Monday-Wednesday, August 15-17

Quote of the Day:  “If you tell yourself that your goal race is going to hurt and that it won’t be any fun, your expectations will probably come true.  Instead tell yourself that there will be challenges, counter balanced by feelings of joy and satisfaction.”   Jeff Galloway, runner and writer

Got a card from Cheryl Iverson and Wendy Jager.  I love going through the mail and having a kind card from a friend.  It really lifts my spirits and makes me realize how important it is to take the time to tell someone that you care.

So I have started radiation treatment which last about 5 weeks.  I go in every day for treatment, Monday through Friday, and it takes about 15 minutes from the time I walk into the building until I’m finished.  To prepare you for treatment, they mark you with tattoos.  They mark you with about 6 tattoos in places around the breast and lymph nodes. A small amount of ink is dropped upon your skin and then they pin prick you and the ink goes into your skin.  Since my skin is a bit numb due to the mastectomy, the pin pricks didn’t hurt at all until she worked on the skin not affected by the mastectomy and yes it hurt but briefly.  I’m impressed how well they prepare you for these procedures.  They tell you exactly what they are doing and describe how it will feel and then there you go.  I always wonder if any of the workers have had personal experience with any of these procedures but nonetheless, they are very sensitive to your feelings and personable.  After tattooing, the next time you go in they mark the machine to radiate you from different angles.  It took about 1/2 hour and you lie down on a table and the machine moves around you.  The interns come in and make sure that machines are lined up correctly and you are ready for radiation.  

For radiation, you lie on a table and the machine moves in different positions.  The machine makes a sound for less than a minute while the radiation happens, and then moves to another spot.  I’m very squeamish about anything harming my body, I have worked so hard to be healthy all my life and so it is mentally hard to have radiation piercing into my skin but if it gives me a 5-7% higher chance of survival, well then, I’ll do it.   Once again, I feel like my care has been exceptional- the nurses are very conscious of your privacy and dignity- if I have any left! It’s a little daunting heading to the Cancer Center every day.  I’m on the first floor, chemo treatment on the 2nd.  I looked in the chemo waiting room today and a flood of feelings overcame me.  It will take some time to process all that has happened.  

I didn’t notice any radiation effects the first day but day two in the afternoon I was so tired and I can feel some soreness.  Alex and Nate kept trying to talk to me and I just had to lie down for a nap. 

My sister, Taylor, also BRCA 1 gene positive, had a mastectomy on Monday and is recovering well.  She’s only 33.  It’s hard to see her have to go through this but I am so glad that cancer won’t be part of her life because of her decision.

String Lake Hike Trail Head-  Joe, Maggie, Joanie,  Mount Teewinot looms behind




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