Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday 5.31.2008

Saturday May 31, 2008

Another night of being awake. I put my headphones on to distract me. I think I woke up when the battery had run down and the unit turned off, because when I looked at it, the screen was dark and wouldn't stay on. Oh well. I got up and wandered through the house, stepping out onto the balcony for a swoosh of cooler air. When I had cooled off, I went back to bed, and dozed off.

It was finally daylight, and I listened to the radio (by earpiece) for about a half hour until Daniel woke up. It promised to be a nice day.

When I got up and got myself ready, I noticed that I might be ready for a haircut, as the hair was a bit "shaggy" over the tops of my ears. I really don't like that. So, after thinking about it for a bit, I called my hairdresser and asked her if she had room for me today. She said she would make room, (thank you, Lauretta) could I come at 11? Sure. I finished my breakfast and got ready to go.

I had to wait about 15 minutes, but I got in the chair, and Lauretta said how good I looked. I thanked her, and told her I probably don't have much to cut, but I wanted to get the few longer hairs off that were leftover from the last time she cut it. I wanted to feel groomed. She snipped away, and both of us were surprised at how much she ended up getting off. There were some places that she cut off 1/2 inch!! She mentioned that my hair seemed thicker than it was before, and also that she thought it might be wavy. Hm, we'll see. It feels a lot better.

Since I was in Michigan Center, I drove down the street and stopped in to see Frank and his friend John, who is now home from the hospital.

John looked ever so much better. He still has a leg cast and an arm cast, not able to bear weight, and not independent by any means. But he says his pain is better, usually plain tylenol takes care of it. We had a nice visit. I told him that I had written about him, and that people were praying for his and Amber's healing. He was moved, and says thank you to all.

Amber was there, too, as she is John's caregiver. Her cast is off, and mobility is somewhat returning to her ring finger, but not so much to her pinky. And her hand is still quite swollen. It's been 5 weeks now.

Frank is doing well. We went out in the backyard and harvested some rhubarb. John didn't think he had ever had rhubarb. We had quite a bit--Frank and I cut it up. I took a piece out to John to taste. I told him, wait, watch my face. I popped a piece in my mouth and chewed, Whew, that's good, as my face screwed up from the tartness. John laughed, and popped his in. He laughed, and said he liked it. I put his batch in a saucepan with a bit of water and a touch of sugar and made a rhubarb sauce for his ice cream. When it was done, I took a taste over to him. Mmmm, he said, that's really good. He was surprised.

That done, Frank and I left to go to Bob Evans. (Keesha had been at the house but had left shortly after I arrived). I asked Frank to show me the motorcycles that were in the garage. Eww. John has been tinkering with his (the neighbors volunteered a temporary aluminum wheelchair ramp, so he can get in and out with help in his wheelchair) and has some of the parts off. His frame looked ok to my inexperienced eye, but the instrumentation is all gone off the handlebars. The same with Frank's bike, but his sprocket is bent where the lady's bumper hit it. Maybe the frame, too, but I couldn't tell. Her car paint is on that, too. All in all, they are 4 lucky people.

Frank and I went on our way. We enjoyed good conversation, then went on with our days.

I got home about 3:30 ish. My breast was bothering me, and I gooped it up and had another round of tylenol and motrin. Daniel had been doing some household chores, and I did the things he was waiting for me to do. He ate while I went over to the storage unit.

I did what I needed to do, got back, watered the flowers, and fixed my own supper. It's a little breezy, but I sat out on the balcony. Lovely.

I came in and worked on my postings. I took pictures of the radiation center the other day, and it has taken me a few days to get them fixed up to post. They are here on this site on 5.27.2008. I still don't have what I wanted, but I've got most of them. Enjoy.

I also took pictures of the breast, and posted them on the site. I put the radiation center pictures over there, too. For those that don't want to see the other breast pictures, you can click here , and it will take you to that page only.

I had a good day today, and now hope to have a good night.

Thank you for reading, for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We're looking at the calendar to figure out a date for a party for all of us, maybe the end of June or mid July. When we have a date, I'll post it in the sidebar on the left column. Hugs.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday 5.30.08

Radiation Treatment #26

I was very warm during the night, and at 0400 I got out of bed. I was so hot. I went out in the living room--it was warmer out there. I looked at the thermostat--77 degrees. No kidding. I opened the sliding door, turned on the fan on the furnace, and in our bedroom turned up the ceiling fan from low to medium. Daniel was sound asleep, but mostly uncovered, so I knew that he was warm, also. I got back in bed and drifted off....

The phone rings and wakes me. It's 6:20. "Kathy, it's Ike. Did I wake you..." Blah, blah, she has me scheduled for 2 different times, could I come at 2:30 instead of 4:30. Sure, I tell her. I'll see you later. I doze off for another hour...

I get up and get ready for the day. As I'm drying off and then looking in the mirror, the larger radiation field is quite pinky-red. And under my breast--that layer of skin came off. It was prickly yesterday, I guess that's why. I looked at it and gooped it up with the aloe and elta cream. I didn't put any stuff on the smaller radiation field, though. The newly exposed skin is a bit tender.

I get over to the radiation center, change into the gown, and Lisa calls me back. Ron is in the room and gets the machine lined up, and they both leave. Click, zzzzz, click, done. See you Monday. I didn't mention the raw area, and I guess they didn't see it either. I'm sure they would have told me to talk to one of the nurses, who would have told me to put the goop on in, and let it air dry, and not to wear a bra... If it's still bothersome, or increased, I'll mention it Monday.

I go out and put my clothes back on, say hello to the others in the waiting room, and go home.

Daniel is up. I have about 20 minutes, then I leave to go see Leah at Mason Massage, for my massage. How wonderful. She did a great job, taking extra time and energies for my left shoulder. It felt better when I left.

Back home again.

I'm really tired. I drank some water, checked email, and decided I was hungry. I fixed myself something to eat, then laid down for a rest. I was only down about 20 minutes, but it was enough to feel a little better. I had taken tylenol, motrin, and sudafed previously for my head discomfort, maybe it's working.

Time to go see Ike. She calls me back after just a few minutes. We go first to the computer where she schedules me a few more appointments, then go into room 1. She sees my breast and the area of breakdown. "I cannot touch that for your lymph treatment. I'm afraid it will get worse." Like, worse when?? We talk about the skin integrity, and how it has held up, but now that it's starting to break down, it may continue to do so for another couple of weeks. Great. Or it may not. I know, everybody's different, we'll have to wait and see.

She decides on a different approach, focusing on the cording. It's not visible anymore (yay!!) but it still pulls, and she could feel it under my skin. She also worked with my shoulder, then the incisions, then decided there really was fluid in my axilla (like I tried to tell her), and worked on that. She did a great job without bothering the area of breakdown, and when that hour was over, there was a definite decrease in the bulge under my arm and the feeling of fullness in my shoulder. Thank you, Ike, for taking care of me.

Back home again. I visit with Daniel, and we decide to go out for fish. We did, and it was good. When we got home, the storm was threatening, but we got just a little wind then. I went out on the balcony and finished potting the flowers I had, cleaned up my mess, and decided to enjoy it. I sat out there and read until almost dark, and it had started raining.

Inside, Dan was looking at the television, so I got on the computer again and wrote here. I have put stuff on the area of breakdown. It's not too bad, comfort wise. I hope that's as bad as it gets.

Tomorrow is no schedule. WooHoo!! I'll try to take pics of this area and post it on the other site.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I'm sure that's why I'm doing so well. Hugs.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday 5.29.2008

Radiation Treatment #25

This morning I got over to the radiation center, changed into the gown, and waited a few minutes in the waiting area. Paul, Fran, Millie, and Mr. Millie (Bruce) were there waiting their turns. I sat with Fran (and Elaine) at the puzzle table. We chit-chatted a few minutes before Ron called me back. I tried to look closely at the machine--today it was tilted into position with the accessory attached.

I got onto the table, and Lisa moved the table up into position, then she stopped to check. "Without the thing over top of me to line up with the tattoo, what are you lining me up with?" I asked. She said the green lights, and we use the scar for positioning. So I lifted my head to see where the lights were on my breast. Of course, Lisa told me I couldn't move. So I said I just wanted to see what it looked like. She said Ok, go ahead and look. So I did. And I really couldn't see much. There was the green laser light in some kind of grid pattern, but I couldn't tell you now what it looked like, especially in reference to the wound and nipple, etc. So, I put my head back down, she checked positioning again, and left the room. Click, zzzzzz, click, done. And that's it. The single zap seems twice as long as the previous treatments, and I suppose that would be because I get the whole 2 gray at once.

Lisa comes back in and lets the table down, assists me off of the table. See you tomorrow...

I change back into my clothes, and I'm on my way back home.

I change into work clothes, have a snack, get my things together, and head to Jackson. There is a committee meeting that started at 0900, but I'll get to participate some. Then I go out and finish my workday "on the floor." I found that when the tylenol and motrin wore off I was looking for more.

We have a good afternoon, with great co-workers. The night shift comes in, we leave. I get home just before Daniel does. He's been golfing, twice today. He's tired and happy.

We visit, I write here, and it's time for bed. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday 5.28.2008 The First of the Last

Radiation Treatment #24

This morning I woke up about 0624. Good, I thought, I'll get up in a couple of minutes when the radio comes on. It didn't. Hm. I got up anyway, turned on the water, and thought Hey, I don't have to get up until 0725!! Too funny!! I turned the water off and got back into bed. That was the best sleep all night...

The radio woke me, and this time I got ready for the day.

