Wednesday, December 22, 2010


18 radiation doses complete, 2 more to go.  I realize I have not been extremely prolific these past few weeks and my only explanation is that I don't have anything new or enlightening to share.  Radiation, while not nearly as mean and nasty as chemo, just stinks.  It's depressing and lonely and 4 times out of 5 I leave in a bad mood.  My skin is itchy and tender, my patience (especially for preschooler meanness) is thin.  I'm in a bit of an angry period.  I feel that this experience has been unjustly bestowed upon me and my boys.  Dan and I have spent the past 8 years trying to help children become better citizens (including our own child), earning nowhere near the salaries we have worked for, doing what we thought was good.  Do we do this because we think karmically it exempts us from terrible fates?  No, but we are able to sleep at night knowing we spend our days in the trenches with people who need us.  They need us and we are there. 

Enter: 2010.  A year full of doctors, hospitals, baldness, fear, uncertainty, tears and rumbling tummies.  Not part of the plan.  Traumatizing for sure. 

And I teeter between being sad and sorry for us and being furious that this time has been taken from us.  Stabbing memories that I can't forget or undo, as though there's a giant gash that continues to bleed (see splinched).  Oh, and I'm sure this has nothing to do with my ladies' time of the month (most ladies only have one time of the month, whereas I have 2 - lucky me). 

I will be relieved (I think) next Monday evening, when I will have completed all 20 treatments and 2011 will be in view.  I have a CT scan to look forward to in a month (to check for size of enlarged node) and then a PET scan in 3 months (to check for activity). 

Below are a series of photos of the equipment in the treatment room. 

Umm, yeah.  Caution.

There's my mold.

And a close-up of the place where I lay my head (and I hold onto those stick thingys the same way every day).

Yes, this time, it IS me!

And a view of the computer screens and x-ray plates (they look like cubbies, but there are really glass plates slid into each of those wooden notches).
This is what I see when I'm laying on the table, looking up.  Those plates open up into the shape of my tumor.  Creepy and also cool.

The rather large entryway to the green machine room (see the green dot above the door?)

The words above were written this afternoon, post-treatment.  You get a pretty good picture of how yuck I was feeling.  Since then, I've eaten a nourishing dinner (thank you so much ET) and had an uplifting acupuncture session.

My acupuncturist and I had a deep conversation about this past year (Year of the Tiger) vs. the upcoming year (Year of the Rabbit) and how 2011 is going to be SO much better.  She reminded me that my body is strong and that it miraculously protected me from getting pregnant because it had much bigger fish to fry.  While my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) doesn't completely agree with this line of thought (however, my two oncologists do), I know I must make a conscious choice to trust my body again instead of being angry and feeling betrayed. 

While I lay on the soft acupuncture table (with the glorious heat lamp toasting my toesies), as instructed, I began to think about my body surrounded by hearts and streamers, as opposed to daggers and knives.  As difficult as it is to try to reconnect with myself, I must find a way to force more positive thinking into my brain.  Wonderful acupuncture queen says my kidney and spleen are strong and that I can have a baby when my body is ready. 

I have 2 more days of laying on that blue mold before they will toss it into the non-toxic dumpster and I will be on my way to recovery - of mind and body.

Merry Christmas and Happy Year of the Rabbit to you.



  1. It sounds like you are ready for a bonus tashlich service for the beginning of this calendar year! Or a smudging, or whatever other "cleansing" routine makes sense. We're all so glad you're reaching this point in your journey soon!

    Sending love your way again...

  2. You are tough and we are proud.Looking forward
    to Skyping JSounds with you and the Boys!

    Love from Oregon (Go Ducks!), GG and Uncle