Thursday, October 05, 2006

T-minus-27 hours

One more radiation treatment left.

We had a hiccup on Tuesday, when I arrived for my appointment and was told that the machine was down. It couldn't be fixed in time for me to make it to class, so I had to skip treatment that day. I really wanted to finish on Friday--can you imagine having to wait the weekend, knowing that your last would be on a Monday? So the dr agreed that I could have two treatments in one day. Today, I got up early and got to radiation for an 8:30 appointment, then went to Beverly Hills to meet the nutritional oncologist at 12:30, and then back down to Torrance for radiation again at 4:10. (I had time to stop home twice, between appointments.)

The rad onc tells me that this week should be the time for my worst skin reaction to the original radiation field, and next week will be the worst in the areas covered by the boost. I do have some redness, and the top of the field looks like I got an odd, rectangular sunburn. The skin's a little toasty--leathery--the way sunburned skin can be, but still not too bad, and if it starts getting better from here, I should be fine.

The meeting with the nutritionist went great. She said I'm doing really well (18 lbs down, reflecting a slowdown this week--but she says this is a really fast rate compared to most of her other patients). My goal has been adjusted a bit--I have another 18 lbs to go, and she may still push me further after that. I don't go back for another 8 weeks. Since it took me 8 weeks to lose the first 18 lbs, I hope to lose the next 18 lbs in the next 8 weeks. It'll take some work!

After my last treatment tomorrow, Noah and I are having a celebration day. We'll go to brunch at the North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach, one of my favorite places--a place I've not patronized since my diet started. I'll be cheating on the diet tomorrow, for sure. Then we'll go for a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, then back down to the South Bay for dinner, and then (of course) the Battlestar Galactica premiere. I'm looking forward to a day of self-indulgence; the next day, I'll be back to my refraining ways!

It is really kind of amazing how much support there is out in the world these days for cancer patients. First, there's the Wellness Community, where I've attended support groups since my diagnosis. They also offer all kinds of classes in yoga, visualization, nutrition, and other mind-body boosts, and all of it is free to cancer patients and their families. Now that I'm almost through treatment, I've been interested in getting back to physical condition, and it turns out there are more great (and free) programs for that, too. Spectrum health clubs offers a "Cancer WellFit" program that gives a 10-week class to help us get back into shape. I start mine on October 16. There's also an organization called Team Survivor that provides group exercise classes--even triathlon training!--to recovering patients. And yes, it's free.

Finally, it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I'm certainly aware of breast cancer, and I assume anyone reading here is, too. Of course I want all the women I know to do the self exams and the mammograms and yada yada yada. But also watch your weight (huge risk factor!) and enjoy your life every day (not a risk factor, but something we can fail to do until a calamity knocks us on our ass). I hope everyone can keep their awareness firmly anchored in the 3rd-person perspective.


Anonymous said...

Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank the fracking gods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heidi and Sarah Face The Day said...

You sound great! Enjoy the end of this! Sounds like your day is going great! very exciting stuff. I am so happy this is coming to its end and that you are starting to feel excited about life again and that you can really starting enjoying things more again. Thanks for letting us all in on all this here. I have learned a lot about breast cancer from you. I'm sure a lot of us have.