Update 73

June 20 – Came across something interesting today.  A website that advertises candies that specifically help with chemo nausea!  I read about it in Cure Extra, a publication I get about cancer news and my oncologist keeps copies in his office (a good sign!). I have  not used the products myself, nor have I spoken to anyone who has but they looked interesting.  Go to www.threelollies.com to see for yourself.

June 22 – Week 5, Day 4, 23 treatments to date.  Sad Sadie and Weepy Wanda are visiting me tonight.  It is late and I am feeling sad, vulnerable and alone.  Even when you have the very best support group possible, ultimately it is you alone who has to deal with all of it.  I think the daily trek to get the radiation treatments is getting a bit wearing on both my body and mind.

Five more days of this heavy treatment and then I begin the “boost” treatments.  Still don’t know how many of them there will be.  The basis for the number of boost treatments will be calculated on just how much more they think my organs can withstand. Words straight from the doctor.  Well, that’s a bit unnerving! 

Conked out for two hours this afternoon.  Hard sleep.  Needed it.  Probably why I am up so late now!

Lucy Lump is still there, no bigger and no smaller, just there and still sore.

June 26 – Week 6, Day 1, 25 treatments to date.  Good news today when I saw the Radiation Oncologist, tomorrow is the last day I have to get treatment to the really sore area on my collarbone.  I have started to wear T-shirts where I put my left arm and head through the neck opening and have a one shouldered shirt look so that the really sore area doesn’t have anything rubbing on it.  Pin the empty armhole together so Perky Polly has some privacy.  Only for around home though as it is not a really classy look for being out and about!  The doctor said I can use Hydrocortisone (over the counter) on that area during the day for the itching and Benedryl crème at night.  I am not recommending this to anyone, I am just reporting on what my doctor prescribed for me.  You MUST check with your own doctor before using anything on your skin!  I still have treatment to the rest of the area through Thursday and then I have five “boost” treatments to the site of the recurrence beginning on Friday. Should end totally on July 7.  Ended up with twenty- eight treatment days to the large area minus my collarbone (twenty-six for that area) but only five boost days instead of eight.  So total is twenty-eight days of IMRT X-ray radiation to my left chest area and five days of electron radiation treatment directed just at the site of the recurrence for a grand total of 33 days. Whew!  I am more than ready for this to all be over. He still feels Lucy Lump is not a cause for concern but is still checking on her.  I will see my regular Oncologist tomorrow and see what he says.

The doctor did tell me I was doing really well, though.  I am very glad to hear that although I really did know that and I really do want to get back to being really good at something besides cancer treatments!  Seems like you really ought to get some kind of extra points towards something really great for getting through all this!  Really!

Am going through a new phenomenon.  Woke up this morning at 3 a.m. with my hands and feet itching like a million mosquitoes had bitten me.  Do not like this new turn of events at all!  Yesterday morning was up at 6 a.m. with my feet itching and a bit numb with a visit from Leg and Foot Cramp Lucinda Faye!  Night before that I was crocheting and my feet started to itch. I see my endocrinologist on Wednesday (this is doctor week!) so hopefully by the time I run this by all of my doctors someone will have an answer.  Radiation Oncologist had no clue but is sure it is not from that radiation. 

Cried all the way home because I have a definite end to the radiation, I am relieved that my collarbone area will not have radiation three more days, just one, and that I do not need eight boot treatments, only five, and a bit of Feelingverysorryformyself Francine mixed in! 

June 30 – Week 6, Day 5 – 29 treatments to date.  Whew! Lots of stuff going on this week and I am getting more tired so am having to rest a bit more.  Nothing major, thank heavens, just tired and sore.  My collarbone area has begun to blister and peel.  Oh yea. Still way easier than chemo, though!  Four more days next week (I get weekends and holidays off, remember, so I don’t have to go on the Fourth of July!)  and I am DONE with radiation!