I got over to the radiation center, went in and changed into a gown. A few minutes later, Ron came out to get me. I got onto the table, and they had the adapter thing on for my "boost" treatment. It's not an increase in dosage of radiation, it's a decrease in the size of the field. This adapter thing looks kind of like a cylinder that you use at the bank drive-through. When Ron positioned me and the machine, that thing seemed like it was only inches away from my breast. The thing is attached to the arm of the machine, which is positioned on the left side. I don't have the big plate over top of me any more to line up, and I wondered what they did line up. I'll have to pay attention tomorrow...

The machine did it's thing--click, zzzzz, click, and I was done. Hm. That was easy. In my imagination, though, it felt like the inside of the breast got hot and bubbly. I know, weird.

Ron and Lisa came in to move the table back down and move the equipment around for the next patient. See you tomorrow...

I changed back into my clothes, and my nipple was prickly against the fabric. Eww, this isn't good. I'll put some goop on it when I get home.

Before I got home, the hospital had called, letting me know that we were having babies, and I will be needed to come in as soon as I could get there. Ok, I'm not home yet...

I changed clothes, gooped up my breast, had a bite to eat, got my things together, and headed out. I had to refuel on the way down, so I stopped and did that. I got into Jackson and parked in the back of a lot, and no shuttle (no surprise?) and walked the 2 blocks into the building.

My co-workers exclaimed about my hair, how long/thick/soft it is, and a lot of them like to touch it. It is really soft, and does seem like it might be thicker that it was before chemo. It's about maybe a half an inch long. Each morning it has visibly grown. Remember when my eyebrows and lashes came out a couple of weeks ago? Today I did not add eyebrow color because the brows seem to have grown back in in the last couple of days. And the eyelashes are maybe a quarter inch long. It's amazing how fast it has all grown in. And one thing I noticed about my head--when I was walking outside in the sunshine, I did not feel the sun on my scalp.

I had a great day with a great group of co-workers. Busy, but just busy enough for me. Soon the night shift came in, and we clocked out and left.

I made it home; Daniel said there had been lots of activity at our hummingbird feeder throughout the day. (lots of activity here is at least 2 different birds, maybe 3 or more, feeding frequently) They were still coming in and out, mostly one at a time, but a second bird would noisily chase the other away. I enjoy watching them.

I had a snack, got my food prepared for tomorrow, put the stuff on my skin, visited with Daniel, and wrote here.

Tomorrow is radiation, then to Jackson for a meeting before working out on the floor. Daniel has 2 different golf outings scheduled. I hope the weather holds for him.

My skin is quite pink, the breast is sore. I've had a couple two or three doses of motrin and tylenol for that discomfort, and I can tell when it wears off.

Daniel has migrated off to bed, and I need to get there, too. Thank you for reading. Your support is what has helped me do so well throughout this process. Hugs.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cancer Treatment Center, Lansing MI

These are pictures of the cancer treatment center, part of the Ingham Regional Medical Center. The Radiation Oncology Center is unique in that it is affiliated with the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

The nice ladies behind the desk preferred that they not be in the picture. Ok, I always ask for permission with photographs.

There are several monitors in this room, I hope to be able to get a picture of them. There were other technicians in there the day I was photographing, so I didn't stick the lens in the door.

The blue thing on the end of the table goes under my knees. The technician uses the control thing on the side of the table to slide the table forward and raise it up. The round thing directly over the top ends up with its laser crosshairs on the tattoo on my sternum. The arm on the left comes in real close, too.

And when I'm done, I go over to the lockers, get my clothes, change, and either wait for the doctor or leave.

Tuesday 5.27.2008

Radiation Treatment #23

The radio came on for me to get up for my 0730 appointment with Ike. I got there about 0725. She was just seeing the previous patient out, so we went right back to room 2. She had me change into a gown. She looked at my skin and said it was doing good so far, but it's starting to break down on the areola. IT IS???!!! Where?? I looked, and sure enough, on the bottom or underside, the bumps on the areola were scabbed. Huh. Well whaddayaknow... There doesn't appear to be any breakdown anywhere else, so I'm good. Ike says that she has never seen a radiated breast that did not break down to some degree. Great.

She proceeded to do a lymph drainage for me, and commented that the armpit was full by the incision, and also below that towards the back. I told her I can feel it, but I'm unable to do the massage in that area for myself. I can only do what I can do...

After the treatment, the breast was softer, the axilla less full, and I was more comfortable overall. She wrote out a prescription for me for a compression sleeve and unattached gauntlet, for me to take over to Dr. DeBiose to sign when I saw him today. Ok, thanks. See you Friday.

I went over to the radiation center, and got there just at 0840. Daniel was there, as he wanted to see the doctor with me. When I went down the hall, Ron was there, and I asked him if they were ready for me, he said sure, come on back. Since I only wear a sweatshirt and no bra, I went back and got on the table, pulling my shirt off. Adrienne was there today with Ron, and they got me positioned on the table. Adrienne draped my shirt over me so I wasn't as exposed, and out they went. Hum, click, bzzzzzzz, click. The arm moves across to the left side, Adrienne comes in and slides the plate on and leaves. Hum, click, bzzzzz, click, done. I wait for the machine to move to it's park position--it doesn't move right away, but--there it goes. Then I can sit up and pull my shirt back on. Adrienne comes back in, and I wait for her to let the table down. All set, see you tomorrow, remember today you see the doctor... Thanks. See you tomorrow..

I go out to the waiting area, and see that Daniel is over near the corner, that's why I didn't see him when I went in. Fran, Paul, Millie, and her husband were waiting, too, and I introduced them. Melissa called us right over, and I got on the scale. 145 1/2. Ok, hovering, but down a half pound. Better than gaining again, I think.

We went into an exam room, and Melissa asked me the questions. I showed her the skin, and the areola. She said it will probably continue to break down now that it's started. She asked me about discomfort, and if I have enough pain medicine, and to let her or Mary know, and they would write something for me. I told her of the intermittent nausea, too. Daniel gave her the prescription for continuing therapy and for the compression sleeve, and she said doctor would sign that for us. Ok. Nothing else, so she went out.

Doctor came in within a few minutes. He shook our hands, sat down, and looked at the question paper. He asked to see the skin, and again, I removed my shirt. Ok, good, he says. You'll probably have some white flaking. Looks good. (white flaking???) He tells us that on the bell curve, I'm doing better than average on skin integrity. His whole demeanor about the skin was nonchalant, like it's no big deal. (Well, let me tell you, it's my skin, and it is a big deal) I showed him the scabby areas on the areola, and he said, "Yeah, follicular alveolar (something)-itis. The hyperpigmentation will go away too after a couple of weeks." Oh. He said some other doctor-speak that was meant to reassure the patient, but I get the feeling that he'd rather deal with issues as they occur instead of telling the patient what to look for. As long as he does what I need him to do...

He was done, we didn't have any other questions, and we were done. We went out, Melissa copied the physical therapy prescription and gave me the copy, and we were on our way.

Daniel went on to do whatever errands he had to do, and I went home. I didn't really do to much--in fact, I ended up with a brief rest before Dan got back. I wondered why I was hungry at 12:30, (breakfast was at 0700), so I ate. After looking at the refrigerator, I made a grocery list. When Dan got back, he had lunch, then cooked more food and ate that. We went out for groceries afterward. We carried our harvest back upstairs, and Daniel went out to the garage to hit golfballs.

I fooled around on the computer, had some of what Daniel had fixed earlier, and wrote here.

Tomorrow is radiation and work.

Thank you for reading, and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. You know it must working, as I'm doing as well as I am. Hugs.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Monday 5.26.2008 Memorial Day

Boy, did I sleep last night! A welcomed rest. Daniel said I slept sound, only snored a little. I can't remember when I slept like that. I only woke a couple of times with the hots, which makes me wonder if I sleep through them or don't have them...

Anyway, I listened to the radio for an hour or so (and dozed) before getting up. It was very nice to not have to get up for an appointment. When I did get up, Daniel was already up, and we lazed around a while. We ate, and after a while I got into the shower.

Today was "picture day"--I posted new breast photos over on Remember, that's just what they are, so if you don't want to see a nekkid breast, don't go. But if you want to see how the radiation is affecting my skin color and breast tissue, that's the place.

The skin is prickly most of the time, and I put the aloe vera gel mixed with elta cream on the radiation field at least 2 times a day, if not three. The woundbed is sore, and I don't wear a bra at home, usually, but it feels better with a little support when I am active, so I wear a 100% cotton sports bra, 2 sizes bigger than usual so the band doesn't bother me as much, both the skin and the breast tissue itself.

Daniel went outdoors and built a shelf along the back wall of the outer garage to store his totes and stuff. It looks pretty sturdy, and he filled it up, getting that stuff up off the garage floor. I sat out on the balcony in the shade, with my legs in the sun for a while, then went inside. I was kind of nauseated, so I did some of the exercises that Ike has shown me to help move the lymph fluid. (That usually makes me nauseated.) And, since I was lying on the bed, I fell asleep for about a half hour.

Daniel and I fixed our supper and ate, and the evening went on. It was his turn to take a nap, and I worked on these postings.

Tomorrow is therapy at 0730 (it was the only time we could coordinate) and radiation and doctor visit at 0840.

Thank you all for reading, for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Hugs.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday 5.25.2008

The Other Weekend Workday

Slept a little better last night, probably because I hadn't slept well recently. I got up and went to work. Lots of deer out this morning; while they are beautiful creatures, and I love to look for them in the fields, I respect the damage that can be done by inadvertently hitting one.

