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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sometimes a diagnosis can be wrong....and channelling Goldie Hawn

I'm a tad bit late in my posting....and some of you have sweetly voiced concern at what's going on at this point....well not much...but I guess a lot....

 Monday, I went to the hospital to have the simulation/marking done for the Radiation Therapy....you know where they tattoo me (with dots) and put me through a scanner to give the graph numbers of where they will radiate.  I'm like a living piece of graph paper and they mark off the grid they will follow when they radiate.  On the way there, I got a call from my surgeon who asked if I could come in so they could look at the incision done at the Emergency Room.

Turns out they don't think I had an abscess at all....that I was just having a reaction to the shot...and that since the nodes had been removed recently, that the Axilllary area just naturally filled with fluid.  Had I been able to get in touch with them, they probably would have just needle drained the accumulation of fluid....but I couldn't get in touch with them and they said what the ER doctor did was OK.  The thing I did not like about the ER doc was that I told him I was allergic to clear adhesive....discovered that in my last breast cancer and he basically told me it was all in my head and that people who think they are allergic to adhesive just put it on too tight..........and he bandaged me with adhesive....when I got home and the gauze needed to be changed, I cried as John tried to get the adhesive off of me without ripping my already blistering skin. 

When I was in the surgeon's office, I took off the gauze that I had attached with a paper tape (not much kinder to my skin) and they asked me if the drainage had ever been any color other than the pale yellow liquid that was slowly draining out....I said no....and they said, I never had an abscess.....
The surgeon told me yesterday not to use any tape at all in that area....to place several open gauze in the side of my bra which is working out fine. In fact at this point the drainage has stopped, the lump is down to the size of a dime and the incision is for all purposes closed and healing....The ER doctor put me on antibiotics that I have to take for 10 days.....the fever and trauma that my body went through glorious and quite meanly showed itself by way of horrible fever blisters all over my lips (upper and lower)...lovely!  I look like Goldie Hawn in "First Wives' Club"...Ha Ha!   This is not Goldie, but you get the idea....Her lips look even better than mine because I could barely put on lipstick....I felt like I looked like I'd been in a lip fight with a bear and lost!  I've stayed home and out of the public eye for a few days so as not to freak people out or scare small children and tried all the remedies to get them to dry up....In the past I've never had more then one or two....I must have had 20...and that's no joke.... And of course we have a dinner dance to go tomorrow....I'm hoping all the rememdies I'm using will clear up my mouth by then.

The Radiation Oncologist called me on Tuesday and at first said I think you're all set up and good to start radiation tomorrow (that would have been Wednesday), but then she asked me to explain what had taken me to ER and what they had done....and what my Surgeon had said about the small incision...I told her it was about 3/8 of an inch long and the Surgeon says it is healing very nicely....  We talked a while longer and she said...."I'm going back and forth in my mind about starting you tomorrow....because unfortunately radiation will inhibit the complete healing of that incision and the more I think about it the more I think we should delay it a few days".....me (heavy sigh)...OK (I mean what else am I going to say...Nooooo I want to start tomorrow!   She did decide to postpone it a few days and they called me Wednesday to tell me that I will be starting at 2:15 next Monday, December 16th.  My treatments will be at 2:15 Monday and Tuesday and then all the rest of them will be at 8:30 in the morning every weekday for the next 4 weeks (excluding Christmas eve and day and New Year's eve and day)....those 4 days will be tacked onto the end...which should take me to about January 16th.  I'm glad I was able to get early morning appts. because that will allow me to do my afternoon exercise classes and perhaps even an early early morning spin class I am hoping to take.

That's about where I am right now....I've not gone to the gym this week since I did not want to disturb that incision and I am getting frustrated that I am not exercising and just keep gaining weight.....but I guess what is important right now is for me to take care of myself and just do what exercise I can do.....the rest will come in time.


Now there is still the question of the chemo.....since my HER2/neu test came back equivocal once again.  The PA in the surgeon's office explained to me that if I have to have the HER2 meds that although it is administered like chemo, it has none of the side effects of chemo such as nausea and loss of hair....that I would have to do it once every 3 weeks for a year. But that is still up in the air and to be honest with you my plate is pretty full right now    so I am going to put that discussion and thought on the back burner, get through my radiation and the holidays and face that bridge  when I get to it.
                                                             




I am off to wrap and mail Christmas packages....unload my car...with gifts that I've been hiding....try to disguise my lips one more time to go out in the public and finish up my shopping.

I have a favor I'd like to ask of all of you reading this blog....I have a dear old friend/boss who is losing his battle with lung cancer and sadly his time left on this earth is very very short. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers as they travel down this heart breaking road that we each must face one day or that we have faced already.   Please let your warm thoughts of comfort surround them so that even through their deep sadness they might feel some peace.  Thank you.

Have a really beautiful day and remember to tell those you care about ....that you care....don't put it off....we are only given this moment in time and life is way way too short and sometimes those...."I need to remember to say 'that' to whomever" "next time I see them I'll do that".....we never really know when that time in the future might not get here...

To all of you my family and friends who follow this blog and who encourage me not only to beat this cancer, but to continue my quest to get and stay healthy and fit and to be fit at 99....and to motivate others down that path....I thank you and I openly and gladly say I love you...each of you make my world special and make this journey I am on (even with the bumps and curves in the road) so worthwhile.

 Oh and Barbara thank you so much for the book gift you gave me....I know I'll have it with me during my treatments.

John, I love you!


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