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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting Past The Shadows In Your Head

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...







6 comments:

angela said...

You're making me tear up remembering the anxiety and frustration and THE 5 YEAR CHALLENGE. My husband is now in his 10th year of recovery from stage 4 melanoma. Can't feel a thing in his left thigh, but who cares now?! Hang in there, and if you want scans in 3 months, push your doctors hard for them. Sometimes they make decisions based on insurance instead of the patient because they don't want to fight as hard as you do. Keep fighting and try to find a joyful moment every day! -Angela Christian

Anonymous said...

Shalom Penny,

May the Holy Spirit comfort you with the peace of Yeshua. Your a strong and courageous woman. Yahweh's grace is beautiful.Seek Yahweh and be still. Penny, this is for you. Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Penny, may the glory of Yahweh be shown through your healing of cancer. In the name of Yeshua. Amen,Cassie
noah00ark@aol.com

Michelle said...

I will keep you in my prayers!!

Hugs,

Michelle

Dorothy McHugh said...

I agree with Angela. You need to insist that the doctors give you that scan every 3 months. I'm sure you have done that, but continue to be proactive. That is not an unreasonable request AT ALL. In fact, I'm appalled they even question it. This is your body and you are the customer. It may only give you peace of mind, but it is worth it, and it is your right. I agree with you. This is no slow moving cancer. Every three months for a scan is a reasonable request. Your on the down hill slide even though it seems an endless road. I want you to feel God next to you and chase the devil's doubts away. Keep fighting a little longer, and know you have SO many people who love you and are praying for you. Look in your precious girl's faces, and see God. He's there to protect all of your family. Dorothy!!

Kristine said...

You will be fine - think good thoughts and try to only let the positive in. Picture those bad cells being knocked out and they are on their knees trying to stand back up and you are coming in for the final knock out blow! Kristine

willow58 said...

When your mind starts racing, that is fear trying to over take your thought process. Try to remember to meditate on some Scriptures and seek peace. Seek peace and pursue it. Follow after peace. Let the peace of God keep your heart and mind throught Christ Jesus. That is nothing that you will go through on a daily basis that you and God can't get throught together.