I was able to park a block away again. Today was a very nice workday for us, load-wise, although we were very busy in the afternoon. The whole unit pulled together, again showing our ability and versatility and resiliancy and cohesiveness when need be. Whew!

The night shift came in, we clocked out.

At home, I put my things away, washed up, gooped up the radiation field, had a bite to eat, and wrote here. I'm really tired tonight. My breast is sore, especially in the wound bed, but the whole breast, too. I'm pleased that the sensitivity/burn feeling is gone from the end of the nipple. The areola doesn't look so dark either. Tomorrow is picture day, we'll see what it looks like then....

I've got to close my eyes. Tomorrow is the first free day I've had in several weeks, and I'm looking forward to doing whatever I want to. Well, mostly.

Remember our service people--thanks to all of you who have "been there" and come back. And those who didn't. Hugs.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Saturday 5.24.2008

Weekend Workday

Boy, I hardly slept last night. I finished my post, then leaned over on the couch and dozed for maybe 20 minutes. When the hot flash arrived, I got up and went into bed, maybe 12 midnight or so. Then I laid there, listening to.... Daniel breathe. Hm, this isn't working. I got my little music device (new daughter Kris calls is an Ipod knock-off) that I have loaded with soothing music and put the earbuds in. Ahh, no "other-people-breathing" noises. I might have dozed just a bit, but I was restless, and I saw 2 o'clock come around. I slept until 3:15, hot, cooled off, and woke again at 4:15, hot. And you know I'm up at 0430 on a workday. Sheesh.

I got up and ready, drove to Jackson, uneventfully. (Thank you, God.)

Since it was a weekend-day, the parking lots were not full, and I only had to walk a block to get into the building.

We had a good group, and although we were busy, we enjoyed a good day. (I think so, anyway) I clocked out and headed home.

Daniel was home, doing what he does. He had golfed 36 (!) holes today, and he's looking pretty tired. He stayed up until 9:30, then drifted off to bed.

I came in and put my things away, and got other things ready to go in the morning, then showered. Lovely...

My breast is pretty sore today, and I've had maybe 3 doses of the tylenol/motrin combination. I could take another now, but am putting it off. I also noticed in the shower that the very end of the nipple was peeling. Yowch!!! That was a surprise. I also noticed during the day that the elbow was sore where the cording is. And I noticed after the shower that the cording in the pit is not very noticeable. Could it be that something is really getting better?? I put a pretty good layer of aloe vera stuff on the radiation field, which is visibly pink. (I'll be able to do a photo shoot on Monday) I tried to massage myself some in the shower, and again while applying the aloe vera, to help with the lymph fluid. I might have done a little good--I started swallowing a lot when I had gotten in the right spot, which is what happens when Ike is moving the fluid around, too. I had intermittent nausea, too, throughout the day. Nothing horrible, just annoying.

I hope you are all enjoying the nice weather, and having a good weekend. Hugs.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday 5.23.08

Radiation Treatment #22

It seemed to be a restless night, with sleep intervals interrupted with the hots, and I had a hard time getting comfortable. The radio came on when I was finally asleep again, but, ... out of bed I get. I washed up and dressed, had breakfast, then over to the radiation center.

I took the camera today to capture some images of the machine-I'll have to post those another day. I went in, changed into the gown, took some pics, and Lisa and Ron got me situated on the table. The machine hums as it moves into position, click, bzzzzzz, click. It moves to the other side, Lisa comes in and slides on the accessory, goes back into the control center, click, bzzzz, click. Done. Nobody came out. The arm moved out of the way, but I had sat up on the table and put my arm back in the sleeve, and was tying in, when Lisa came in. They seemed just a bit pre-occupied. She lowered the table, small-talked about the holiday weekend, see you Tuesday.

I went out to change my clothes; Fran was there with her granddaughter. Fran introduced us, we chit-chatted a moment. Fran wanted "her daily hug". I hugged her and her granddaughter Celia. Michelle the social worker joined us, and asked if I had a minute. Sure--my appointment with Ike was at 10:30. Michelle and I had a good conversation, and I was on my way. It was too late now to go home and then back to therapy, so I just went over there and sat in the car in the sun, listening to the birds. That was very restful.

I went in, Ike called me back after a few minutes. We went into room 3 today. I changed into a gown, she looked at my hand and arm, and breast and shoulder, and back and shoulder. She thought I was holding fluid in the shoulder area. (Yep, that's how it felt...) We started by reviewing the handouts she had given me yesterday, and she helped me with hand positioning to be able to move the fluid myself (self massage). I won't be able to do my back. I'm going to ask about bringing Daniel so he can be shown, too, instead of me trying to direct him. We continued with my going through the exercises and such, but Ike took over and did a short treatment (time was running out). At 11:35 we finished, I dressed, and we went out to schedule me 2 more appointments for next week. I don't know what will happen after that. Thank you, Ike, for helping me, for being part of my care team.

I went home, now nauseated. Moving the lymphatic fluid has done that in the past, and maybe the radiation treatment does too, somewhat. Anyway, I had to settle down and get something to eat, because I had to go to in to work. I waited about a half hour or so, but I managed a light lunch before leaving.

I was able to park in the front of the lot today, so I only had to walk a block. I got in and got report, and took over for Dawn. It was a good group of staff working, and a relatively mild day for a Friday.

Time went on, and soon it was 7 pm. I stayed until they finished report, about 7:20, then came on home myself.

Daniel was doing his thing on the computer, I had a bite to eat. We visited a bit, and I wrote here.

I work both Saturday and Sunday, and look forward to not having to set an alarm for Monday. My breast is still pink, and I think the areola looks darker. The whole breast is sore. I did take a couple of tylenol and motrin when I got home. I've been taking that in the morning, too, before therapy appointments.

Thank you for reading, your support is awesome. And I love that you like to touch my new hair. Hugs.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday 5.22.2008 Second Marking

Radiation Treatment #21 and Marking/Simulation for "Boosts"

I slept a little better last night, and awoke about 0715. I decided to just get up. Good decision--just as I was thinking about getting up or rolling over, hot flash.

I got ready for the day and went to the radiation center. Changed into the gown and went into the waiting area. It wasn't just a couple of minutes and Lisa summoned me back. Ron was in the treatment room and helped me onto the table. Lisa and he got me positioned and aligned. Lisa went into the control area, and Ron told me to stay on the table when the treatment was done because we are going to do the marking and simulation for the "boosts". (Boosts are not really an increase in the dose of radiation, it's a narrowing of the radiation field.) Ok, I'll stay still.

The machine moves into position, and the arm with the flat plate on it (now I know that's the x-ray thing) comes out, too. The machine clicks and zaps. When the dosage was done, it clicked and zapped for another brief moment. I know now that's the x-ray. The arm with the plate folds away, and the other arm rotates around to the left side. Lisa comes in and slides the deflector plate on and goes out. Click, zap, click. I breathe, but lay still. In come Lisa and Ron. Lisa had paged Dr. DeBiose overhead before coming into the room again, and while they were lowering the table, he came in, too. He greets me, and is all business.

Dr. DeBiose approaches the left side of the table with an uncapped green Sharpie in his hand, poised, aimed at my breast. He pokes (hey, that's getting tender in there) and draws lines on my breast. Above the breast, around to the side, just under the nipple but through the areola, then back above the breast. Basically, a large area of the wound bed, including the nipple. Interestingly, I have heard from the Doctor, the nurses, and the technicians, that male radiologists will include the nipple, while female radiologists will exclude the nipple. When Dr DeBiose was explaining it to me Tuesday, he said that his belief is that ductal cell carcinoma is in the ducts, and the ducts run to the nipple. So, include it in the field. I have to say that I agree with that logic, and we also agreed that if the nipple breaks down we can move the field to exclude the nipple.

He's done, and leaves. I don't know where Lisa went, but Ron had put a different accessory piece on the arm, kind of looks like a telephoto lens. Maybe Lisa went into the control room, because the table moved. The device got real close, inches, from my skin, and Ron was right there defining the area with the crosshairs of the laser light. (as much as I could see...) Lisa came in with the camera--she took a picture of the markings on the breast, up near by my side, one of the position of the machine/accessory/patient, taken from the foot of the table, and another taken from the right side of the table.

Then we were done. The machine went into the "park" position, someone let the table down, and I was on my way. I asked them if I could bring my camera, to take a few pics to post on my blog. They said photos are not a problem, and asked about my site. We chatted a couple of minutes, I thanked them for doing a good job, and went out to put my clothes back on.

Dressed, Fran and Paul were in the waiting area. Rather, Paul was just on his way back to the treatment room, and Fran came up to me. "Our daily hug" she said. I was happy to see her, and I told her I had prayed for her and her husband. We chatted for minute, and I left to go to my 9:30 appointment with Ike.

Or so I thought. I got over there, and the lady behind the glass looked at me, puzzled. I don't have you until 10:30. I looked in my planner. I have 9:30, I say. She takes her schedule sheet and goes around to find Ike. The Nice Lady comes back. "Ike has you for 10:30 too, and can't see you until then. She apologizes." Hm. "No problem, I'll come back at 10:30. Thanks." I don't know how that happened, but I went on home. It's only about 12 minutes away.

That was ok with me, anyway, because you know I wanted to get a picture of the new markings. I had taken my phone in to the therapy place to get a picture before the markings got rubbed off, but now I can use the other camera. And I did. That picture is posted at Again, it's a naked breast, and that's what you'll see.

