Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools!

Chemo is over, it's time for my hair to start growing again. What better day than April Fools to be bald one last time! So I gave myself one last shave today. My head was half covered with white hair anyway. When the hairs start growing, they come out white, it's the dead part of the hair that was stucked inside coming out first. I think I might have already shaved most of those white hair. I hope! I'll post pictures as my hair start growing. I'm not expecting to stay bald very long as my hair usually grow fast.

We met with the radiation oncologist on Monday. The one question I had for him was to explain to me the need for radiation again. I did just go through 4 months of chemo so why radiations? His quick & easy answer is that chemo targets cells that travels in your blood stream, it is to prevent a recurrence or metastasis (spreading of cancer) while radiation works best on tissue. Since the tumor was found in the breast, they are radiating the breast tissues to be sure that no cancer cells are left and my last 8 treatments will be on the tumor location. After explaining all this, he went over all the possible side effects, which most doesn't typically happens he says. Mostly, I'm looking at getting a very sensitive and dry skin in the radiated area. As far as fatigue goes, he says that patient coming out of chemo don't usually complain about fatigue much. I am still not allowed to take any vitamins or supplements, I have to stay away from antioxidants he says, just like with chemo. But... I am allowed to start loosing all the weight I gained from chemo :) With radiations, side effects ARE cumulative, so any side effects I get will be getting worse and worse until it's over!

After we met with him, I had a CT simulation. CT simulation is the most accurate process to localize, define and reconstruct, in 3D, a patients' tumor. The process identifies the tumor along with the normal tissue surrounding it, allowing the radiation oncologist to design a treatment plan unique to each patients' anatomy. It's enables the radiation therapist to map the resulting treatment coordinates with a high degree of accuracy. During that process, I ended up with 3 permanent tattoos. I'm not happy about those! They're bigger than I was expecting. One is really tiny, would have been great if the other 2 were that size. And to top it, they're black. But, 2 on the side, 1 in the middle, no one besides me should ever see them. I still plan on having them removed when it's all over, he says I can.

I start radiation on April 13th. For the following 7 weeks, Monday-Friday, I will get my radiations at 11:30AM. Each sessions will last about 5-10 minutes with most of the time spent on setting up everything, the actual radiations last about 30-45 seconds I was told. It's less than 5 minutes from Steve's work, so the kids will be having lunch with their dad while I get my treatments. I think it will be fun for them to hand out with dad and it might make those 7 weeks go faster.

My oncologist did promise that I was NOT going to glow in the dark ;)


Holly said...

Belated happy birthday and congratulations on completing the chemo...rads will be a piece of cake after the was for me anyway...and I hope will be the same for you...

deborah d. lattimore said...

congrats on ending chemo!! i have two more to go, then will start 36 treatments of radiation. i'll be reading your blog about your experience with radiation. thanks for the detailed explanations! all the best to you - deborah

The Cebulas said...

Thanks Holly, I actually can't wait to start rads. I'm ready to get it over with!

Deborah, you're welcome and good luck with your last two chemo. You're almost there :) We can start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Isn't it great?