Saturday, May 31, 2014

A bad day

Just two more treatments. Just two more treatments. Just two more treatments....

I keep telling myself that. It's not helping.

Woke up to a blood-spotted nightgown. The area under my arm that was badly blistered broke open in the middle of the night and started bleeding. The area under my breast/on my chest wall is open, bleeding, seeping, oozing and is so painful I can hardly stand it. The doc said I can take a Norco every two hours....I'm eating them like jellybeans and it barely keeps the pain to a dull roar.

I'm gonna say something shocking. If I EVER get breast cancer again, I believe I'd have to think long and hard about doing radiation. It's been that bad. Yea, I know I'm a big pussy when it comes to pain, anyway. And I know that this may be saving my life. But this....nobody prepared me for this
I've tried every lotion and potion that the docs recommended. I've stalked out the breast cancer discussion boards to see what other women have had success with. I've tried skin-protecting sprays and gel pads. I've used lidocaine cream, aloe, silvadene. I lay in a dark bedroom, flat on my back, holding my breast up to keep skin from touching skin because it feels like I'm laying a flat iron on my skin when it does touch. Some things help...for a couple minutes.
I have to drug myself with a pain pill and a couple of Advil PM to get even a few hours of sleep. Even then, if I try to roll over in my sleep, my boob screams at me, "Nuh UH! If you can't sleep the whole night without moving, in one position, then you're not gonna sleep at ALL, sister!" It's really kinda bizarre. With the killer fatigue, you'd think I'd be able to sleep easily. Nope.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have found a doc that would have done a total mastectomy and just gotten it over with. I'd have been healed and on my way by now.
My surgeon, brilliant she may be....but she does not believe in excising any more normal breast tissue than absolutely necessary. She would not have done a mastectomy, even if that's what I wanted.

And I suppose I understand that. I'd understand it more if I was 30 years old and had a great body to begin with. But the thing is, I'm damn near 60 years old. My breast will never be "normal" again. It will always look dark and scarred from both the surgery and the radiation burns.  It will probably become hard and may become slightly deformed from the radiation. And it's not like my breast defines "me", anyway. I don't need to have breasts to make
I really thought that the last four or five weeks would have gone by fast. They haven't. I honestly feel like I've been doing this for months. I'm just so thankful that I was able to go to my granddaughter's graduation before it got really bad. If the graduation would have been this week, there's no way I could have made the trip. 

Two more treatments....just two more....and then three or four more weeks of healing. I hope.


At 5:49 AM , Blogger pamibe said...

Oh, my God. This is useful information but the price paid to discover it is too much.

Praying that you breeze through the final two treatments and the pain becomes something you only remember...

At 6:43 AM , Blogger Wil said...

I hope so, too.

I always swore that I hoped I would have enough sense to 'just say No!' if I ever have to have open heart surgery again. Add radiation to the mix? No freaking way. Now my diabetic neuropathy is kicking and I find myself waking at night wondering if I am going to be able to wait fifteen more months for Medicare eligibility. You really are so much braver than I am.

At 8:32 AM , Blogger Pammy said...

Pam, the info may be only useful to me. Not everyone will have the same experience as me. Some women I know have pretty much breezed through it. But the radiation doc did warn me....he was worried about me being bigger busted and the strong possibility of burns under the breast. But they really weren't giving me many options...he said if I didn't have radiation, it would surely come back and then it would'd he put it?....I believe he said "fatal". So there ya go....

At 8:35 AM , Blogger Pammy said... ain't bravery. I was already too far into this to back out....or I might have. The thing is, it's sneaky...the first three weeks or so were fairly painless, except for the fatigue. This has really all just exploded in the last week or so. They told me that would happen, too....they just weren't real specific.


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