Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Radiation Update

I met with the radiation oncologist and it looks like I will be starting this treatment next week. Basically, she said that 1) because that area had been previously radiated, it's hard for the chemo to get access to the cancer cells, so the radiation, as a targeted local treatment, may have better luck gaining access to them; and 2) if the red rash is indeed cancer and it's not receding, there is a chance that it might grow, which means that if I waited longer, the radiation field would have to be bigger and that is not what we want at the moment.

In terms of the side effects that I feared, it was her opinion and understanding that the reason why the open wound is not healing is probably because of the cancer cells. So, if we radiate it, it might actually help the skin heal quicker because we kill the buggers. In other words, she didn't feel that I'd have a bigger open wound, but it might actually help heal it.

Also, it's really a crapshoot in terms of whether or not I would have capsular contraction and lose the implant. The risk is already there because the tissue has already been radiated. I think what she says is that we don't know, really, whether more radiation would increase the chances of losing the implant. In her experience, she has not seen a woman lose her implant from radiation. Although, I forgot to ask her exactly how many other women with implants she has treated in the past.

I am feeling really really raw today - just really beat up. Can't really go into details as the individuals involved read the blog and I do want to remain friends with the individuals... suffice it to say that I'm hurt and disappointed. Also found out yesterday that a big grant proposal wasn't funded and that was on top of two other small grant proposals that didn't get funded. So, while I can handle one or even three of these little disappointments, they all seem to be piling up today - then put radiation as the icing on the cake and you can understand why I just need some hugs tonight.

My son is with me tonight - I need to go pay him some attention and get some more hugs from him, too. Have a good night, folks.


Carver said...

Dear Dee,

I'm sorry you are getting hit with so much all at one. I'm sending good thoughts and hugs out for you. Take good care of yourself, Carver

Dee said...

Hi Carver,
Thank you! I will email you later when I get a chance. I'm doing better today . . . was able to talk to a couple of friends, which helped quite a bit. I hope you're doing well, too. I really appreciate your support.

jeanne said...

Oh, Dee. It sounds like one of those "shovel up the side of the head" kind of times. If you want a safe (and far away) sounding board . . . say the word. nyc jeanne

ps The funding proposals. Stating the obvious, but: if we KNEW that the 18th (or 27th or whatever) application was going to get funded/submissions was going to get published it would make it a helluva lot easier to get through the first 17 times. I'm sorry about that.

Dee said...

Hi NYC Jeanne,
Yes, it was a "shovel upside the head" kind of day, but I'm doing better. I'm learning how to let the emotions out while at the same time, seeking support from friends and family. I've been fortunate that they've been there for me and allow me my occasional pity parties! I also know now that it's good to have distractions, too. I hope you're doing well!