Monday, August 16, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

It's been a busy summer. Some of you may know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2009. I underwent chemo for 12 weeks, then after that, I had 6 weeks of radiation treatments. I found out several things when undergoing all the treatments, none of them particularly fun.

First of all, I'm allergic to one of the chemo meds. Next, I was allergic to the booster shot they gave me for my white blood cells gave me a very weird and uncomfortable reaction that the doctor had never seen before. My left leg got terribly swollen and they thought I had a blood clot. Later, my left hand did the same thing, starting with the middle finger. Lastly, my right ankle got so bad I had to use crutches to get around. Not fun! Fortunately, once I had the medicine out of my system, the swelling went away.

I didn't react very well to my hair falling out. In fact, it was quite traumatic. It's coming back in now, but I'm still not sure what color it intends to be. It looks like my regular brown on the bottom but the ends are blonde. It also seems to want to grow to a point at the top of my head. No matter how I comb it, it goes into this cupie doll swoosh. I told my kids I'm rockin' a faux hawk!

Radiation went pretty well, all things considered. It could have been a lot worse. The most annoying part was that the machine at the closest hospital broke down and couldn't be repaired. The next nearest machine is in Daytona, about 45 minutes away. Because of the way my treatments were scheduled, every day, Monday through Friday, I had to make that drive.

I think the hardest part of the radiation treatments was the fact that my family didn't really think them any big deal. I didn't have help with meals, house cleaning or any of the other little things that keep the family going. So I was making that 90 minute drive as well as running errands, dealing with kids and cooking dinner. It could have been worse, but it was bad enough.

I'm grateful that I got through my therapy so easily. After speaking to others, I know it could have been far worse. I'm glad it's behind me, thrilled I had such a fantastic surgeon, skilled oncologists and wonderful, caring nursing and professional staff. I have to say that through all of this, they were absolutely fantastic!

Most of you don't know who these people are, but I do, and I want to say a personal thank you to the following people:

Dr. Kimberly Clayton - the most incredible surgeon ever
Dr. Chew - medical oncologist
Dr. Factor - radiation oncologist
Bernie, Debbie, Jill - fantastic radiation techs
Becky - Dr. Factor's nurse
Adele, Paula and all the nurses and staff of Bert Fish Oncology Department

Thank you all. You made what could have been horrible far easier.

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