Saw the Medical Oncologist on Tuesday and had my Herceptin treatment. Then only five more months of Herceptin treatments every three weeks!  I will feel lost without having a treatment of some kind!  NOT!  Anyway, he says I am doing fine, also, and that he believes Lucy Lump is of no concern although he, too, will be watching her.  He says that I will be prone to these types of lumps for the rest of my life due to all the activity that my left breast has gone through over the last few years!  Oh yea. Poor Perky Polly!  Also, I can expect visits from Leg and Foot Cramp Lucinda Faye for awhile yet as my body is trying to put itself back together.  The itching he says is due to my nerves trying to re-grow and repair themselves and said I can use Benedryl crème if I need to for the itch but nothing that would deaden my feet and hands like Lidocaine. (This is Friday and I have had no further trouble from Lucinda or Itchy Inez.)  He reminded me that it has not really been very long since chemo was over.  How quickly I forget!  Seems like a long time ago now to me and he pointed out it was only April when I had my last chemo. Hmnnnpppfff!  Maybe it seems so long ago because it seems I have been going to radiation forever!  I am having a brain scan in July, the week after radiation ends, just to have a baseline and to see if there has been any damage from all the chemo.  I have a bit of a balance problem (very minor, misjudge how far I am from a corner of a wall and get too close sometimes) but I feel it is dissipating, it all went away last time.  He says the forgetfulness is due to chemo brain and that seems to be getting better, too.  So, off I go on July 11 to get an MRI of my brain.  On August 18 I have another MUGA scan to see how my heart is handling all of this.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  Feel good, I do, so if there is some damage it can’t be too much. 

Saw the endocrinologist on Wednesday (told you it was doctor week!) and again I am doing fine.  A1c is 5.4 (excellent result) and everything but triglycerides are within normal range.  Gotta cut back on the fats!  Even with the good numbers I have been having some unusual fluctuations in my blood sugar readings and he feels that is due to stress (ya’ think?) of chemo and radiation, that all of that can cause the off readings so he added the drug (Amaryl) back in that I used to take before getting chemo (to combat the steroid Decadron) for the next three months until things calm down a bit. 

Not bad, huh!  I believe I win the cancer battle once again!

Thursday we had yet another electrician come to give us an estimate.  So far we have, $1700.00 - $4500.00 - $9,200.00 and $19,000.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Okay, what is the problem here!  Called the electric company today to see if we need something the 9200.00 guy said we did but haven’t heard back yet.  Good grief!

Today I had my first “boost” treatment and there will be three, yes, count them, THREE Photos of the Week! One will be Fiery Fiona and the other two will be of the adaptor for “Great White” and a close up of the area where the new Electron radiation comes out of the machine.  I didn’t dare to not include a wig photo after promising one last update!

Newsy News – Nurse Martha (my sister) bought a house about five minutes from me and will be moving in this weekend.  Yea!  She has been across town for years and in the Orlando area across town is a day trip!  I have company coming on Sunday for a day or two and they are easy company so am looking forward to their visit.  I get to show off the addition again!  And, of course, I get out of helping my sister  move!

I must comment on something Nurse Martha and I were discussing.  She is only six years younger than me so we were talking about gravity playing havoc with our faces. She works for a plastic surgeon and I am friends with mine so we have always said we would schedule a face lift at the same time so we could recuperate together!  Well, friend or not, that is still expensive so we came up with an alternative. You know how all the young people have piercings all over their faces?  Noses, eyebrows, lips, etc.?  Well, (mental picture time!) Martha was saying that her jowls are getting so long they look like earlobes (they do not!) and she thinks she will just hang earrings there and be done with it.  I don’t like mine either so I took it a step further and said we ought to make a senior fashion statement and pierce them like the young people do!  I mean you can only get them with age so it could end up being quite a status symbol to have your jowls pierced!  You really have to earn that saggy skin!  Whatcha’ think???????????  Shall I go for it?  I could use the belly ring jewelry for starters until the trend picks up!  Shall I use Gold?  Jewels?  Doubled pierced?  Maybe long dangling ones??????????????  I even have name for this new trendy jewelry– “Jowel Jewels.”

click on images for larger view

Photos of the Week.  Okay, on to some serious stuff now.  Here I am as Fiery Fiona.  Do I not look Fiery!  Those are my own eyebrows!

Wouldn’t I look nice with some Jowel Jewels???????????????

Then we have the long adaptor that fits on Great White to deliver the electron radiation to just one area.  This radiation only goes to a certain depth and is to really eradicate any microscopic cells that might still be lurking by the site of the recurrence. That flat part at the very bottom of the extension is just barely above my skin when I am in position.

The third photo is what is under the flat bottom area of the adaptor.  That hole has been designed just for me according to all their fantastic calculations and fits the area that needs to be radiated.  It measures 4” x 2 ½”.  I know this for a fact since that area is also outlined on my skin in blue marker!  It is only one shot lasting for twenty-two seconds!

Hang in there and I will, too!

Margot     a.k.a  Perky Polly, Sad Sadie, Weepy Wanda, Lucy Lump, Leg and Foot Cramp Lucinda Faye, Feelingverysorryformyself Francine, Itchy Inez and Fiery Fiona.

If you have any questions please email me


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