Sunday, September 19, 2010

More than halfway through...

I've completed 19 radiation treatments.  I have 14 to go!!  I feel great!  I am getting fairly red.  And I am more wiped out than usual.  But I don't want to complain.

I've become one of the senior girls in the "gown room".  On Monday I'll be able to say I'm in my 5th week.  There are some new girls.  Some have just completed 2 treatments and some just completed their first week.

It is such a blessing to live here in Houston where MD Anderson is.  Many of the girls are coming in from out of the city, out of state and even out of the country.  One of the girls is from Peru and she's only 24 years old.

Ron and me
Physical therapy is going well too.  Ron is giving me many tools on preventing Lymphedema and how to manage swelling.  My numbers have remained stable the last 2 weeks.  I've been trying to be a good patient.  Working on my arm stretching exercises as well as Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and wrapping my arm with the compression bandages.  I was fitted for my compression sleeve and should be getting that in the next 2 weeks.

I'm trying really hard to avoid things that cause swelling.  Such as sodium, red meat, being out in the heat (very hard in a place like Houston, Texas), wearing bug spray to prevent mosquito bites.  I'm amazed at how much I actually use my left arm considering I'm right hand dominant.

I am experiencing some tightness in my skin from the radiation.  Dr. Skoracki (plastic surgeon) and his assistant Gordon are very pleased with how well I'm taking care of my skin.  A week after I'm done with radiation they will begin adding fluid to my tissue expander.

Great Day Houston
Tiffany and me
Many great things have happened since my last blog.  I finally got to meet Tiffany in person.  She's my new friend that was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer just as I had.  I have another new friend that is also a breast cancer survivor -- her name is Tricia.  We got to ride in together to the "Great Day Houston" show.  We also were part of the Houston Komen group of women that taped a public service announcement for the October 2nd "Komen Race for the Cure".  I also got hang out in the green room with Molly and her beautiful sisters and Mom.  And I was given a behind the scenes tour of the KHOU newsroom/studio.

My Radiation Therapists (Terrence, Neil and Adela) continue to make me laugh and they take great care of me.  Dr. Perkins (Radiation Oncologist) is pleased with how treatment is coming along.  I've been making more new friends in the "gown room".  Everyone's story of their cancer journey is so amazing!!
Terrence, me, Adela and Neil

Kelli measured my hair the other night.  It's 1 1/8 inches long.  Not very long, but I have hair!!!  I've decided to no longer wear a wig or a hat.  It's very freeing!!  Some people may stare but it really doesn't bother me.  It doesn't bother the kids either (they watch to see if anyone stares).

Kelli and I got to have a girl's only weekend, while the boys were off hunting.  We had such a wonderful time!  Movies, dinner out, dinner in, going shopping, staying up late, sleeping in.  It was just great!!!

So we continue to be blessed!  Very blessed!  Please keep those prayers coming.  This week please pray for my medical team, minimal side effects from radiation and continue to pray that Lymphedema stays away.

Thanks for continuing to follow my journey and for being part of it.  Y'all's prayers continue to bless me!!

I love you!!

Love and Blessings from the top of my Heart,


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