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