My radiation oncology appointment was mildly confusing today.
I think at first she didn’t want to be tasked with telling me I was metastatic? I am not sure if she was aware of the conversations I have had with my oncologist (which could be confusing since I haven’t had an appointment since my CT scan, but we have had good communication through everything so far, which is one thing I appreciate about my oncologist <3). Maybe she thought I had different expectations from radiation than I did. I am just not sure. I felt like we were on different wavelengths. My mom also saw why I felt like things were off, but I guess it seems to be the case when I communicate with my radiation oncologist. I really like her, I trust her, but our communication seems to be stifled (she did at least giggle when I told my mom I would be getting my tatts when they set up my dry run).
I told her I had the report, but hadn’t seen the actual PET/CT. When it was time to look at the PET/CT my heart sunk into my stomach a little bit. Looking at the actual scan is different, words are less jarring than images of where the “uptake” of radioactive glucose is in your body. Christmas tree Mandi, right there in color on screen. We focused on the spots on the spine, as that is where she would be treating. The spot in my upper back didn’t just glow, it was NEON. Having looked at my scans from January I know what a non-glowing scan looks like. I think we all have this place in the back of our minds, that it will turn out to be a mistake, something else… anything! It is harder to do that when you see it right there on screen. It becomes more real.
We walked through the fact that radiation is not being done to kill the cancer, merely to decrease my pain. I asked if it would actually cause pain, my radiologist explained that it wouldn’t, but that it could take a few weeks before I felt the benefits of the radiation to my back. They also have two options, one that takes two weeks (every day for two weeks), and one that can be done in one day. She didn’t seem to recommend the one day version… but one day seems kind of nice… My mom asked about my rib, but they won’t be radiating my rib, as that doesn’t seem to be the source of my pain.
They don’t normally do chemo and radiation at the same time, but my oncologist didn’t sound like she expected to get me started on chemo just yet (unless things change based on my biopsy and now that we have seen where I have active lymph nodes outside of where I have tumors). Her main concern was the bone first (something like Zometa, which makes bone less of a happy place for cancer to live) and switching me to something other than Tamoxifen if/once they verify that my cancer is still estrogen positive. Which we discussed… we can always change the plan when I speak to my oncology office about the biopsy results this week.
We scheduled me for my dry run, tattooing and form making on Tuesday before my oncology appointment.
Oh!!! After my appointment, I got a phone call that I won the LIVE for Pink grant from Downeast! The PR rep told me I was nominated by lots of people (she told me who hehe, thanks Lakshmi, Haley, Joan, Jenny, Kerry, Michael, Shane, Dallas, Gillian, Amy and Justin!). I will receive a $1,500 grant and a wardrobe and gift package valued at $1,000! Made my day! Yeeehooo! The money is going into our “Europe trip fund.” 🙂 They didn’t tell me to not tell people, so hooorah!.