Well, I have not been blogging lately. I am still waiting to start radiation. It is Friday night and I am waiting on Kevin to get home. The girls are with their dad. Monday I will go in for a "test drive" session of radiation. I have received the "tattoos" already this past week. These are just three little dots that are permanently inked on either side of your chest under the arms and one dead center in the just below the chest. These are reference points for measurements and markings that the physicists will use to plan out the angles of attack with the radiation. I have secretly been debating on having radiation at all. I just have not felt sure about it. I kind of broke down in the radiation oncologists office and she asked me if I was having second thoughts. I told her that I just wanted to get it over if she really thought that I needed it. I also told her that I needed to get back to work at least on Fridays and Saturdays and I did not want the stress of all this and the possibility that I might get burned. She said to me "well how about we just do this Monday through Thursday, 25 sessions?" I said it was a deal. I thought it was good that at least I don't have to work and get radiated on the same days, and I will have 3 days to heal and try to keep the skin healthy for reconstruction.
I had my first set of scans done and they said they were all clear. I know that is good news. Somehow though, I wasn't jumping for joy. I guess I just have an uneasy feeling about the way that these doctors do things. I have never been offered a PET scan. When we asked, they said that "they weren't really as good .....(for this, that, etc)". I know there have been many cases where women were given clear scans one week and literally 3 weeks later were stage 4 with mets in the liver, bones, etc. I know that many women feel that they have this cloud that hangs over them for the first five years. Another thing I don't really like is the fact that my oncologist is now saying that I am going to get scans done every 6 months. At first they said every 3 months, unless I am crazy (which could be true:). I just remember how fast these tumors grew. They were growing about 1/2cm every two weeks. A average breast cancer tumor has a Ki 67 score of about 15-20%. This is how fast and how many cells are replicating so to speak. My Ki 67 was 90%. These little boogers were moving!! So the idea that some of these nasty cells are floating out there and looking for someplace to land and I am only going to get scanned every six months doesn't really sit well with me. I am trying to stay positive, and I hate sounding negative.
So the radiation oncologist explained to me why I needed radiation. I asked her if the chemo kills the cancer cells then why radiate the chest. Her answer made sense. She told me that due to the fact that I had a mastectomy prior to chemo, many of the tiny blood vessels had been cut/damaged. Because of this, the chemo drugs don't circulate well into the chest area. I can see where this is true because I have little feeling in the chest area, under the arms, and into my back. I know the nerves have been severed, so one can assume that the blood vessels have been damaged too. So Monday is the practice session, and the real deal happens Tuesday.
I guess every cancer patient who finishes treatments has anxiety over their cancer spreading, coming back, and just being missed. That is the challenge...getting past the shadows lurking in your head. It is tough to shove them down and keep them out of the way. Getting back to your life, a new and hopefully better life is the goal. Please leave me a comment. I love reading them. Until next time my friends...