My mental state continues to suck. I know that I can’t quit which makes me feel like I have no options. If my cancer came back and I knew that I did not do everything possible, how could I live with myself? So I have to do it. I have to figure it out and put one foot in front of the other and fake it until I make it, right? Today was my appointment with the radiation oncologist. I knew that the fact that they wanted me to have the meeting meant they most likely wanted me to do radiation. I decided to put actual clothes on, put my fancy scarf/turban on my head and even wear earrings. I even put on jeans rather than elastic waist pants. This was serious. I went to the appointment, spoke with the nurse for quite a while and then the doctor. I really like her. We did an exam and had a long discussion about why she felt like I should do radiation. She has been part of the breast committee who has been discussing my case and it was clear that this came from all my doctors (especially since they were the ones who requested I set up the appointment). Basically, my cancer is a Super Cancer, which has already been well established. I am lucky that it went crazy locally rather than spreading which is what the doctors had expected it to do. But since it was super aggressive locally, they feel that super aggressive local treatment is the best thing. Which means radiation. And since we’re going to do the whole chest wall, we’re going to throw in the lymph node area just in case while we’re there. The doctor checked my range of motion, and tenderness in some areas and called the Lymphedema department to get me into Physical Therapy ASAP. She apparently really lit a fire under them because I have an appointment for Thursday but they’re trying to cancel someone else to get me in tomorrow. Also, she left the room and called my oncologist to get a schedule. I thought that I would finish chemo and then do radiation if it were necessary so that surprised me. They are going to put my chemo on hold to do the radiation. I get my casting done next week – on the 17th. Since I’m supposed to have the tissue expanders fully filled before radiation, I asked about that but she said that the plastic surgeon will have to deal with that because it isn’t necessary from her standpoint. The cancer is the priority. I of course agree with this. But I ran up to the infusion center for a CBC to make sure my counts were good enough to get a fill tomorrow (they are). I’m assuming he will also try to do another one next week before the 17th. After the casting there can be no changes. I can’t imagine that he would try to do fills more often than once a week so I will likely have 4 fills before radiation starts. He told me it normally takes 6 fills so I’m just hoping at this point that he’s not going to super inflate me or anything (he can’t do that, right???).
Oh, and that part about public breakdowns. When the doctor left to make her phone calls, they were going to send the social worker in to meet me. In the couple minutes of alone time I had between their visits I just started crying. Great intro to the social worker. I became a blubbering idiot not even able to get words out but I guess that’s what she’s there for. She was certainly very nice about it. The doctor handled it well, although she was surprised since I was a person completely in control when she had left the room minutes earlier. I guess that’s how I roll now. That’s only the third time I’ve cried since I was diagnosed. I guess maybe things are going to finally start coming out. Maybe at least.
I do have a funny story from this week that has gotten lost in all my feeling sorry for myself. I’m just starting to be able to drive again and I went to the grocery store this week because I wanted to make potato soup for dinner. I put the kids down, drove the mile to the store and gathered the 6 things I needed and got back in the car. Then I decided that all the activity had gotten me too tired to actually make the soup and screw it – I’m ordering Chinese. So I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store and did just that. A few minutes later I walk into the restaurant. The guy recognizes me and greets me asking how I’m doing. Since I’m pretty clearly bald these days I said “okay”. He starts giving me a hard time about just being okay and I just looked at him for a minute and said “well, I do have cancer.” He gave me a big “OOOOhhhhh.” and then said “Well, they have technology for that these days.” Um, technology for cancer? Really? This is what I deal with people! THEY HAVE TECHNOLOGY FOR THAT. I need to start making t-shirts.