Thursday, July 21, 2011

An Unexpected day...

Today did not go anything like I thought it would and I can not say it went well.
I knew I was going to meet with the radiologist this morning. My understanding  was to go talk about whether or not more radiation could be done to the chest area again. I had some questions ready to ask, thought I would come home, share with Chris and consider what to do.
Part one; I get in my car to leave and it is dead! It sputters a little and dies. I leave it half in the driveway, and covering the sidewalk. I jump into Matt's car, whose door does not open and you have to crawl across the seat to open the drivers door. Of course this happens the one day I decide to wear a skirt! Off to a great start..
Part two; After more than a year since I last walked through the doors to radiology, it was not a great feeling being back. Everyone is super nice but I really didn't want to see them again.
Now I am taken upstairs to have vitals checked, BP 155/100. Not good! Nurse gets me some water and has me take some medicine for anxiety. Next, the doctor comes up, has me change to the lovely gown and looks at my "rash" which is really the tumor. After we discuss when all this began, how it's changed, etc. he gets a sharpie, yup a marker and draws all over me. He is now marking where the radiation will be. It is a big area and I look something like Matt did when he was 3 and colored himself with markers. I know this is all a normal part of the procedure, I just wasn't mentally ready for it to happen today.
We talk some more, I try to ask the obvious question, "what happens if I get too much radiation". Some of the answer wasn't so bad, some was awful. He sends me downstairs to have more prep done so I will be ready to begin treatment. I am still in my lovely gown, my shirt is in my purse and I am on the elevator with strangers. Door opens to more people getting on, how embarrassing!
Then, there I am once again lying on that table, trying to hold it together while I am prepped for 25 more rounds of radiation. I am told they need a picture of me ( my face) for my file. I stood there thinking "Am I supposed to smile? Because I really don't want to. But I did.
Part Three;
I am asked if I take Xeloda along with my Tykerb. Xeloda is an oral chemotherapy usually taken with Tykerb. Also used to increase the effects of the radiation treatment, resulting in what one hopes are better results. I tell him no, I have not.He calls and speaks to my Onc. They think I have had it in the past but I know I have not. I don't think he trusted my memory. You don't forget if you have had chemo.
So, my two doctors decide the radiation combined with the chemo for 5 weeks is the best thing to do. are also starting chemo!! Ummm, Can I work, can I teach, can I be out in the sun/heat?? Answer, for a few more weeks. There goes the dagger right through my heart :(
Part 4;
So,I climb back in the car,call Chris and loose it. When I get home I try hard to keep my mind on my upcoming vacation. I go to the airline site to make sure I know all the rules and regulations for "carry on" bags. While there I run into this. Because I am a breast cancer survivor, I am advised to fill this out and present when I go through the screening procedure at the airport so I can be taken somewhere discreet if I have to have a "pat down" and they discover a prosthesis. "health condition, disability, medical device"! Ouch, those words stung!

Now, I realize these choices are mine to make and I will be thinking, researching, getting advice and most importantly praying for discernment.
Needless to say, this was an "unexpected day" in which I feel everything has just flipped upside down.


Better is Possible said...

No words. Just prayer and a part of my heart.

Brenna said...

Sweet Elayne - thank you for sharing your heart. One who has never walked the road you are on, it helps to understand how you feel about going through certain things. You are an amazing woman and I know you will keep the faith. God has a work to do in you precious one and HE will be the one to bring it to completion! You are a blessing :) Love you and praying for you!

Retired Knitter said...

I can see how hard this is. Your play by play really brings it home to someone who has not walked in your shoes.

Vacation my bring some distraction. You are running right?

Prayer and meditations.

Anonymous said...

Elayne, I'm so sorry.

Dianne Duffy said...


I'm so sorry you have to make these unfair choices. Sometimes it seems as if they're saying, "do you want to die THIS way or do you want to die THAT way?"
I just want to say, "I don't like these choices. Where's door number three?"

Have a good vacation. Try not to think.

Dianne Duffy

Kim said...

Rats...don't you hate days like that? Vacation? South Dakota so we can meet? :) I just know that if we went out for coffee the hours would go very fast.
Seriously, though, I am so sorry that you had a day filled with more potholes than roses. Although I have only had radiation once, I did have it on both sides and hated it as I had to lay on the table with my hands behind my head, chest/breast dignancy at all.
Prayers continue your way!

Maryann said...

I am so sorry. The airline thing surprised me, I flew in January and don't remember having to do this (I did carry a script from my plastic surgeon stating I had expanders in though)This whole thing doesn't leave you much dignity, does it. You will continue to be in my prayers, hope you have a wonderful vacation, that God will use the time to refresh you and your husband

Elayne said...

From FB friends & Family;

Emy Spaeth Storms Oh Elayne, all that is so heavy. I lost it with the elevator ride. Dr. Bessor on World News recently talked a few points about a patients rights and one of them was to only have to wear a gown for exam/procedure otherwise we have the right to wear clothes to talk to the doctor (and walk out the door?!) I'm so sorry it all went so horribly. Praying for a much better day today. I love you!

Julie Witsen I hate when u think ur just there to talk n they start that day for something small I'm sooo sorry my heart go out to u but shake it off n get ready for ur trip n let all of us keep praying let us worry just have fun love ya long time friend

Jessica Uretsky I'm sorry.

Nancy Despres I'm so sorry.

Richard Minich Oh Elayne! I am so sorry. WE will keep praying for you. God Bless and keep you.

Ellen Baskin Fiesinger I am so sorry that the medical community treated you like a number today. You and every other patient (client) deserve better. I will be praying for you as always. I am Dallas next week from Monday until Sunday. Trying to hook up with Harold, maybe we can all get together.

Cindy L Minich Praying for you. So sorry you have to go through all this. Love ya!

Xilly said...

Continuing praying for you!

Racn4acure said...

Hello my friend. I am just now back from vacation and checking blogs again. My heart is heavy at your news, and I am thinking of you, and sending a little prayer your way. Art


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