Here is an explanation about radiation "boost" from www.breastcancer.org.
External radiation boost
During the final week or so of the 5- to 7-week radiation regimen, you will also receive a supplemental dose of radiation targeted directly to the area around your surgery, where the cancer was. This dose is called the "boost" and is usually delivered in a method similar to your regular radiation. The boost dose will be calculated such that each day you’ll get a slightly higher amount of radiation than you did for the first few weeks of your regimen. A different treatment field is used for the boost dose, so a separate planning and set-up session is usually required before the boost radiation is started.
Most people get their boost dose with a special form of external radiation called electrons. This form is used because the dose can be targeted specifically to a small area near the skin surface, sparing the tissue underneath.
Before the "boost" my treatment time lasted about 20 minutes - now it takes about 10-15 minutes.
To some of the ladies in the "gown room" I've been referring to my daily dose of radiation as time in the tanning bed. My skin has turned pretty red. It hasn't peeled, I've been using Aquaphor as directed by Dr. Perkins. Well, because I'm very diligent about putting Aquaphor on my skin the lines that Terrence, Neil and Adela (Radiation Therapists) draw on me keep rubbing off as does the tape they put over the lines. Neil finally brought out this stuff called Castellani's. It's a type of paint that is used on skin where there is too much moisture. Yesterday he begged me to be careful so that the Castellani's doesn't wear off - they need my lines to stay. Everyday I get a touch up.
I'm still doing my Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and wrapping my arm in the compression bandages to prevent Lymphedema. I've been making great progress in Physical Therapy. Ron (Physical Therapist) and I have many wonderful conversations about life and what this journey is bringing into my life.
|Kelly's Dad George and me|
One day last week my friend Holly came down to MDA with me for my treatment and then we went and had a great lunch. It's nice to have someone come along - especially for the drive. From my driveway to my regular parking spot in the parking garage at MDA it is 33 miles. What a blessing that I live so close to such an amazing cancer treatment hospital - and not to mention that it is one of the best!!
|Holly and me|
|Mondie and me (breaking HIPPA rules)|
Last Thursday I got to meet with my friend Mondie, who is about 8 months ahead of me on this journey. She lives in the Austin area so it was nice to spend some time with her. Back in the winter, when we first introduced ourselves to each other it was in the waiting room for the lab. We were both waiting to have our blood drawn. Her friendship is a blessing!!
|Lee Ellen and me|
When I write these blogs I always feel like I'm leaving so many things out. Everyday I see so many miracles. I hear so many miracle stories from fellow cancer survivors.
|Judy and me|
My friend Judy (we met in the "gown room") graduated from radiation last week. I got to watch her ring the bell. My turn is next week on the 7th.
Please pray for Judy as she just found out she now has thyroid cancer.
This coming Saturday is the Houston Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The Ladybug Warriors Team has 22 team members now. There are some team members that I haven't met yet, I'm looking forward to meeting them. We will be walking the 5K. I'm so excited! I will be proudly walking down Survivor lane. Thank you all for your support!!
I'm going to sign off for now. Like I said, I feel like I'm forgetting something.
Oh yeah, Kelli measured my hair a couple of days ago 1 5/8" (it's grown 1/2" in 2 weeks). Very exciting!!!
Pray those prayers of thanksgiving that I've come this far. Look for Joy in your life everyday!!!
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for me and my family!!
Love and Blessings from the Top of my Heart,