Sunday, 8 January 2012

Burnt to a crisp

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends and I hope 2012 brings you lots of love, fun and happiness but more importantly I hope it brings you all excellent health!

I was very happy to see 2011 come to an end - in fact, it couldn't come quick enough.  I never in my wildest dreams thought it would turn out the way it did and it certainly did turn my life upside down and inside out!  

Unfortunately my treatment didn't finish in 2011 which is a shame.  It will finish on Thursday 12th January 2012 at 8.15am!  My treatment card was finalised today (showing my very last radiation time) and noted underneath was 'finished - well done!'  Unfortunately though, radiation hasn't been a walk in the park like I thought it might have been (compared to Chemo anyway).  The first few weeks were fine and I thought I might breeze through the treatment but I am doing it tough now.  The burns are horrendous and with 21 sessions complete, part of my skin is like charcoal.  My poor burnt skin is now peeling back to show raw pink skin and it makes me sick to think that tomorrow they will have to perform the 22nd radiation treatment on my raw pink skin.  To say this is going to hurt is going to be an understatement.  I have been doing everything as instructed, following all of the do's and don'ts, so I have just been one of the unlucky ones.  The pain has also been affecting my sleep as I can't roll over on my right side - it is too painful.  I just can't wait for it to all be over.  Bring on Thursday!!!!  Although I am burnt, sore and tired, I will miss my radiographers.  They are all so lovely and made me as comfortable as possible throughout my treatment, however I really hope I never have to see them again - in a medical environment anyway!  WARNING - I have attached a photo of my burns below.


Some good news to come out of my radiation treatment is that I haven't developed Lymphodema which was a big worry for me as I had quite a few problems with my arm during Chemo.  In fact, it seems that radiation has helped with the cording and at the moment you can't see (and I can't feel) any cording in my arm.  It feels great and I haven't had to wear my pressure glove every day.  I will still be having a check up with my Physio just after radiation is finished, but I am feeling good. 


Just prior to Christmas, Ryan commenced 5 weeks of annual leave.  It has been so fantastic having him home with us especially over the Christmas and New Year break.  He primarily took the time off so he could help with the girls whilst I have radiation each day but we have made sure we have been spending lots of quality time together down at the beach, going to the movies, catching up with friends and we have a camping holiday booked for next weekend down in Busselton which we are really looking forward to!


It has now been close to 4 weeks since I started taking Tamoxifen (the drug I need to take every day for the next 5 years) and it seems I have picked up a couple of side effects.  These being; a cough, dizziness and light headedness - lucky me!  Thankfully they aren't affecting my day to day activities but I will need to bring these up with my Surgeon and Oncologist in the coming weeks.


I am very happy to broadcast that my hair has started to grow back - hallelujah!  It would be close to 0.5cm long now, although very thin and whispy, so I will be wearing my scarves and hats for quite some time yet.  I keep telling Ryan the best way to stimulate the hair follicles is with regular head massages but he isn't buying it!  How ironic is this though ...... the day my hair started to grow back, my eyelashes and eyebrows fell out :(  Can you believe it!  I honestly thought I was going to be lucky and not lose them especially as it has been nearly 2 months since my last Chemo session.  Needless to say, not feeling very attractive at the moment!


Well, I best sign off for now and put the bottle of Moet in the fridge to chill for Thursday!

 Christmas Day - 2011


Jasmine and Baylee - 
opening presents on Christmas morning 2011 


Some of my very painful burns - 
after 21 radiotherapy treatments


26 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are just amazing! Your positiveness through all of this is nothing short of inspiring. This time next week, you will finally be recovering and this will all be in the past :)
Keep smiling gorgeous, love ya heaps!
Mel
x

Anonymous said...

Stay strong Em, the burns are surely painful but with love, it will heal really quickly. Loving the support of your beautiful family and friends and most of all yourself for being EMMA.. still sunny no matter what the day brings!
Thank you for updating us on how you're doing. We will keep praying for you towards your journey to full recovery! We're looking forward to Thrusday too :) woo hooooo Jacs xxx

Anonymous said...

You're grace is inspirational Emma. Hoping the only remnants of 2011 for you are a scar, and some photos of you in scarves. Hugs, Mel Foley xoxo

Anonymous said...