I had just finished posting that photo and it was time to go back. Ike came out for me after a few minutes. I went into room 2 and changed into a gown. When she came in, I told her what Dr D. had said about lymphedema (that radiation doesn't cause it) and she and I both disagreed with that. She looked at my hand/arm/breast, at the new markings, and we talked about my skin. It's holding up pretty well, so far. Pink, with the sensation of maybe just a little "picky" along the bottom of the field under the breast. She does her thing, and when we are done, the skin on my hand is no longer smooth, but has the wrinkles back. The breast is more "normal" looking, the incisions are smoothing out, and I'm getting sensation under my arm! Ike exclaims that it is very obvious that what she is doing is very beneficial for me. I agree, and I'm happy that she sees it. She says she is going to fax a request for an order for a compression sleeve for me, and a gauntlet. A compression sleeve is like an ace wrap, put together. She said they come in light, medium, and ?tight , and she recommends just a light compression for me. A gauntlet is a fingerless glove. I don't know how far up the wrist that goes. But Doctor has to agree and sign the request. That order probably won't come in until next week sometime.

We're done, I leave. At home, I have lunch, and before long, I'm sleepy, so I lay down for a bit of a nap. When I wake up, Daniel is getting ready to go golfing. I decide to go out for a run.

I get all the way around today (a little over 2 miles) without much difficulty. I cool off, shower, fix my supper and eat. I ended up doing 4 loads of laundry this afternoon/evening, too.

Dan came in about 8:30ish. We visited, I wrote here, and off to bed.

Tomorrow is radiation, therapy, and work in the afternoon (I picked it up for another person).

Thank you for reading, you are important to me. Your thoughts and prayers and colors are definitely helping me on this journey. Hugs.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday 5.21.2008

Radiation Treatment #20

I had a hard time going to sleep, but finally about 0230 I did. I woke once that I remember for a biologic break, (during a hot episode) and another time being hot. The 7:30 alarm interrupted my morning. I looked in the mirror--there was a piece of hair on the side of my head sticking up. Bed Head!!! Hey, I've got Bed Head!!

I got up and got myself over to the radiation center. Changed into the gown and went into the waiting area. Barb, the woman I met at the Look Good Feel Better class, was there, waiting. I sat beside her, and she commented on my hair. (I haven't worn anything on my head since Monday) She took off her bandanna to show me her shiny scalp with a few chicken hairs on top. (I remember....) About then, Michelle the social worker approached, it seems that Barb was waiting to see her. (Social Work visits are part of the protocol in this facility.) They went off, and Ron came out to get me.

I went back to the treatment room, climbed onto the table. I know, hold still. Lisa and Ron lined me up, went off, the machine does it's thing. Lisa comes in and puts the plate on, leaves, click, zap, done. They don't come in right away, just long enough for me to wonder what's up, then in they come, lowering the table and helping me off. See you tomorrow...

I go out and change into my clothes. As I was leaving, Fran was there with her husband Paul, and she asked if she could talk to me for a minute. Sure, I said. Without breaking confidence, I will say that she was looking for reassurance, and I hugged her. I hope I said the right things. Please send Fran and her husband Paul a prayer and an angel.

At home, I'm still kind of tired. I put some goop on my affected skin, checked email, and Dan had errands to do and asked if I wanted to go along. Sure, it beats being tired and sore at home. (My left shoulder is really uncomfortable today, as well as the breast, and the skin is getting itchy.) We made several stops, and got home later.

We had lunch, and I went upstairs and laid on the couch. I slept for about an hour. I felt a little better after a nap.

Daniel was ready for dinner, and he suggested we go to a local eatery, Carlin's Catch, and had some fresh fish. It was yummy.

Back home, we each got on a computer, and that's basically how we spent our evening. I'm going to shower, and go to bed.

Tomorrow is radiation and therapy, so far nothing else planned.

Thank you for reading, for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. I'll write again tomorrow. Hugs.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday 5.20.2008

Radiation Treatment #19

Daniel's alarm went off at 0600. He got up, turned it off, and got back into bed. Huh? What are you doing, I asked. Mind you, I don't sleep well as it is, and I was finally sleeping, and now being awakened for, what? His response--resting before I get up. Hm. I was in that "pulled from a dream" state, and had a hard time shaking the dream, and also getting back to sleep. So, Daniel finally gets out of bed, I doze in and out but don't get back to the really restful sleep until just before my own alarm goes off at 0725. Shoot. The house is quiet, and I think Daniel has left for his golf date. Imagine my surprise when I see him sitting in the living room on the computer. I still don't know why he set his alarm so early. It sure didn't do me any good.

Ok. Find the happy place. Breathe. Praise God for sunshine, birdsong, and being alive. I got myself ready to go to the radiation center.

Once there, I poured a cup of coffee, went back and changed into the gown, and went out into the waiting area. I stood there, looking around. The woman who is usually after me is called, and Ken takes her off to the other side, to a different radiation room. Hm. The other gentleman just before me was sitting there, too. Hm. Lisa had come out and gotten a chart and gone away. Ron came out with a chart, and picked up a different one. Hm. It's 8:50, for my 8:40 appointment time. I sit down at the puzzle table with the wife of one of the patients, and try to focus on the pieces. She and I make small talk; she shares her concerns about her husband, I tried to encourage her, that what she's experiencing is normal. Blah blah. We put a few pieces in. Another gentleman is called back. I freshen my coffee. A few minutes later Ron comes out and calls me, Kathy J he says. I get up--it's 9:10.

What's with the delays today? I ask. You tell me, he says. He said that everything seemed to be going in "hospital minutes" today. Oh, I know what those are....

I get up onto the table, get situated. I ask if my axillary incision is included in the radiation field. Lisa said she thought it was--and got the marker. When they had the lights lined up with the tats, she put dots at the upper margin of the field. Yes, she said, it goes right into the armpit. Great, I thought. Maybe that's why I'm having changes in the fluid in my arm. I thanked her for taking the time to do that. They left the room, the arm moves into position, click, hum, zzzzz, click. The arm moves around to the other side, Lisa comes in and slides the plate in, goes back out. Click, hum, zzzzzz, click. Big breath. I felt a little warmth in the breast tissue (or was it my imagination again) when the machine was zapping. They come back in, moving around like ants on an anthill, moving me, moving my accessories off, getting the next accessories ready, see you tomorrow....

I go back to the waiting area, retrieve my coffee. It's Doctor Day. Mary sees me, stands up and calls me over. To the scales, she says. 146#. WHAT!?!?! How can I have gained a pound and a half in one week???? I exclaim to Mary my surprise. I told her I ran yesterday. I'm feeling mostly good, with some intermittent nausea. She told me now was not the time to be concerned with my weight (why not), I need to focus on the treatment, and staying well. Ok. But I don't need to gain weight doing it. We talked about the axillary incision being included in the radiation field. She said the majority are, and if there were cancerous cells in there, why wouldn't you want to radiate it? You've come this far, why not do the whole thing? I understand her point, but I don't want a blown up arm to deal with on an everyday basis. I'm going to ask Doctor about it.

We finish our conversation, she looks at my skin, yes it's starting to get pink, but looks good for where we are. (fishy words--for where we are) She goes out, and several minutes later, Dr. DeBiose comes in.

He shakes my hand, and we exchange pleasantries. I tell him I want to pick his brain, and ask him why the axillary woundbed is included in the radiation, percentage-wise. He couldn't dig that out of his brain right off like that, but told me that radiation goes in a straight line, and when it's lined up to include the edges or perimeter of the breast tissue, the angle it's lined up at includes the axillary area. In fact, the radiation field includes almost the whole bottom half of my armpit, stopping just posterior to midline. (in the middle of the pit towards my back ). I told him I had understood that we were just going to skim the front corner of the incision, and I explained my concern about the lymph bed and damage being done there.

Doctor said again, that any lymphedema is not caused by radiation, that he gets blamed for it because he's the last one doing treatment in the area. I told him I disagreed, that if the radiation is damaging tissue, why wouldn't it affect the lymph in the area? He countered that he disagreed with me, that it takes 6 months or so for the fibrous changes to occur. (Maybe so, but my breast is swollen now. And I know when Ike is done, it's an amazing difference. I didn't tell him that) He asked if I was going to therapy, I told him yes, that Dr. Richman had ordered it while he was covering for you. Hm, he says.

I asked him about the "boosts", which aren't really increased energy/intensity/gray. It's actually a smaller area of radiation, focused only on the woundbed in the breast. He said there are two ways to define the field: one is to include the nipple, and the other is to go just inside the areola, depending on where the incision is. Evidently, the areolar incision is a common location. His thinking is that since ductal cell carcinoma is in the milk ducts, and milk ducts all lead to the nipple, zap the nipple, too. The problem is that the nipple doesn't hold up well by that point. (Oh?) That makes sense, (but what about my poor nipple...?) So, if the nipple breaks down, or doesn't tolerate it very well, we can redefine the field and exclude the nipple? Sure, he says.

Somehow, I'm not looking forward to this.

Our visit is over, he leaves the room. I had gotten my clothes from the locker after Mary was done with me before Doctor came in, and I got dressed.

It's almost 10:00. We are out of milk and bread at home, and I will need to eat before going to work, so I stop at Meijer. I get everything on my list and am done and in the car by 10:45.

At home, I unload, unpack, put away. Prepare and eat my lunch. Get the dishwasher ready to run and turn it on. Change clothes and head to Jackson, and clock in just before 1:00.

Joyce has had a busy morning, and says she is glad to see me. I get report, Joyce finishes up, and I take over.

Even though it was busy, it was ok, with a good group. I got finished up, stayed until the oncoming shift was out of report, and left the floor about 7:30.

