have a project. While planning this out all winter we acquired an antique clawfoot tub from the old family home. It is a monster, weighs a ton! We were planning to have it refinished but then decided to just go with a nice deep soaking tub . There is nothing I love better than a nice long soak with bubbles and a book (which is why I will never fully commit to my Kindle). Now we are faced with what to do with the tub in the garage. I’m thinking maybe filling it with flowers next year! .
Back to getting tattooed. I am pretty sure my port scar is permanent, having been cut twice in the same spot, so I’m thinking that would be a great place for a tattoo. How about this? It’s the Chinese symbol for survivor. Whatever I end up with, it won’t be a pink ribbon!
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