Radiation Treatment

A couple of weeks ago I met with the radiation oncologist to discuss whether or not I would need radiation. Well, the discussion wasn’t a very long one and after about 2 minutes of chatting, we were scheduling a date for my first treatment. Radiation will start on January 5th and go every single day for 5 weeks. Leading up to this treatment, I will have to get small round tattoos going from my stomach up to my shoulders so I can be lined up perfectly in the machine every day. I guess tattoos are there to remind us of a certain life event so there you have it – I won’t be forgetting about radiation any time soon after I’m done!
One of the side effects that the doctor told me about is if the radiation treatment starts to open up my incision from surgery where they cut out the cancer, I will immediately have to have my expander taken out, all the excess skin cut off, and forget about ever having breasts again. This is a small chance but still scared the heck out of me. Sounds painful and scary and my fingers and toes are crossed that my incisions were sewn tighter than tight.
After all the scheduling and talking about side effects, the oncologist did an exam, where she felt a small mass on the same side where the original cancer was. She couldn’t tell what it was so she called in a few other doctors to take a look/feel, but no one could really say for sure. I was told that I need a sonogram right away, and if it’s cancer, it would need to be cut out before radiation.
WAIT…….what?
I just had a double mastectomy and you’re telling me that I could have cancer again. Apparently that’s possible and with the luck I’ve had, I can’t rule out that it’s not what I hope it’s not.
So there I am, laying on an exam table again with the cold gel and probe sliding around on my (fake) breast, which has no feeling by the way, so it definitely was not as uncomfortable as the first sonogram I had back in March, but still just as nerve wracking. Three more doctors were called in to look at the images, and still, nobody could tell what the thing was so I was ordered a mammogram for the next day.
**Side note – I started taking my hormone therapy drugs a few days prior to this appointment and was still getting the hang of them, which involved not realizing that you have to eat with them, or else it isn’t pretty.
Ok so next morning I take hormone therapy drugs and make my way to the hospital. I am in a hurry so I skip breakfast to make it to the mammogram on time. I will tell you that the only thing more painful than a mammogram is a mammogram with expanders. While I was being pulled and flattened and stretched in all different directions, I started to feel a bit woozy and before I knew it, I went from standing up in the imagine machine to laying on my back in the middle of the exam room, looking up at the ceiling wondering who and where I was. I also had 6 nurses surrounding me, trying to get me to come to. After about 45 minutes of not being able to sit up, I finally picked myself up with wobbly legs to finish the final image. It really never is a dull moment these days.
After my doctors looked at these images, they concluded that the mass wasn't anything to worry about but that I should keep an eye on it. It’s funny how I’d just gone through this major surgery in hopes that I would never have to hear that again, but ok, I’ll keep an eye on it.
As I drove home that day, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’m so ready to be done with this cancer stuff.  

Putting my legs up after my fainting spell.... I got quite a lot of compliments on my shoes that day!

Putting my legs up after my fainting spell....
I got quite a lot of compliments on my shoes that day!