Daniel was home when I got there. We visited a bit, he watched tv, I caught up on some of the emails of the day, he went to bed, I wrote here.

I watched the full moon come up, and I'm hoping to be able to sleep tonight.

Tomorrow is only a radiation appointment. Maybe a nap or two. Maybe a run, too. We'll see.

Thank you for reading, and commenting. The phone calls are great, emails, and hugs. I am blessed to have each of you in my world.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday 5.19.2008

Radiation Treatment #18

I got up and went over to the radiation center this morning. I changed into the gown and put my clothes away. Lisa called me back, then stepped into the "control room", and I went on in to the treatment room. I thought Ron would have been in there, but he wasn't. I climbed onto the table, and Lisa came in to get me positioned. She spoke to Ron, who was in the control room, and he called out numbers for her to line me up with. I lifted my head to see where the lights were on my chest, and you know Lisa said "You can't do that". I told her I wanted to see, and she told me that moving my head changes the position of my body. Ok, I'll try to hold still... And then I took a big breath. Lisa turned around and looked at me. "I'm sorry, I had to breathe." She came back to the table and made a small nudge before going into the control room. Hum, click, zzzz. It seems that I could feel the breast tissue warming from the inside. Click, the machine changes positions, Lisa comes out and slides the plate on--I didn't dare even speak, let alone blink--and goes back to the control room. click, hum, zzzzzz, click. Done. She comes back and lets the table down, offers me her arm to sit up, then to de-table. (is that a word?) See you tomorrow...

I went into the change room--whoa!!! the entire radiation field was very pink, and the nipple is a little prickly. Hm, hope that settles down soon. I get my clothes back on and head home.

I enjoy a cup of coffee and visit with Daniel; I show him how pink it is. He asks me if I've put anything on it--I tell him I will after I see Ike today.

I go to the therapy place, and Ike calls me back after a few minutes. She has me put on a gown and I lay on that table. It's "progress note" day, and she has me put my hands under my head and lower my elbows down to the table. Of course, the left one doesn't go, and she measures that angle. It's better than the initial measurement. She has me put my arms straight to my side, then raise them forward and over my head, as far back as possible. Again, restricted on the left, and she measures that angle. Better again. Then she has me pull my knees up and lay them over to the right side, and with my left arm out to the side, how far can I sweep it upwards like a snow angel. Not too far. But better than before. So overall, the hands on that she is doing is helping, but I'm not done yet. And I can't see her forever. She said that next visit she would show me soom things to do for myself. Ok.

Ike proceeds to do the massage technique on my abdomen. She remarks about the pink skin, saying again when the skin is feeling burnt she can't do it anymore. The soreness is still in the woundbed, not the skin, that I can tell. She moves on to the arm and works with the cording. Then she has me turn onto my stomach, and she says that my shoulder/scapula area look swollen, and she moves the fluid out from there. Too soon, our time is up. It amazes me that when she's done, I feel so much better. And I didn't know I wasn't feeling good.

On the way home I'm noticing a little nausea. I wait a bit before eating. I have to change and eat and get down to Jackson to work this afternoon. I call Joyce to see how things are going, and let her know that I'll be down soon. Ok, she says, to both topics.

I do manage to eat, along with a couple of tylenol and a couple of motrin. I change and head to Jackson to work. About 10 minutes on the highway, my phone rings, and it's Joyce, telling me they've had enough discharges for me to stay home. Ok. I pull off at the exit just ahead and turn around, go back home. I'm feeling just a bit punky anyway.

At home, I change clothes, and went out on the balcony in the sun and read for oh, maybe 30 minutes or so. I got really drowsy, so I went in and laid on the bed. I must have dozed off, because it was later than I thought it should be...

Daniel had left for his baseball game, and I'm not sure how I was feeling. I decided that I needed to go exercise, and I did. I jogged mostly the whole way around. I did walk a block in the middle, but jogged the last block instead of walking. Whew. I made it in, cooled off, and showered. Funny, I laid down again and took a small nap. Got up, had a bite to eat, did some computer stuff.

Daniel came home before dark. We visited, he turned on the television, then drifted off to bed before long. I wrote here, and I'm off, too.

Tomorrow is radiation, Doctor visit, and work.

Thank you for reading, for the phone calls and emails, and comments. It's so important to know that you are out there, supporting us. Hugs to you all.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday 5.18.2008

I slept at intervals again, waking with the hots, cooling off, dozing off again. I finally got out of bed about 8:45 and got ready for the day. I took a couple of tylenol and a couple motrin after breakfast--that pesky breast feels swollen and tender this morning.

I went over to Potterville for Breon's wedding shower. Very nice, she and Nick received several nice gifts, as well as several gift cards to Menards. (They are doing an interior remodel on the house they will be living in.)

I got home about 4, changed clothes, checked email, and laid down a bit for a rest. I guess I dozed off at some point; I woke up close to 6. I went out on the balcony and got the second railing planter finished, and the 2 other pots that we have on the columns, and still have plants left over. I'll put them in something...

Daniel got home about 8:30--he had been to Flint to help plan an "all-school reunion" for St. John Vianney school, sometime in 2009. (He told me, but I forgot)

We visited a bit, watched the golf channel some, and turned in for the night. Tomorrow is radiation, therapy, and work.

May you each have peace, within and around you, and thank you for reading. Hugs.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday 5.17.2008

How nice to not have to get up this morning!! The birds were lovely to listen to--I dozed a couple of times before getting up. Unfortunately, Daniel didn't sleep as well; he was out of bed about 0500, and was napping on the couch when I got up.

I took pictures of my head/hair and tried to get my eyebrows and lashes, but I don't think those pics accurately reflect what I see in the mirror. How can that be...?? (I didn't think there was that much left of the eyebrows....)

And the hair on my head

And the cord in the armpit pulling all the way down to my elbow.

I will put these pictures, along with the breast images, on the other site, . Remember that the breast images are just that, so if you don't want to see the bare chest, don't go.

The morning went on. I went out onto the balcony and started planting the other railing planter. I got about half done when my phone rang, telling me they need me to come in to work. (I was called earlier this morning asking could I be "on call" if they needed me. I said yes, because that gives me 4 more hours to offset the hours I've lost with the morning treatments.) I finished up what I was doing, watered what I had done, picked up and put away. The planter is almost done, maybe I can finish it tomorrow.

I changed into work clothes, made a sandwich to eat on the way to Jackson, and headed out. As I was getting into the car, I realized I didn't have anything on my head, nor did I have any make up on. I went back upstairs and did a quick dab or two on my face, and decided not to wear any type of head covering. So, I went "headless" to work.

It was odd walking the block over to the hospital (it's the weekend, and the lots aren't so full) with the wind on my head. When I got to the floor, the girls all smiled and touched my head, exclaiming how soft it is, how much there is, etc. It was very "liberating" to have a bare head, and, I must say, much more comfortable when those hots hit. Thank you, my wonderful co-workers, for supporting me and accepting me and encouraging me that all will be well.

I had a good afternoon, taking over Sandy's assignment (who then left at 3pm), and doing what I could to help the others. 7 o'clock came and time to leave.

I stopped at Big Lots and picked up lots of foodstuffs for Bre and Nick's first wedding shower tomorrow. Spices and dried things to stock their new kitchen with. I'm looking forward to it.

At home, Daniel had gotten rained out of his golf game so was home when I got there. We visited some, and I started writing here. Daniel drifted off to bed, and after a while, Bre came in and we had a good conversation about her wedding. I'll be off to bed soon, myself.

My breast is sore, especially in the wound bed, with sharp pains sometimes. I took tylenol and motrin earlier today, and could tell when it wore off. I didn't take any more--my guess is that I'll probably need more medication as the treatments go on...

Thank you for reading. Knowing you are out there supporting me makes a huge difference. Hugs.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday 5.16.08

Radiation Treatment #17

Daniel was up and gone before I got up this morning, a golf outing, of course. I got over to the radiation center and changed into a Gown, and went into the waiting area. There were a couple of other patients and their people; one of whom was the husband of the 8:30 woman. Sure enough, a few minutes later, Lisa came out for me. As we went back, the other woman was coming down the hall towards us. Ron and Lisa get me positioned on the table, and with a hum, a click, and a bzzzzzzz, the machine repositions, Ron comes out and slides the plate on, click, hum, bzzzzz, done. Ok, that does it. Ron comes in and lets the table down so I can get off of it. See you next week, have a good weekend...

I change back into my clothes. The woman at the puzzle is the wife of a patient; she said something to me, and I went over to her. We exchanged pleasantries. I told her I was Kathy, she said her name was Fran. Nice to meet you, good luck on the puzzle, I've got to go.

I went back home, and got in the shower. When I was dressing, I noticed the entire square of the radiation field was pink on my chest. Hm, what did they do, change the bulbs?? (like in the tanning beds...) I put a little of the aloe vera gel on, got dressed, and went over to the physical therapy place.

I waited about 5 minutes for Ike/Eeka to come get me. We went back to room 2 today. She asked me how was my arm, and did I think she was doing any good? Oh, yes, I said. The cord is definitely less than what it was, but it's still there. And I think the breast itself, and the incisions, and around the axillary incision are a bit puffy, like there's fluid there. She looks at me, touches, pokes, runs her hands down my arms, looks at the pit, and decides she will do just the manual lymph drainage today. Ok, whatever you think is best...

