It Was Such A "NON" Thing...


Despite my very best efforts to be tough going through radiation treatment, I have my moments where it's just a tad too much.  My brain, which only picks select moments to work, sometimes doesn't pick the right moments to work.  Yesterday was the perfect example of this.

Let me start at the beginning of this story so you know what I'm talking about.  4 weeks ago, in the early days of my radiation saga (hmmm.... calling it the radiation saga kind of makes it seem glamorous!)  a bright purple vein appeared on my chest (which was not very glamorous!).  It started on the left side, directly above my heart and ran across my breastbone to my right breast where it looked like a balloon full of purple ink had exploded.  It caused no discomfort, but just didn't look quite right.  So, I mentioned it to the doctor who did not brush it off, but said that he was "okay" with it and "not concerned".  Hey, who am I to question, while being a feisty cancer warrior, I am no doctor?  Just because I've spent countless hours gazing at this monstrosity in the mirror does not mean that it is anything to be worried about.

I am not sure that my lovely team of radiation angels (They are angels, each and every one of them are as sweet and lovely as can be.  Can you tell I love them?) agreed with the doctor, because we've had many conversations about this lovely purple splash across my chest.  Just about everyone, except for the guy that changes the light bulbs at Florida Hospital Cancer Center has had a chance to glance at this phenomenon.  And over and over again, I was told that it was nothing to worry about.  I've gotta admit, I had a hard time accepting that, there is no way that something so freaky looking could be nothing to worry about, right?  

Fast forward to yesterday.  Monday, September 15, 2014.  I report for my normal radiation appointment, and zip right through it despite the fact that I am starting to resemble a seriously overcooked egg- let's just say I am no longer "over easy".  Again, the radiation angels stand over me looking at the purple phenomenon and before I know it, I find myself sporting one of those lovely blue hospital gowns, you know the ones that are "air conditioned" in the back.  At least it was blue.

Enter Nurse Mel and Dr. Dill (who has finally decided to return from what I will just say was way too long of a vacation.), and guess what?  They wanna check out the purple phenomenon.  My heart sinks to my feet, and squeezes itself out of my toes as Dr. Dill tells Nurse Mel to get my plastic surgeon on the phone, and Nurse Mel exclaims "I've never seen anything like that before!".  (Oh yeah, I feel so much better!)  Suddenly my stomach is doing back flips and I've got a headache capable of shutting down an entire city.  OH NO!  SERIOUSLY, THIS CANNOT BE GOOD!

There are some things that should be approached delicately with a cancer patient, and some things that just should never be said.  One of the things that should never be said is "I need you to go now."!  The last time I was told that I needed to "go now", I spent half a day with my boobs in a vice only to be told before I could sit down that I definitely had cancer.  So, I'm a little sensitive about this phrase.  It most certainly does not evoke warm and fuzzy feelings in this cancer patient.

It's important to mention that I seriously had to pee.  The 3 cups of coffee that I had consumed before leaving the house were catching up with me.  But, I was so upset, and needed to find out what was wrong with me before I could take the time to pee- some things just have to wait. So, I jumped in the car, and attempted to back out of my parking space.  It would have been a lot more successful if I had turned the car on and put it into gear, but I was so upset that it took me a few minutes to figure out what was wrong.

The 35 minute drive made my brain kick in and the anxiety got seriously intolerable. Where the heck is the wine when ya need it?

Brain: You know this isn't good.
Me: No shit, Einstein.  Thanks a lot for mentioning that to me.  I hadn't really thought about it.
Brain: This could be really bad.  I mean, really bad.
Me: Yep, already know that. 
Brain: They might have to remove that expander.  Maybe it's infected.
Me: Oh, really?  I never thought of that.  Thanks for mentioning it, I feel a lot better now.
Brain: I'm just trying to help.
Me: And you picked this moment, why?  Funny, when I needed help backing out of a parking space under duress you were nowhere to be found.
Brain: You should be able to back out of a parking space on your own by now.  You're like 40 years old.  Maybe there is something wrong with your heart.
Me: Oh gosh, why didn't I think of that?  Seriously?  Have I told you lately that I hate you?

I decide that maybe if I jump in the fast lane and attempt to drive 90 MPH, my brain will shut off.  I was bound and determined to turn the voices in my head off, or at least turn them down a notch or two.  Weaving in and out of Orlando traffic takes tons of concentration and leaves little room for an over-active imagination.

I arrive at the parking garage in record time, leaving a lot of Orlando drivers dazed and confused as they are not used to seeing vehicles moving over 40 MPH, even on the highway.  It would figure that the parking garage is bursting at the seems,  the only spaces left aren't large enough for a golf cart, and in case you haven't figured it out yet, I do not drive a golf cart.  I zip around corners, tires screeching praying that there isn't anyone coming the other way.  (For some reason, when they built this shiny new parking garage, they forgot to include enough room for 2 way traffic.)  5 floors later, I spot a parking place, or what I thought was a parking space, but no, it was a dead end.  No wonder there's no one parked there.  Seriously?  God intervened at this point, and I spotted a Corolla vacating a parking spot- at the speed of frozen molasses, but vacating none the less.   Breath... GOOSEFRABBA! GOOSEFRABBA! GOOSEFRABBA!

I don't know why I was in hurry.  And I really don't know why I didn't take the time to pee.  I paid for this dearly.  I spent the next 45 minutes wearing a paper shirt that didn't fit quite right and dancing around like a 3 year old while trying to calm myself down.  Enter Dr. Peters just as I was contemplating making a run down the hallway for the bathroom.  "Let's see!"  He didn't have to ask me twice.  He cocks his head to check out the purple phenomenon, and pokes at my right exapander, twice.  He finally says "It's okay, I thought it was going to be much worse!".  I am guessing that the expander responded properly.  I am relieved to hear that this is more than likely caused by tissue and blood vessel regeneration, as the tissue and blood vessels that had been there for the first 39 years of my life had found there way into a hazardous waste pile back in June.

There has been a slight change in plan due to this recent development.  I have 4 more regular radiation treatments left, and then I am scheduled for 5 "BOOST" treatments which were to be aimed at my scars on both breasts.  Seeing as how the right breast is somewhat delicate, we are going to forgo the boost treatments on the right breast so that we don't risk damaging it.  

I spent the evening last night attempting to return my heart to a healthy rate and smothering my upper body with coconut oil which made me irresistible to the boxers....  I cannot stand feeling like me skin is about to crack right in half.

My body just doesn't handle stress well anymore, unfortunately.  I was very thankful last night for my sweet, adoring little boxers who refused to leave my side and my good friend M who most certainly always makes pulling me down off the ladder look very easy!

Thank God yesterday is over with! I hope I never have another Monday like that one ever again!






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