You brave girl Em, those burns look excruciating you poor thing. I hope they heal quickly and you manage to get your well needed full nights sleep back. Sending you healing thoughts, enjoy Busso, Tracey Horsley x

Anonymous said...

Em, thanks for sharing and yet again your honesty about the whole process. Bring on Thursday and beyond ! Hayles x

Anonymous said...

All the best for your last appointment on the 12th - we will be thinking of you. Richard Brown

Anonymous said...

You certainly are an inspiration Emma to everyone, thanks for sharing the worst journey of your life, I think of you all every day. Meredith Breust-Freeman x

Anonymous said...

Not long now chicken - Nic Pinel xx

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you Em , thanks for sharing your story and courage. Thursday isn't far off! Sarah Casey xx

Anonymous said...

Gosh Em, every time I read your blogs and know what a wonderful and beautiful person you are I think 'why you'? You are truly gracious and amazing how you have handled all this that you have been through. I can't wait for Thursday for you and the end to your treatments and the beginning of your new healthy and happy chapter for 2012! I think you should put 2 bottles of champas in the fridge, you definitely deserve a drink or 3! Lots of love, Jen Ambridge xxxx

Anonymous said...

Emma you are an amazing young lady. Bring on Thursday and then let the healing of those burns begin. Just amazing! Gail xxx

Anonymous said...

Em, oh my gosh... stay strong... Not long to go. Lots of love to you Ryan & your gorgeous girls, Kyles Baldacchino

Anonymous said...

You are truly amazing Em almost done now smiley, stay strong, Love Kristen xoxo

Anonymous said...

Emma you are so brave - for everything that your going through and for the courage and spirit to keep a journal of it. The burns look terrible your poor thing. I hope they heal quickly for you and wish you all the very best for your last session this week. Jade Kay xx

Anonymous said...

3 words Em - Thursday, beach, Moet.............bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Speak tomorrow. Lizzy xx

Anonymous said...

Oh Em u lost them :(:( hope they start to grow back soon sweetie! Yay to getting some hair tho!! And the burns, ouch ouch ouch. Ur a machine hun, only 4 more treatments and ur done. I really hope the pain is minimal. Thinking of u always, Jen Stephens xox

Anonymous said...

Bring on Thursday! So happy it will be over for you. Relax and enjoy your camping trip love, you sincerely deserve it. Ching, ching....moet it up. Jodes X

Anonymous said...

Oh I can't beleive those burns Em - you are so brave. Bring on Thursday...might have to get a champers too!!! Lou xx

Anonymous said...

Em you are a truly beautiful, amazing person. Those burns look so painful you are beyond brave. The end is in sight now, enjoy your Moet, Love Amii xxxx

Anonymous said...

Em what can i say but ur amazing. Not long now and ur scars will start to heal. Enjoy your time away with your beautiful girls and ryan. The end is near and time to celebrate, Love Dee xx

Anonymous said...

Hey fellow cockroach! I'm thinking of you.
Rabbit-tiger, Clint x

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I don't think I know anyone as strong and courageous as you, Love Ton xx

Anonymous said...

Emma you have been so strong and brave during this journey. Hope you really enjoy that first glass of mo√ęt on thursday. You've definitely earned it. Belinda

Anonymous said...

and Emil are amazed at just how courageous, brave, honest and sharing you have been with your journey Emma. We will also be counting down to Thursday and wish you a beautiful, healthy and exceptional 2012. Enjoy your Moet and the beach! Deb and Emil x

Anonymous said...

Oh Emma, your poor skin. I truely hope that you get through the last few sessions ok and that you heal very quickly. It's an inspiration to read your blog and updates. xx

Anonymous said...

Hey emma, not sure if you remember me from support group ( I haven't been able to come lately but I'm Lisa the 23 year old with breast cancer. Your blog is amazing and almost like reading my own thoughts and life at the moment haha. I, struggng a lot at the moment marti ularly with medical bills as just received one for $5800 :-( so frustrated I have to pay to stay alive and my parents haveaid so much already I can't ask them!! On top of that just finishing up radiotherapy. I was just wondering if we were able to meet up for a coffee? I can't access my email ATM but if u could add me on Facebook that'd be great it's lisa.taylor.s@gmail.com I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for being so open. My friends have also read your hubby's blog and also felt like he was reading his feelings. Keep smiling that beAutiful smile Emma, I hope your well. Xxxx