I change into a gown while she is out finishing another patient. She comes back in and starts at the base of my head, and does what she does. She works on my abdomen and chest for about a half an hour, gently pressing and pulling, moving the tissue and the fluid. She massages my arm, too, and it amazes me how much more "normal" it looks to me after she's done. When she is massaging over the lymph channels, I salivate, or my mouth starts watering, and I'm swallowing a lot. Very strange, I know. That happened, too, when I saw the lymphedema person in Jackson a year ago February. I would have gone back to her, but it's a 70 mile round trip. I'm very happy with Ike/Eeka, and I believe that she is doing me good.

We're done, she verifies that I have appointments for next week as she walks me out. I go home, prepare my food and eat, change clothes, and head to Jackson to work the rest of the afternoon.

I find a parking place, but no shuttle, and walk the 2 blocks into the hospital, and forget to clock in. I remember after I've been there an hour... The floor is kind of busy, and I'm able to step in and do some of the little things that needed to be done. We have a good afternoon, the night shift comes in, and we leave. The shuttle is there tonight, and takes me over to the car.

Home again, Daniel is back from his golf event. He says he had a good time. We visit a while, and I catch up with the email and write here. He drifts off to bed. I'm tired, but often don't go to sleep readily, so I stay up a little longer. I've had just little bits of nausea through the day today, not anything that kept me distracted.

Tomorrow I hope to finish planting my pots if the rain holds off, and shop for Breon's bridal shower gift.

Thanks for reading, for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Hugs.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday 5.15.2008

Radiation Treatment #16

This morning I went to the radiation center, changed into the gown, and wandered around the waiting area. There were a few other patients in there, and a couple of support people too. I thought, Uh Oh, why so many people in here--machine down again?? when Ron came out and called a man back. Hm. So it must be working. I looked at the puzzle and picked at a couple of pieces. Ron called me back.

He and Lisa got me positioned on the table. The machine moved into position, clicked, bzzz. Then it bzz'd again, for just a second or two. Huh? What was that? The machine moves into the next position. Lisa came in to put the plate in, and I asked her if I got a bonus dose. She laughed and said that was the x-ray, because I get an x-ray once a week, (to check for positioning) and today is the day. Oh, thanks for explaining that, I called after her as she was walking out. Click, bzzz. Click. Done. The machine goes back into the park position, Lisa lets the table down. All set, see you tomorrow.

I changed back into my clothes and went out to the car. I went over to the physical therapy place. The car was warm in the sunshine, which felt good after being in the (seemingly) refrigerated treatment room. I was about 20 minutes early, so I sat in the car about 10 minutes before going in.

I checked in at the desk, sat down, found something to read. Ike came for me about 5 minutes later. We went back to one of the treatment rooms where I changed again into another gown. She looked at my arm from the elbow to the armpit and had me lie on the table.

Ike got a warm pack and wrapped my upper arm for about 10 minutes. She then started a type of massage. She does a good job, and at the end of my appointment time, she was pleased that the majority of that cording was no longer visible. I could still feel it in my arm, though. I have another appointment tomorrow, so she'll be able to work on it again...

I redressed and headed home. I had a bite to eat, changed clothes, and headed to Jackson. I found a parking place, but no shuttle, so walked the couple of blocks into the hospital, and clocked in about 1:00. The staff was gently busy. I got report and settled in. There was a meeting we are strongly encouraged to attend, and it was decided that I could go. That worked out great for me. I got back to the floor and took over. We had a nice rest of the afternoon.

I clocked out, got home. Daniel was home from his ball game. We visited, I wrote here, and we're off to bed.

Tomorrow I do it again. Thanks for reading. Hugs.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wednesday 5.14.2008

Radiation Treatment #15

This morning I woke about 0530, used the restroom while I was "hot", and went back to bed after cooling off. The alarm (radio) let me know it was time to get up.

I did, and got myself ready for The Appointment. I arrived, changed into a gown, and waited to be called. I went over to the puzzle; another woman joined me. She was picking at it when Lisa called me. "Katherine, come on back." She walks very quickly and goes into the control room, and Ron helps me onto the table. Lisa comes out, and the both of them get me lined up. They leave the room.

The machine moves into its position, click, zap. That arm on the right side looks really close today. Ron comes out to put the plate thing on the arm, and I mention that it looked pretty close. He said that's how it always is... Oh, I guess I hadn't noticed. The arm positions over on the left side,click, zap, done. Ron comes out to put the table down and help me off of the table. "Wednesday's treatment done," he says. Yep, see you tomorrow.

I go out and change back into my clothes. In the car, I head home. I stopped at a Family Dollar looking for a new hummingbird feeder. They had one, but it would most likely leak more than the one we have. Further down the road is a Dollar Tree store, and they didn't have one at all. Then I stopped at Meijer and picked up a sale paper.

Back home, Daniel was up, fooling around on the computer. We had a quiet morning, and we went out grocery shopping in the afternoon. Just before we left, I got really nauseated. Like, you know, swallowing and stuff to make it ease up. It didn't really feel like I was going to throw up, just really nauseated. Whew. I took a little bit of Diet Pepsi with me to sip on. It eased up some, but never really went away. I didn't feel good both in my stomach and in my head, kind of woozy. I got through the store and back home. We put the groceries away, and I sat back on the sofa and rested. I took a couple of tylenol and a couple of motrin (well, acetaminophen and ibuprofen) because my breast was hurting, too. Hm. Hope this doesn't happen too often.

Daniel fixed most of the supper, I did the veggies, and we ate. (I told him if I was by myself I wouldn't be eating) I felt a little better after supper, and went in and showered.

I'm still just a bit queasy, and if it continues, I suppose I'll have to take a compazine or zofran or something. I'm writing here, and I'll be going to bed soon.

Tomorrow is radiation, physical therapy, and I was asked if I could work tomorrow, too. I did agree to do the afternoon. (I'll make sure I have medication with me).

Thank you for reading. It is important to me that you are out there, supporting me. I'll write tomorrow. Hugs.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday 5.13.2008

Radiation Treatment #14

I woke up about 1/2 hour before the alarm with a hot flash. As I cooled off, I realized I wasn't ready to get up. I got comfortable and decided to rest until then...

Up and ready, I headed out to the radiation center. In the first waiting area there is a coffee pot, and I stopped and poured a cup for myself to have while waiting, either for the treatment or for the doctor. Through the door, I changed into the gown, locked my things in a locker, and went over to the waiting area. Ron came out, and said Hey, you. I looked around. Yes, it was my appointment time, but there were other people in the waiting area. Me? I asked. Yep, he replies. I told him I have a name. He gave me a look. I looked back at him. I'm a person, and deserve respect. We walked to the treatment room, and he and Lisa got me situated on the table. Today the green laser lights were red. I mentioned that the lasers were red instead of green, and Ron replied that there are always red lights, the green lights are the treatment area. Oh. I don't remember seeing red lights before. They are gone, and the machine hums and moves into position. BZZZZZZZZ. Click click. Hum, it moves into the next position. Click. BZZZZZZZZZ. Click. Done. I put my arm back into the sleeve of the giant gown, they are back into the room and the table is lowering. Lisa is there to help me down, and I ask her to tie the gown please, as I was having difficulty getting my left arm in the correct position to maneuver the strings. Sure, there you go. I usually don't tie it, as I'm going right out to take it off. But today is Doctor Day, and I have to leave it on.

Out in the waiting area, I stand for a moment, and see how Elaine is doing with the puzzle. You can tell it's been worked on, but not much progress. There was a woman in the waiting area who came up to the puzzle table, made some comment about the puzzle, then said "I'm with you. I prefer hearing my name." I really didn't get what she had said until I was driving home (duh), but I thought it was interesting that she felt she had to comment to me about it.

Just then, Mary called me to go into the exam room. We stopped at the scale--#144 1/2. Hey, I gained a pound from last week. Surprised me. We went into the room, and she asked me just a few of the questions on the page, and filled in the others. Next week, I'm going to ask what the other questions are... She asked about energy level, and discomfort, and looked at my breast/nipple/skin to see how it's doing. I told her it's getting tender and sore in the wound bed, and the nipple is prickly. She sent me home with telfa dressings, with the suggestion to cut a 3 or 4 inch square of it, put aquaphor on it, and place it against the nipple under whatever I'm wearing--a t-shirt, bra, camisole, whatever. Ok, we'll see about that. We chatted about other generalities of treatments, and she went out.

Dr. DeBiose came in within 5 minutes. We exchanged pleasantries, he looked at the breast/nipple/skin, said it looked real good, that tomorrow is the halfway mark, did I have any questions, see you next week....

Ok. I change back into my clothes and head over to the therapy place. I get there at 0930, but my appointment isn't until 10:00. The sun is shining and the birds are singing, and the location is somewhat on the edge of the commercial area, so there is still lots of undeveloped land. I put the seat back, rolled down the windows, listened to the birds, and cooled off from the recent hot flash. When I came back to the moment, it was 0950, so I went in. The receptionist announced overhead to Ike that her 10:00 was here.

Ike came over to The Door and opened it to bring me back. We stopped by the computer to make me 3 more appointment, that takes me through the end of the month. We went into a treatment room and I took my shirt off again. (no bra for these appointments). I lay on the table and she takes my left arm, moves it around, and clucks that the cord is still there. (yes, I could have told her that) She starts her stuff, pushing on it, pulling on it, moving from the elbow to the armpit. She worked on just the cord for 30 minutes, then moved to the axillary incision, and the breast itself. She worked at trying to release the adhesions under each of them, and then the time was up. I did have the opportunity to mention Agatha, and how I had met her. And that Agatha had not gotten a breast surgery booklet, either.

