Double Secret Probation

This week is going by quickly. I’m having complications from radiation and have been put on what I am calling probation. As you saw in my last post, the burns are getting bad. My doctor told me I’m not a complainer so when I tell her things are bad, she takes that seriously. I guess that’s the silver lining of this week – at least my doctors don’t think of me as a complainer. I did get treated Tuesday before seeing the doctor, but that has been my only treatment this week.

So, basically I am just sitting at home with all of my creams trying to keep the skin moist and hoping it heals. I called and spoke with my nurse yesterday because it hasn’t gotten any better. She said that the radiation remains active for a full week after treatment so we can’t really expect any improvement until a week has gone by. In fact, it continues to get worse during that time. But at least we stopped treatments so it is not getting as bad as it would have if we didn’t take the break.

My skin has started peeling and what is coming off is DARK, burned skin. It’s actually a little scary to see how burned it has gotten. Under my arm feels amazingly tight, like it’s going to rip open whenever I move my arm. I’m talking about reaching to get something off the table next to me, not big drastic movements. I pretty much have to keep my arm immobile. I found out by accident that Ibuprofen helps a lot too – if I take three or four at a time. The nurse said to keep them coming though as it will help with the inflammation.

I also showed my doctor the rash I’ve been fighting for months. It looks like eczema but the past two weeks it has pretty much gone insane and is getting worse by the day. I’ve especially got the spots on my back where they are covering me with less than an inch between them. It’s getting insane. Here’s a pic:

My doctor wasn’t sure what it is so she sent me to a dermatologist who I saw at 8am on Wednesday. The derm wasn’t sure either so she took a biopsy (the spot circled in pen was the victim). She does not think it’s cancer but it could be either a drug reaction (from chemo), eczema or some kind of psoriasis. I had never had a skin biopsy before and I couldn’t believe how much they took. Here are the tools she used, it’s hard to get perspective for size, but that long tool is what took the “punch” of skin and it’s pretty big.

Here is the piece of skin she took, it’s larger than a pencil eraser:

Eric took the bandage off and there are three stitches! Needless to say, this caused some pain and I was popping four ibuprofen at a time. During the day on Wednesday I was thinking my burn was already better and I was able to move a lot easier. I soon found out though that when the ibuprofen wore off I was right back to where I was with the burn. At least I know something that will help make it feel better and the nurse approved. Fun times. So, in addition to the creams/ointments for the burn, I also have steroid cream for my rash as well as an oil type spray to put on after I shower. I am amassing quite a collection of prescription body treatments. Let’s hope some of them actually work.

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3 Responses to Double Secret Probation

  1. Joe Smeltzer says:

    Not that this is news, but you are tough as nails….. Good Lord…. Keep on going. Almost there. And thank you for your blog.

  2. Heather says:

    Hang in there Jen, you’re so close to the end. I just had my mapping done yesterday and got my tattoos. I start down this road on the 12th. Keep the ibuprofen flowin!

  3. Lola says:

    You poor thing, please think about asking if you can try 180 mg of Allegra for awhile..can’t hurt (I hope you get an ok if you choose to try). Many doctors don’t realize that this ill wirk after a week ortwo. Feel better!

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