Friday, October 17, 2008

Im burnin, Im burnin, Im burnin for you

Yesterday I went to the radiation center. I was so afraid and alone my skin was crawling. What you say...she was afraid? how could that be? Well chemo scared me yes, but for some reason radiation scares me more. I guess because I know it could compromise my physical comfort zone. I mean I purposely stay OUT of the sun to avoid sunburn because it makes me so miserable for so long, make me nauseous, itchy, not to mention the pain of burns. Yes I am afraid, and yes I am a big wuss so sue me.

My youngest daughter went with me to all my chemo sessions and I got through them like a breeze, lucky me. There were times I was having problems but I am tough so I made it through. I will make it through this too but yesterday no one in the world could have convince me of that.

So anyway, on the way naturally I was listening to my very loud radio on my favorite classic rock station, and they started playing this song that in the beginning didn't quite register. You know how you listen to music and just sing along and don't really pay attention? Well I got to the chorus part and it hit me. How freakin ironic this song is playing, and I didn't know if I should laugh or cry so I did what any red blooded woman would do and did both! Ha ha yes I know silly but nevertheless ..... so anyway

If you want to hear the song click on the music box top right of page

And here are the lyrics
Home in the valley
Home in the city
Home isnt pretty
Aint no home for me

Home in the darkness
Home on the highway
Home isnt my way
Home Ill never be

Burn out the day
Burn out the night
I cant see no reason to put up a fight
Im living for givin the devil his due
And Im burnin, Im burnin, Im burnin for you
Im burnin, Im burnin, Im burnin for you

Time is the essence
Time is the season
Time aint no reason
Got no time to slow

Time everlasting
Time to play b-sides
Time aint on my side
Time Ill never know

Burn out the day
Burn out the night
Im not the one to tell you whats wrong and whats right
Ive seen suns that were freezing and lives that were through
And Im burnin, Im burnin, Im burnin for you
Im burnin, Im burnin, Im burnin for you

On with it, I went and was promptly put into a room with two men. They were stranger and I was nakie from the waist up. Does the word uncomfortable come to mind? I know they are professionals, and have seen millions of boobs before me, (ha ha) not that I am a boob! but hey they never saw mine! and mine never saw them! So yes I was uncomfortable and embarrassed. You would think that I would cease to feel this way after all I have been through but there it is.

They went on to explain how this was going to go, the drawing of lines with a sharpie marker all over my chest, then the laying of the thin wire, going into the CT machine and then meeting yet another doctor who would come in a speak to me. After all that the tattoos. Yes they drop little blobs of ink on you and take a needle and poke ya in the weirdest places leaving permanent marks. Looking at them now I wonder how they will tell which are freckles and which are tattoos? I suppose the redness will eventually subside. So my chest now looks like a dot to dot page from one of the kids activity books. Talk about graffiti! a new body art form "boob graffiti" interesting concept.

A Decision Was Made
I made a rather important decision. No one was there but the doctor and myself as he explained that I should consider getting radiation to my lymphnodes. Ok well I thought this was already worked out so it came as a surprise to me.

Lymphnode radiation is highly controversial he told me, and sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. So ok my mind is lacking at this point so I ask him what are the consequences? Definitely more problems concerning lymphedmia in my right arm and side. Explain problems? well you could swell up to 4 or 5 times more than it is now. Question from me - would I still be able to do detail drawing, writing, using my arm? Answer - not sure but there is always physical therapy (yeah for the rest of my life). Ok I say, give me percentages please. Hell he doesn't know I suck a math especially percentages but what the heck I thought if I acted smart he may tell me more. He was definitely going for the YES answer. So he told me, one really knows for sure yet, it is still experimental but, 10% is the bottom line. So that is 5% that it will help, and 5% that it won't? yes he said. So my decision is that NO I will not endure radiation to my arm or lymphnodes. It is a chance I am willing to take, however I can't say this choice would be the same for everyone. He said that there is a chance that cancer remains in my lymph system, but if the chemo didn't get it and there is no way of telling, then to me it makes sense that if - that little f****er is still there it has long since travelled to other places. I will just have to deal with it then. Oh and did I mention the cost? OMG! between $1200.00 and $30,000.00 per treatment and with no insurance I won't even live long enough to pay it all, even if I make it to my 90's! Add the rads to the lymphnodes and up that anty again. So I am not usually a gambling person but this time I am taking my chances and pray I am right.

After all that, I had to remain completely still as I went into the tube while it clicked and clicked. That was nothing, I am not claustrophobic and the hardest part was to be still. I swear the blood on me pools if I remain in any one position for more than say 5 minutes. I did it though with the threat of "or we will have to start over!" ha ha no way jose' I will not move no matter how painful. They practically had to lift me off the table as my back was frozen by the time we got done. The good news is that during the actual radiation it will be no more than 11 minutes and no less than 5 mins.

My bobbie shots went before a panel of "experts" to determine the least invasive angles in which to radiate me. They will call me in a week or less to give me my actual schedule, because once you start they don't want to stop unless you have an emergency situation or become ill. The techie guys, yeah I forgot their names told me that I am not allowed to diet and must eat properly. It appears that the weight loss that I may have is because radiation burns calories - alot. They said I will become more tired but they think because I handled chemo so well that I will have no problems with this. I am not a complainer usually and I try not to bi**h alot so they said I will do fine, bite the bullet and ride the wave to recovery. Ha ha so poetic.

After that I went to the billing managers office. I figured that was coming. She kept me a long time, very nice lady. I won't go into the details but I have to agree to a payment plan and stick to it. She told me about going to CFS to apply for Breast and Uterine Cancer insurance from the state. Well dang, no one told me about this being offered before. Not sure I can qualify because I didn't qualify for state assistance before because of $7.00 - yes that's right seven. There are a few other things I need to check out too.

On the way home guess what song was playing? (answer below)

All in all my visit lasted from 11am until 2:30, got home at 3pm exhausted. Skipped eating all day and took a nap instead. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

"We are the Champions" by Queen one of my favorite groups!


Blony said...

Home in the valley

jackie said...

You ARE a champion, my dear!! I admire you so much for all that you have endured and how you have kept your strength and sense of humor! I continue to remember you in my daily prayers.
hugs, love and light,
jackie smith