Our time was up, I put my shirt back on, and she walked me to The Door.

At home, I prepared and ate my lunch, changed clothes, and headed to Jackson. I parked, and watched the shuttle go right past the lot, not even pulling in. So I walked the 2 blocks into the building, clocking in around 1:00.

They were transitioning from morning activity to lunch to afternoon activity, in different stages. I got report from Joyce, (thank you again), and started answering call lights, passing medications, etc. Then it was realized that we were going to have to open 4 West, the overflow unit. So, one of the RN's and I went over there. We took one of the patients from South with us, the patient from labor and delivery came out about 4, then another about 5, and one of the babies were transferred out,.... Just another day at the office. The new shift came on, report was short, and we were able to leave just after 7. It was a good afternoon.

I got home, changed clothes (again) and finally caught up on all of the email. I haven't responded to some of it, though I've read it. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up on some of that tomorrow.

Daniel came in from his ball game tired and hungry. He had gotten up first this morning, and had left before me, too, to golf. He said he hadn't eaten much today. He showered and got himself something to eat, and before long went off to bed.

I wrote here, and will be climbing in soon.

Thanks for reading. Your support is most awesome. Hugs.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday 5.12.2008

Radiation Treatment #13

This morning Daniel said I didn't sleep very well. I asked him, "What do you mean?" I was thinking I felt ok, I got myself out of bed when the alarm went off and into the shower. He said that I was sleeping on my back, snoring pretty good, and would snort or something and wake up. Hm, obstructive sleep apnea?? He said it happened 3 or 4 times. Geez, when I was awake those several times, I remember being restless and going into a hot flash. I don't remember what position I woke up in, but I often turn onto my back to cool off, then turn onto my right side and go back to sleep. I've been told that I snore when I'm really tired, but not like this. I hope it doesn't happen very often.

I had breakfast and went over to the radiation center. I changed into the gown, put my things in a locker, and went into the waiting area. Several people were in there, including the woman who has the 8:30 time slot. Huh? What's up with this? It's 8:40 right now. I looked around and recognized another patient. I sat down at the puzzle table with Elaine. She would call this one a "doozy", in that the pieces are irregularly shaped, a little smaller than the average puzzle piece, brilliant colors, and intricate, repetitive shapes and patterns in the picture. I picked at a few pieces here and there, and Ron the technician came out. He said they were having "technical difficulties", and that the machine wasn't running right now, but they were working on it, and hope it will be up soon. Huh? Technical difficulties?? I thought this was a new machine, like 6 months old. He says yep, they often have problems with the machine. Great, I'm thinking. So how reliable is the dose of radiation being delivered. I guess we just have to trust that it works properly when it's working properly... I went out to the car for a moment, to get a couple of tylenol and motrin, as my breast was feeling full and sore. I was parked in the first row near the building, so it was a short trip out to the car and back in. I got a small cup of coffee (there for the patients/family) and went back to the waiting area.

Mary the nurse came up to me and we talked about something, I don't remember what just now. Then Michelle the social worker came up to me and asked if I was coming to the support group at 9 o'clock. I was planning to, I replied. Good... About then, Ron came out and called the gentleman back, that the machine was back online. Michelle told me I could come into the group when my treatment was finished. The other woman was called back, and a few minutes later it was my turn. It was 0900. Only 20 minutes late, but disconcerting that the machine is what, temperamental?

Lisa and Ron were very businesslike, lining up the green laser lights on my body, then going off to shoot me. Have I said that in my imagination I can feel the radiation in my breast tissue? When the machine is whirring and buzzing, the tissue is warm and tingling from the inside, and the nipple is starting to feel prickly. It stops just a split moment after the machine stops. Zap, zap, done. They both come back in to help me get off the table, and to set it for the next patient. See you tomorrow...

I go out, change my clothes, and join 7 others in the conference room. They were just introducing themselves, so I said who I am and took a seat. The topic was humor in healing, and we talked about that, but the conversations turned to our treatments and tolerances. The meeting lasted just over an hour. It was helpful for me to hear of others' processes, and to see people and how they're doing. A couple of men, the rest women. 2 others with breast cancers, and each of the others had different types of cancers. It was good for me to go there.

I walked out with a woman in her 70's, who asked me about Ike, and how I got the appointment with her. I told her, briefly, and she said she hadn't been given information, either, about breast care and exercises and such. Then she told me that when Ike's mother comes to the US, (she's from the Netherlands), she picks her up from the airport! Isn't that somethin'?

At home, I changed into work clothes, had something to eat, and headed to Jackson. I clocked in about 1:00. We had a good afternoon; it was busy, but do-able. And, of course, good co-workers. I finally got to have dinner after the oncoming shift was done with report. Ahh, the life of a nurse...

I got home, visited with Daniel, and wrote here. Tomorrow is radiation, doctor visit, and therapy, then work. Daniel's still watching golf stuff; I'm off to bed.

Thanks for reading. Hugs.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday 5.11.2008 Mother's Day

Surprised me, I didn't sleep well at all last night. I went to bed after 1:15. Freezing cold. And as soon as I was just thinking about warming up, there it was. Hot. Oh my gosh. Covers off, breathe. About 10 minutes later, shivering again. I tried to lay quiet, to breathe through all this instability, to find some sense of calmness. I watched 2:30, then 3:30. I finally dozed off, then woke at 0530 and 0730. Geesh. I dozed, finally got up about 8:45. And you know I don't feel rested. The good thing--I will probably sleep tonight.

It was dry this morning, and thought I might get the other railing planter planted. By the time I had breakfast the rain had started.

Jeremy called to say all was well in South Carolina, and Happy Mother's Day. A big storm had moved through this morning, but had not affected them. Thank you, God. We had a nice visit on the phone.

A little while later Frank called, and he came up to visit in the afternoon. Daniel, Frank, and I went out to a local eatery, Carlin's Catch, and had some great fish. After we were at home, Frank mentioned going to Ann Arbor to visit his friend John, who had been in the motorcycle accident April 20. He is still at the University of Michigan Hospital, and will be there for a while yet.

Frank left and picked up Keesha, and I met them in Jackson, and we rode together over to the hospital. John is still very painful and had 3 staff persons to help him get back to bed. He only started bearing weight on his right leg (the good one) yesterday. He has a cast on his left leg, toes to thigh, with a drain. He has a short arm cast on the left arm, immobilizing the ruptured tendons of his left thumb. A supra pubic catheter is still in place, with good output. He breathes carefully, guarding the 5 broken ribs, and unknown other internal bruises. His right eye is dark, healing from the black eye. This is not a complete list, just what I could see. He is struggling with depression, and with the pain that is constant. He also had a skin graft, from his upper thigh to his lower leg. I hugged him, and he cried. I cried, too.

I hugged his friend Amber, too. She was on the back of the bike, and was unconscious in the road after being hit. She has a short arm cast on her left arm, with pins in her hand. She said the pins come out tomorrow, and she is scared of that process, and wonders if she will regain use of the ring finger and the little finger. They now are curled down with minimal movement. She also sustained a burn from something, somehow, on the calf of her ?right leg. She said that the skin was healing well, but she has no sensation below it, almost down to her heel. Those problems are one thing, but she is also insulin dependent diabetic, which can compromise healing. So she is a watch and see, too.

We left a little before 8. I think Frank and Keesha are ok; they verbalize helplessness at not being able to do more, and guilt of being with them but not getting hit. (survivor's guilt?) I left them at their vehicle in Jackson, then I came on home in the rain.

Daniel said we had a visitor tonight--the first hummingbird of the season at our feeder! That was nice to hear after seeing all that difficulty.

We visited a little, and I wrote here. Tomorrow is Monday. I have radiation at 0840, and support group at 0900. I go in to work after that. My breast is sore, tender in the wound bed.

I ask you pray for John's healing and for strength for him. Also for Amber's healing and strength. If you'd like to send him a card or something, I'd be happy to give you the address. Email me at (that's an underscore between the first and last names).

I'm on my way to bed. Hugs.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Saturday 5.10.2008

A Beautiful Wedding

I woke up this morning about 0730. Thought about listening to the radio for a bit, but the birds' songs were so nice I listened to them instead, and went back to sleep. I woke again at 0815--Daniel was not in the bed, (or in our bathroom) so I did turn on the radio, and listened to that. I dozed off and on, and got up about 9. Wonderful. Daniel said I slept well, that I was snoring this morning. Yep, sleepin' good.

I feel rested today. The breast is still a bit swollen and sore, we'll see how that goes as the day goes on. It's picture day--I photo'd myself, and they are posted on Careful, they're bare-chested photos, so if that's not something you want to see, don't go.

After posting the photofest, (I'd had breakfast before posing), I took myself out for a run. The sky was beautiful blue with a few white clouds, the sun was warm, and air about 60 degrees. It was garage sale weekend in the neighborhood, and lots of people were out. I jogged on by, not much hair and all. I was saying to myself, "Yes, look at me. I'm beating cancer. I'm exercising and taking care of myself, and getting well. And my hair is growing to prove it. I hope you're praying for me when you look at me funny." I was surprised at how many people were smoking cigarettes in their vehicles going from driveway to driveway, sale to sale. None-the-less, I made it all the way around today, and it was just a smidgen easier than the other day when I went out.

