Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Radiation

My first radiation was today and it was scary but I got through it by focusing on the visualization of white light. It was over in about 2 minutes. The fun part was meeting the other women who were also there getting radiation for breast cancer around the same time.

There are so many different types of breast cancer. One woman I talked to had a 2cm tumor, stage 1, a lumpectomy and then was getting radiation to her lymph nodes because they found microscopic cells in there. They also gave her the option of having chemo or not and she opted not to. I didn't see anyone else today who had a mastectomy - just lots of lumpectomies. They might have to get longer radiation than I do. Anyway, it will be fun talking to them all everyday over the next 6 weeks.

It seemed like we were all so hungry to hear someone else's story. Especially if they'd already experienced what we were anticipating having to go through in the future. It felt like we are all so in the dark and so isolated. I guess going to a support group would have helped me with this. But after going to that one at the beginning, I decided I didn't want to hear about someone who had another kind of cancer not getting results from her chemo. It was too upsetting for me.

My sister in care called me a couple nights ago and I got to complain to her about my depression after the surgery. I've been somewhat puzzled by it and not sure how to deal with it. Mostly, I've not been able to understand it and wondering why I couldn't get beyond it like I had been able to before while going through chemo. She said something to me that settled me about it and explained the reason behind it so that I was able to set it aside and feel more upbeat today. She said that when she had gotten to the end of her treatment, she'd been so worn down from the length of the treatment and all the different things she'd had to endure that she just felt weary rather than elated to be at the end.

That made so much sense to me. Look at all I've had to go through since October. And it's not over yet. Six weeks of radiation and then Tamoxifen and how will that effect my body? It will be nearly a year since diagnosis when I finally go on the Tamoxifen. This treatment of mine seems like it will never end. At least I've got the worst part over with.

On the bright side, my ortho arm sleeves are feeling better lately. I'm still wearing them at 9:30pm and don't feel like ripping them off. So I'm definitely healing. The swelling is going down.

And the dancing has been working well so far. I've got 2 hours or so of songs on my dancing playlist and have been enjoying the exercise. I even get to stretch my arms by swinging them from side to side to the beat. You would have enjoyed seeing me hopping and jumping with my inner child to Davy Jones singing, "hold on girl wait a little bit longer, hold on girl be a little bit stronger - hold on girl, help is on it's way..." How appropriate.

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