Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Games Have Begun!

As you can probably surmise from my lack of blogging to date that I am pretty tired.  The radiation treatments started May 18 and will continue for 21 treatments in total.  Also, I have started the Tamoxifen and am off all vitamins and supplements for now as this interferes with the radiation. Yep, for once in my life, I'm banking on those free radicals released during treatment to carry along with them any evil cancer cells!  No antioxidants for now.... But I can't eat junk... that pushes the limits unfortunately!

The radiation treatment itself is a piece of cake. I have a bar code that I scan at reception (kinda like a gym membership ).  My name pops up on the screen and it tells me I'm checked in. It also gives me the approx. waiting time.  So far, my unit (#14) has been pretty much on time!  Typically I am with the same pair of technicians so it's a very friendly and nice atmosphere.  My only beef is the gowns.  They told me that originally the gowns from China that were made were a size 0,  2 and 4 which is pretty teeny.  No strapping middle aged Canadians could fit even a pinky into these suckers!  So, they complained and had a new order shipped.  Now, these must have been made by Omar the tent-maker because they are ENORMOUS!  The arm holes hang down to my waist and I have to wrap each monstrosity around me twice to make it kind of fit.  One little old lady warned me early on, " need to watch those girls now, they can slip outta the sides real easy eh...."  So,  I bring a sweater and shove myself and my tent into it looking more like the Michelin man than I'd like to admit...

In all, it takes about 5 minutes for the technicians to line up my tattoos with their green laser beams and rulers while I lie on my back with my left arm above my head.  Then I listen to music courtesy of the XM radio station they have.  Nice 70's lineup today with Peter Frampton when he had hair.  There is a big dish that changes positions and makes funny Xray kinds of noises.  Sometimes, I feel a tingling or a bit of a warming kinda like I'm being microwaved.  So far, my skin is okay but I am told it will worsen over the next few months as will my fatigue...

The real trick is finding 3 hours in my day to get downtown, wait for the treatment and get back. So far, I've been taking primarily 8/8:30 am slots. I find that if I leave at 7, I can be down in 40 - 45 minutes and find cheap parking. If I leave by 7:15, my time is doubled and so are the parking costs.  I've actually got it down to a pretty fine art...

Then, after my treatments, I start my work day, or what I can manage.  I do more at home than I have done in years and I am grateful to have such an amazing team of people at work who help cover for me.  I am definitely very tired a lot and cannot do much after 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  However, my sleep is often interrupted by night sweats courtesy of Tamoxifen...  Ahh, small price to pay... I remind myself of this and try to convince myself that the sweats are nature's way of escorting cancer cells out of my body....  Then, I read a book, or two, or email....

Regardless, I managed to get through Amanda's pre-Prom last night.  Jordan was ready to kill me for hosting it but, with all that's gone on for both Amanda and myself, I felt it was a night worth celebrating! And so it was!  15 of Amanda's closest friends along with their families came to our house for some alcohol-free champagne, appetizers, and photos.  It did my heart good looking at all of these wonderful young people (who I adore) looking all so spiffy and grown up.  I always have loved having the kids around and feel like they are part of our family!

I have treatments tomorrow and Monday and so I am flying to New York for a family bar-mitzvah with Amanda and coming home with Jonah. Poor Jordan is driving both ways but at least he has one kid and his mom with him for company!  Upon my return, I will continue my attempt to stop and notice roses as well as smell them.  

So, again, thanks to everyone for all of your love, support and even lasagne from a little lasagne elf! I appreciate all that you do!

xo M

1 comment:

  1. You sound amazing as usual and a real inspiration while going through tough times. Miss you at the office. Cindy