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.
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. Surprise....you 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 :(
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.