I got in, cooled off, and showered. I dressed to my slip, then had a bite to eat, as were were going to a wedding in Grand Blanc, my cousin's son. I slipped my dress over my head, painted my face, and pulled on a wig. !! It was the first time I'd worn one of them out in public. It felt a lot more comfortable with a little hair on my head and a wig liner, too. Daniel says Oh! That's different! But good! Ok, then, here we go...(I took a bandanna, too, just in case)

Allen Mortimer and Laura Himm were married in a beautiful ceremony witnessed by an almost full church. We celebrated that wedding at the Father Bush Center. It was beautifully decorated with linens, china, and crystal and candlelight, and yummy appetizers and buffet style dinner. Thank you, Himms and Mortimers, for taking care of your guests. Prayers and Congrats to the newlyweds as they travel their journeys...

Daniel and I danced a little, it was good. I got carried away, thinking my head was all that, and after a few turns, realized that it really isn't all that yet. I enjoyed being in my husband's arms anyway.

We left about 10, and got home about 1045 pm. We changed our clothes, and Daniel went to bed. I stayed up trying to get this written.

I had a good day, and enjoyed seeing and visiting with family members that I usually see only at Christmas (or at funerals). I hope to post a pic or two, maybe tomorrow.

Happy Mother's Day to all who have nurtured, female and male alike. Hugs.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday 5.9.08

Radiation Treatment #12

I get up this morning and go over to the radiation center. Change into the gown. I can hear their voices down the hall in "the room", and it sounds like they are finishing up, so I just hang out near the hallway in the waiting area. Sure enough, Lisa and the previous patient are coming towards me. She motions me to come on back.

Lisa and Adrienne position me and the table, and walk out. The machine moves into place, and zap. It moves again, and zap. Done. Lisa comes back out and lets the table down, and offers me an arm to sit up, and get off of the table. Have a good weekend, see you Monday. I put my street clothes back on. Melissa was at the desk and I told her Happy Nurse's Week. We chatted a minute, and I went on my way to see Ike/Eeka at 0930.

I got to the therapy place and checked in. Ike came out for me about 0935, and took me to room 3 today. In this room, the tan padded table was diagonally positioned. She had me undress, and left the room for a few minutes ("to pee", she said). When she came back in, she had her camera, and we did the photo thing of the cord. She got what I thought was a great pic that showed the dimpling near the elbow as well as the cord in the armpit. She had me lay on the table, and announced "that when we are done, we will see none of that". Good. I hope she can fix it. And she proceeded to knead/massage the areas that she did yesterday. And at the end of an hour, my arm felt better again. It was 1040. I appreciated that I got my full time, even though we started late. She told me to bring my calendar next visit, because we will need to add more days. Ok. I was dressed, and she walked me out into the treatment area. She hugged me. See you next week.

I got home about 1115. I got out of the car, and as I was coming up the stairs, I felt really lousy. Nauseated, queasy. I must have looked bad, because Daniel looked at me and asked if I was ok. I told him not really, all of a sudden I was queasy-nauseated. He told me to take a Nexium. No, I said, don't take a pill at the first sign of something. I'll wait. He told me to take a pill, that's what they're for. Geesh, it's just nausea, I can deal with it. I think I must have still be looking bad, because he was hovering. Hm. I told him I had to get ready for work, and went off into the bedroom. The nausea lessened, but didn't really go away the rest of the afternoon. And I didn't take a pill.

I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and glass of milk, fixed a travel cup with hot coffee, and headed to Jackson. I parked in the lot, no shuttle, and walked over to the hospital. I clocked in by 1300.

I got report from Joyce, who has been kind enough to cover these mornings for me, and I took over. Thank you, Joyce. We had a good team again, and the afternoon went well. I was even able to get a bite for dinner.

I clocked out at 1900--a rare event for me, as I generally stay until they are done with report. One of the girls had gotten her report and was out on the floor, so we left.

I drove home, stopped at Meijer to pick up cards and gift cards, that I had forgotten about until today, and got home by 8:45.

Daniel had just gotten home, too, from is golf event. We settled around for the evening, visited some, he checked his email, then went off to bed. I wrote here, and I'll be on my way soon.

The nausea is there, faintly. I don't know if it's because the lymph fluid has been moved around, or because of the cumulative effect of the radiation. My breast is definitely sore, especially in the wound bed and the breast incision. I took a couple of tylenol and a couple of motrin on the way home (not really, I took acetaminophen and ibuprofen). The fullness under my arm was making itself known, too.

I'm glad to have the weekend off from the radiation, to let that breast settle down. I plan to take photos again tomorrow, and will post them on the kathyjeanpics site. Last week's are there; be aware, they are bare-breast pictures.

Saturday is a wedding in Grand Blanc, and Sunday is no plans. I'm looking forward to both days.

Thank you for reading, for taking the time to pray for us, to join us on this journey. Hugs.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday 5.8.2008

Radiation Treatment #11

Today I got up and went to the radiation center. Elaine finished the puzzle--I wonder if I'll get the same sense when a new/different puzzle is started? I changed into the gown, and Lisa called me back. She and Ron positioned me, the table, and the lights, left the room, and zap, zap. Then the other arm thing came around from the right side of my head--the plate on the end is smooth and flat and the same color as the rest of the machine, kind of an old timey aqua/green/gray color. (I was surprised when Ron told me this machine is just 6 months old) The plate hovered at an angle over my right breast, aimed at the left. And the machine whirred for a couple of seconds, stopped, then all pieces went back to their "park" position. Lisa came out to let me down, and I asked her why the machine buzzed a third time. Oh, she said, we did another x-ray. We do one once a week to check things out. oh, ok, thanks. I'll try to catch them at a time to show me that image...

I got dressed, and stopped at Meijer on the way home. I needed more dirt, more strawberries, and ice cream. Also returned the hummingbird feeder I got yesterday; it was broken in the threads part of the container. No problem with the return, and I got the other food items and checked out. I drove over, then, to the garden center which the opposite side of the parking lot, you know how they have it set up to drive through? I had to walk through it first, and pay, then go back and pick it up. I told the lady the kind I wanted, and that it was $3.49 or something. She rang up two bags, I ran the credit card through and completed the sale. As I was picking up the bags of dirt, it struck me that she said the total was 5 something. Huh? That's not right... I could have driven off with the goods, thinking I got a "good deal", but if I had overpaid, I would have gone back for the refund. So, I parked the car, (again), and walked back into the garden center to tell her what happened. She looked at me like I had two heads, then I could see that she was thinking about telling me it's ok, just go, but told me we'd have to do a lane return/adjustment and that's not something she's authorized to do. Ok. She gets on her phone and calls Lorena, who says she'll be out. Well, you know we waited maybe 5 minutes for her to come out. Then, Lorena rang up the wrong product to return (I don't know how that worked, because she scanned my original receipt), and tried to give me money back. No, I said, I owe you more. Oh, she said. So they voided that transaction out, and started again. They finally got it right, I paid the couple of dollars difference, and went on my way. Yes, it was a nuisance, but my integrity is intact.

At home, Daniel had gone out to do some errands himself. I checked email and did some other stuff. Dan came home. I took a granola bar to eat on my way to the therapy appointment.

I had to wait about 10 minutes for Ike/Eeka, but she came out for me about 12:05. We went back to treatment room 2 today. I think this table was longer. I took off my shirt and bra--she looked at my bra and shook her head. "I know you probably went out and bought the new cotton bras like they tell you, but you will not like that band pretty soon", she says. Oh. I tell her that it's more comfortable right now to have a little support for that swollen mamm. She laughs. Anyway, she has me lie on my back. She says she is going to do a whole treatment today. Ok. She starts at the base of my head/top of the neck, and starts lightly pressing, then while lifting, dragging her fingers downward. She does this to the neck, top of the shoulders, front of the neck/clavicle area, and sternum. Then she says she is going to "make room for the fluid", and moves to my abdomen. She stands on one side of me and reaches across, and presses and pulls towards her. She does this from the ribs down to the hips (she says "we must undo your pants"--and I have to tell you I'm thinking Huh?), kind of kneading, but really a press/pull kind of move. Hm, this is different... She goes around to the other side of the table, reaches across, and does the opposite side of the abdomen. Then she comes back up to the left clavicle, and draws that down, and then she starts, lightly, massaging the left breast. She kind of uses the same technique, a press/pull motion, but it's a little different than that. She works at the incision near the areola to break up the adhesions. After that, she lifts my left arm and works on that, pressing along the corded area, slowly, up to the armpit, and to the axillary incision. She works on that incision, too. Just when I think we must be done, she tells me to roll over. I can't think how doing anything to my back is going to help my front... but she massages the neck and upper left shoulder/shoulder blade area. Hm, this is interesting. Ok, she said, you're all done.

I sit up, and look down at my breast. No kidding!! It's about a full cup size smaller!! The tight shiny skin is gone, it looks more like my own breast. I'm amazed. I look at her and say so. Yes, she said, I think it is smaller, too. I will do that again tomorrow. Ok, I said. Thanks! I look at my arm. I didn't think I was having any issue with my arm holding fluid, but now I see that it looks more like my normal. Well, surprise me.

I went home, told Daniel about my amazing experience, had a good bite to eat, changed clothes, and headed to Jackson to work the rest of my shift. I clocked in just before 3.

The team that was there today is great, and I was able to step in and take over. It was kind of busy, maybe busy enough to give you something to do, but not so that you have 3 things waiting to be done. You know?

I stayed through report, finishing loose ends, answering call lights, and clocked out about 7:30. Drove home, Daniel was not home yet from umpiring a ball game. I was fixing my dinner when he came in.

Basically, the rest of the night we ate and worked on the computer. Daniel is off to bed, and I'm right there, too. Tomorrow is more of the same for me.

Have a great day, I'll write again. Thanks for reading. Hugs.