Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another Day At the Office

I had my weekly checkup after radiation today.  Dr. Lotus is on vacation, so her partner filled in for her.  I had met him once, sort of, my first day of treatment.  I was all in my guided position on the radiation table and the techs called him in to check that everything was as it should be.  My head was turned in the opposite direction, towards my right, and he was on my left checking the MacGyver setup of Flopsy.  He introduced himself, but there was only a voice, no face.

"Hello" I thought, "Nice to meet you and this is my left breast."

Flopsy and Mopsy sure get around.

Today he checked my skin, which he said looked very good.  The good news/bad news of that is because my skin is holding out, I will probably not finish treatment until the 14th.  The 7th would have been great, but I don't care, I'm in the home stretch now.

The results of the ultrasound on my right arm were in; no clots or blockage.  Dr. said its probably some inflammation and needs time to heal, and that I may be overcompensating with my right arm on behalf of my left. That was good news. I was worried.

I told him about my sore throat; he said it's hard to tell if it might be a virus coming on, or an actual side effect of the radiation.  There is a portion of the beam that goes into my neck, and some patients do experience trouble with a dry throat or difficulty swallowing.  He said to keep them posted if it gets worse and doesn't turn out to be a cold or something.

I was happy to hear I'd lost more weight this week, last week too!  The major change I've made is how frequently I eat and the portion size.  I eat my dinner on a salad plate or only fill the food to the inside circle of a dinner plate.  I also eat small frequent meals throughout the day.  With very little exercise right now, mainly rolling around or sitting on my exercise ball, the food thing seems to be working.  I lost 2 1/2 pounds last week, and 3 pounds this week.

I will be happy if each and every week for the next several months I can lose even one pound a week.  I don't regard this as a diet.  It's how I will eat from now on.  Lots more fruit and vegetables.  No artificial sweeteners, preservatives or artificial flavors.  A small portion of red meat once a week, if that.  Lots more chicken, turkey, fish and shellfish.  I buy organic beef and chicken whenever possible.  I eat small frequent meals throughout the day.  I primarily shop the outer sections of the grocery store.  I've also been using Stevia, which is a natural sweetener, in my iced tea or cup of tea.  The supplements I take every day are a D3 supplement, omega 3 in the form of krill oil, and Sam-e.  I have also resumed taking a baby aspirin every day, with the ok of Dr. Lotus.  Oh, I almost forgot, I've been drinking alkalized water, courtesy of Naniglenda's Hubby.  It sure tastes clean and fresh, and it can't hurt!

I met a new staff person at the Cancer Center today; she is an experienced  R.N. starting in a newly created job as a navigator for breast cancer patients.  She came to meet me in the patient waiting room, introduced herself and said she had heard about my blog.  She said I'd be her first patient.  I'm looking forward to getting to know her, and giving input and suggestions based on my own experiences.  We chatted a bit before they called me into radiation.  I told her I'd be thrilled to see them change their protocol so that they can diagnosis within a day or two after an abnormal mammogram.  We have the technology; it shouldn't be any other way.  A cancer diagnosis is bad enough, a woman shouldn't have to agonize waiting for it.  Let's start there.

After all that, I headed up Valley to my physical therapy appointment.  Have I told you about the football coach physical therapist with hands of steel?  Whoa.  This was my second appointment with him, kicking my cute butt.  The Coach is working on my neck, shoulders and upper back.  At times, the massage or positioning of his fingers or thumbs into my neck and shoulders is downright painful.  He talks me through it and helps me relax into it, and although sore later, I feel so much better.  He's awful cute, and built like a tank; he's the father of two little girls and his masculine face turns to puppy mush when he talks about them.  He has the most unbelievably strong hands and gentle spirit, and he laughs at my material.

It was a busy day for moi, working this cancer gig.

I can't wait to wrap up 2010 as the year of living dangerously, and welcome 2011 as the year I commit and achieve the best health of my life.

That's my only resolution for the new year, my health, priority one.

Check.

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