Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Radiation Therapy 3 of 30

I really believed that today I would be able to talk food. I was even trying out titles in my head earlier this afternoon. As it turns out, I do have something to report on radiation, so the other stuff will wait another day.

Today began as normal as any other. I have to admit though, that I did think of the Tough Bald Chicks a lot; some were having chemo for the last time, yesterday. I was reminded of the pain in my arm on the trip home, I remembered the lovely staff in daycare and I also remembered the anguish of the husband as he braced for absent-me. So, while I was happy to be past that, I knew that there were others in that position. I wish them a speedy recovery and am very excited for them to have beaten chemo.

I felt pretty lazy today. I'd like to blame that on the weather; cold and windy.

Anyway, I had a late afternoon physio appointment prior to my rads. As I have come to expect of all the staff now, the physio was so kind. I discussed, with her, the concerns I had regarding my swollen arm. She measured strategic points of both of my arms and saw a significant difference. This difference warranted weekly appointments and a sleeve and a glove. It's "prophylactic" she told me. Even though I only had four lymph nodes removed, even though I had exercised and even though I had incurred no injury (even that as small as an insect bite) to my arm, the physio was concerned that my arm was moving towards symptoms of lymphedema. And, it is likely to get worse during radiation. I will certainly look the patient with this grande bandage-type accessory. Fortunately, perhaps, for me, there was a mix up and I will not receive my cool fashion item until Monday. So, I have a weekend of freedom before I don the all-day wear. Yes, it wasn't news that I wanted to hear. But, it's no big deal really.

After the physio, I went straight through to my rads. I didn't have to wait today. I was seen to straight away. I only got one stitch in. I was looking forward to doing a little knitting. Oh well, I have 27 more chances at that... When I get into the teens I think I'll be pretty excited. Come on thirty treatments, I want to celebrate the end of this chapter.

It's the third day of my Whole30. I was really hungry this afternoon; before my physio/rads appointment. So, I made an extra meal. But, I really haven't had any cravings yet for the off-limits foods. That's real good. Having meals that fill me up are the key, I reckon, to keeping to the regime. Anyway, this was my food journey (yum!):

Breakfast: Peach and Pecan Scramble

Lunch: Leftover rissoles, salad, eggs and mayo

Extra meal: Fried chicken and tomatoes

Snack: A few almonds

Dinner: Meatballs in bolognaise with broc

Snack: Coconut bark

I learnt two things today, at the hospital. A study is currently being conducted on the benefits of doing weighted exercise while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The study is leaning towards the result that doing weighted exercise is not a bad thing. The second new piece of information, I gained today, was that patients who experience fatigue are actually encouraged to walk. These two things are now a justification for me to keep exercising. Yeah, yeah, I won't push it but...I will exercise (even if it's light) in order to fight off the fatigue (and because I want to *folds arms and stomps feet*).

I forgot to mention, in Monday's post, a little moment in child one's Spanish class. At the beginning of the lesson, the teacher asked the children what they were doing after class. It was soon my child's turn to answer. Here is how it went:

Teacher: And what are you doing after class?
Child #1: Going to the hospital.
Teacher: Do you know someone who is sick?
Child #1: Yes. Mum. She is having radiation. She has had chemo.

I felt really sad at that. I don't know why though. I questioned the husband, perhaps he could explain why I just had such a pain in my heart. There is understanding there, we had wanted that. But, why did I feel upset about it? I don't know. Anyway, the hope is that in a year or two, child number one will simply remember spending lots of time with friends and family. And not, the occasional visit to the hospital and certainly not the week we got the diagnosis.

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