Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Treatment Updates

I still haven't started radiation treatments yet. I'm not all that eager to start, but I will do them because there are still a few hard nodules under the skin, which are presumably little tumors growing up from the lymph channels. I may, however, not do the full six weeks, depending on how my body responds to them. When I asked the rad onc about doing less to begin with, her reply was that it would be 3 months before she knew whether or not the radiation treatments worked - in other words, we could do less treatment, but since it takes awhile for everything to settle down, we wouldn't know whether or not there is still cancer there for 3 months. And, if it didn't work, then I'd have to do the radiation treatments again. Medical science just doesn't know or hasn't studied whether doing less would be just as effective as doing more. So, they stick to the standard treatments.

But my thinking is that the medications I'm on - Xeloda and Tykerb - have or are sensitizing the cancer and it will be easier to kill with radiation. I also take a five mushroom pill (3 of which have anticancer properties), melatonin (which has been shown to stop and/or reduce breast tumor growth in mice), and turmeric (shown to be effective for skin disorders and studies have shown it to stop tumor growth in melanoma). So, I guess I think doing a little bit of radiation will tip the balance in my favor - kill the suckers - and then the meds will be able to do their work.

The open skin wound continues to heal. I've recently started putting turmeric paste over a larger area than the original open wound - the skin over the implant was dark - and now the whole area is weeping more. I need to change the dressings twice a day. The way I see it is that my body is expelling the cancer through the fluid drainage.

I don't have as much lymphedema over the right ribs as before - I do some lymph massage everyday - and interestingly, the whole area is fading again. The area was getting redder AND more swollen after I painted my bathroom, so my guess is that a lot of redness is from the lymphedema, not the cancer. But as I said, there are a few little nodules that are little tumors, so I will submit to radiation, too.

Have a good Tuesday everyone!


Carver said...

Hi Dee, I'm glad the open wound continues to heal and the the lymphedema massage is helping too. Hopefully the radiation will nuke the subcutaneous nodules and then the meds will work their magic. I know it must seem endless at times but I'm glad you are seeing some issues improve.

Dee said...

Hi Carver,
You know, I have accepted the fact (somewhat) that my treatment path will stretch out in front of me for a long time. At the moment, though, what seems endless is the work commitments! I should blog about it and get it out of my system!! Thanks for visiting! I hope you're having a good day!