El Fin

Yay! Done! This is probably not the type of certificate parents dream about their children earning.

El fin is Spanish, it translates to end; aim, goal, purpose.

I have written probably 3 or 4 blog posts this past week that I haven’t posted. Some were angry, some were scared and some were sad. This past week my sense of humor has gone out the door, I can’t wait for it to come back, it is sorely missed! I guess I have been writing a bit more for myself lately and never quite posted them. I was trying to articulate what was swimming around in my head and ended up keeping those thoughts for myself for now. I will probably use some of those posts on a later date when I feel like more things are behind me and emotions are a little less raw.

Although radiation has been much easier in several ways than chemo, it truly comes with its own sets of challenges. Honestly I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

The shiny stuff is the aquaphor. The armpit is healed, the rest isn't.

Today was the end of radiation treatment for me. What I expected to be an exciting and happy moment died quickly as I burst into huge crocodile tears. For some reason pain and exhaustion leaves me with a complete lack of emotional control. The radiation techs wanted to know what was wrong, I admitted that I had had a pretty rough weekend and had hoped I was over the hump and ready to be done. The tech looked at me and told me that it would get a bit worse before it got better (always love to hear that, but I really prefer things to not be sugarcoated). She told me that most of the patients she has spoken with say about 3 weeks after radiation they start to feel a bit more like their old selves.

I met with the doctor (mine was out, so I met with another radiation oncologist due to my little emotional episode). Today I graduated from getting one tiny sheet of Mepilex at a time, to an entire box of Mepilex of my very own. That stuff really is amazing. I have it plastered all over my body. This stuff is $80-$90 a sheet though, yikes.

I am also sad to say, I did not get any of the intended radiation causing superpowers. It wasn’t for lack of trying. I certainly thought the least I could come out with was maybe a little invisibility here or there… but what can I say?

Friday night I started to get deep throbbing pains inside my shoulder and lower neck area. The tendons, muscles, lymph nodes and who knows what else started to really act up. It hurts to hold my head up by the end of the day, everything in there is sore. This is paired with sharp stabbing pains from somewhere between my breast expander and my ribs. Saturday morning I could hardly get out of bed I was so sore. My skin had healed right in my armpit where it was red early on, but the rest of my left side peeled off. You don’t really know where and when it is going to happen – no blisters or sores, the skin just peels off. This is spreading across the entire breast. Where I do appear to have something “blister like” is along my scar area that they did a booster treatment this past week – I can feel it a little bit, but that is where I am fairly numb from surgery. They used a bolus on the scar every day (not the sparkly one, this time I got the rubbery boring one). Considering my doctor hit the majority of my skin about half as hard as she initially planned, I can’t imagine where I would be if things had stayed as planned.

We also recently discovered that pain medication that I had left over from surgery had been stolen. I was saving them for my next surgery or if radiation graduated into the painful zone (which it has graduated into that now, but the pain is very controllable with medication, not that I like being medicated, but I am tired of being in pain – it is that ever interesting debate I have with myself). I didn’t just have them sitting in my medicine cabinet, they were hidden in my closet where few people go. Mike told me to hide them better many times, but I figured they were fine. We had some people treating the house for a sugar ant invasion that could be featured in horror movies (I should have taken pictures, there were on the ceiling, it was crazy!). We think one of the employees of that company took them as they were in the nooks and crannies of our house spraying for bugs. We felt very violated that someone stole something like that right out of our house. I don’t think they knew why I had them, but seriously, who steals pain meds from a cancer patient?

Next week I meet with my oncologist to start Tamoxifen and to check my heart to see if it has improved from the last time they checked it before my surgery. Having radiation on your left side is also a bit riskier for additional heart damage. My fingers are crossed that we see improvement! Today I rest, this weekend, I celebrate!

PS. Mom, don’t freak out I will be fine. <3 you..

Author: Mandi

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