Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Coloring meditation and reconstruction news

I had my second radiation treatment today - stil uneventful. I noted last night, though, that the skin under the implant was redder. My rad onc said that they actually want to see red skin from the radiation because it means that the radiation is hitting its target.

And, my title yesterday "5 Million Down, 5 Million to Go" had to do with the idea that each radiation treatment kills only about 50% of the cells. I have no idea how many of the little buggers are running around there, but radiation cut it in half yesterday and half again today. 10 million seemed like a good round number. So, yesterday, we got rid of 5 million, but then some of those divided in the last day, so say there were 5.5 million (just guessing) today, radiation got rid of half, so I'm at about 2.75 million already! Or, at least, one hopes. Time will tell.

Also, because of the lymphedema under the tissue expander, I got this idea last week that perhaps the skin punch biopsy had poked a little hole in the implant and that when I used my arm repetitively, it was causing some of the fluid to leak out of the tissue expander into that area and causing more swelling. So, I saw my plastic surgeon today and he said that, no, it seemed fine because he thought that the implant would be a lot flatter.

My plastic surgeon did say, however, that now that I'm getting radiation again to that same area, that I am no longer a good candidate for an implant. Instead, he would recommend a pedicle (I think) flap procedure where they would take some of my tissue (probably from my belly) and bring it up under the skin. He thought I would still have an implant on the left. They won't match exactly, but I'd look more or less normal under my clothes. In terms of timing, it would probably be months before that happened, but that we could do the surgery locally. After radiation, he'd probably want to wait at least a month before doing surgery. I asked him how that might work if I still had an open wound and he did say that since he's been here, he was involved in one surgery where the woman had a rather large skin ulceration and cancer in her chest wall. He said that they were only going to try to salvage what they could, but that the end result was better than expected. I think what he told me is that if I still had an open wound, they might go ahead with surgery. I guess that means I won't worry about these 5+ pounds I've gained since taking Xeloda!! Maybe the flap procedure will take care of it for me! : )

I colored the mandala again today -it's kinda cool that they keep all the supplies there for patients to use. Interestingly, after my treatment today, they said the nurse and the dietitian wanted to see me, so while I waited, I colored some more. Then, the nurse took my blood pressure - 116/62! Really good, huh? Then, I had to go to the wound care nurse and then she took my blood pressure again. Last time, her automatic cuff hurt, so I was thinking about that . . . and my blood pressure jumped to 120/82. Yikes! I'd also walked up the stairs about 10 minutes before that. (Note: I took a picture of it the day after I posted it and decided to put it here instead of in a new post.)

Also, I think I concluded after last night that I'm not quite ready to date again. I thought I might be ready, but my heart really isn't in it. So, while I'm not going to shut down my profile on eharmony, I will not also pursue communication with any new matches. It's okay . . . I still need some time to process stuff!


Carver said...

Glad you got in some more coloring today. I think that's such a good idea and may be why you're blood pressure was so good. I also like the idea of you guessing at how many of the nasty cells are getting blasted with the radiation. I can see why the timing on dating might not be great for you right now. Makes sense to wait until it feel right for you.

Carver said...

I must have missed the mandala although I posted a comment here. It's very beautiful. I love it!

Dee said...

I pulled a fast one on you . . . I posted the mandala a couple of days later, not on the day I wrote the original post! Sorry about that.