Welcome! Read Me!

This blog is created to give you a central location to answer any questions you have about my current and upcoming treatments and reactions. It is also created to help me make Lemonade out of the Lemons I have been given, so I will keep this as positive as I can.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nerves and skin and more

Well, Here it is... the week that I will be mapped and potentially start Radiation treatments. I am stressing out a little. It is one more thing that no one can tell me exactly what to expect. I only know the basics. I will go in this week and they will put little tattoos to map out the general area that will be radiated. Unfortunately these tattoos will not be stylish or fun, they will just be little "connect-the-dots" dots. I am not looking forward to that part because I hate Needles soo bad. I may need a Valium to get through it... but I will try to make it through without since I will be at work most of the day and have to drive to the Dr's office, it will probably be best if I have a clear head. Once this part is done I will be going in (about a 45+ minute drive each way) 5 days per week for 5 weeks for an approximately 30 minute visit with "controlled radiation". In order to do this I will have to stand and hold two bars that will be placed behind my head. This is the part I can't imagine right now as I have a strip of tight skin that extends from the scar, where my lymph nodes were removed in my arm pit, down to my elbow. This causes any movement where my elbow is lifted upwards very difficult and in some cases painful. I have been working on this for a few weeks, and I am now able to get my elbow pretty close to a 90 degree angle without screaming, so I think I may be close enough to be able to start the process. Only the doctor can tell me for sure, so I will know on Tuesday. This is as far as my knowledge takes me. The rest of it is a bunch of possible side effects. I may be fatigued, I may get a sunburn, it may make me nauseated, and it may be no big deal. I have absolutely no idea if I will be on one side of the extreme or the other or somewhere in the middle.
To prepare myself for the worst, I have begun taking supplements that are supposed to help with the health of my skin, and I have also started using 2 Aloe based creams (Miracle Aloe Cream and Aloe Propolis Creme) so hopefully between them all I can help my skin from the inside out and the outside in. If this combination works for me then I will not have to worry about the sunburn side of it as much and will just have to worry about the nausea and fatigue. Either that, or I won't have either one, or just one or the other... But in the beginning I am doing the same as I did with Chemo, I am preparing for the worst that I can imagine, and if it is better than that, I am great! But if it is the same as I imagine then at least I am "ready for it" in a sense.
With the Surgery I had nothing to gauge what it would be like since I had never had anything like it before in my life, and there were again so many variables or possible reactions that I had no idea which one I would have. Now I have a reference point of how I handle this type of surgery. I guess it is the same with cancer treatments; If I can compare it to the time spent doing Chemo, and I know I made it through that time, and I have had some really "good" sunburns and I survived them too, so I have to believe that I've got this. Now I just need to deal with the Scheduling logistics of this process. Yet another question mark in the process. I don't know when I will be going in each day, and I don't know how to deal with the kiddo's during that time. After Tuesday I should have a better idea of the schedule, then I can deal with how to handle the kids.
On a side note: As I am getting my life back to "normal" after surgery and getting back more of my home and parental duties I am ever grateful for a Husband who is willing and able to handle the kids and house when I can't. Alex has been doing anything that involves more than talking, walking or sitting for the past 3-5 weeks. He has also been willing to let me have "breaks" from doing nothing all day so I can go out with friends and family to help keep me sane. I am not promising that it is keeping any of us truly sane, but everyone is still alive. :) Now that I can lift my Danielle I can offer him more of those sanity breaks that he needs. I am actually going to attempt a full work day home with the kids all by myself tomorrow. I think I am ready to give it a shot. I have been doing almost everything on my own today even though Alex has been home most of the time, just to make sure I can do it, and I have my mom on call just in case I need something. I anticipate a wonderful day where the kids do exactly as they are told, won't complain about what I fix for lunch, and take their naps right on schedule.... DREAMING!!! But I do think that most of the issues that they can cause I can handle now. Just don't expect me to get anything above the basics done. :)


  1. Melanie, you are amazing! I just love you to pieces! If you need help getting to the doctor's appointment to get your "ink" done, I would be happy to take you. You deserve to be comfortable for this! I can help out with the little ones too... just tell me when and I will make it work!
    Big hugs lady!

  2. I'm sure the girls will be perfect ;) Let me know what I can help with! I pretty much have my afternoons free and Tuesdays. You're on the downhill side! You can do this!