Sunday, August 8, 2010

Empty Nest

I haven't posted here all week, because I've been busy helping Shonna get ready to move--and when I haven't been doing that, I've been resting! 
Wed. I started having a lot of pain from my radiated area (from last summer).  I don't know if I posted about this before, but its called radiation recall dermatitis. Certain chemos "recall" the skin irritation done previously by radiation.  It's been bothering me on and off, and Wed. it was really painful, so I took percocet throughout the day (low doses).  Thurs.  I just needed 2 half pills to keep the edge off.  Friday I went to the cancer center to see the PA, Stephanie.  My onc is out of town for 2 weeks.  She gave me some ointment to help, and told me to keep taking the percocet as needed.  I always worry that they (the docs) are going to think I'm some sort of junkie when I tell them I took some pain pills (even though I hardly ever take them!).  Its nice when they ask if I need a refill!
I've been feeling better since then, and able to do more physical stuff yesterday.  We loaded up the van and Shonna's car to have it all ready for her leaving this morning. Oh--I decided not to go with.  Alyssa went instead.  I was feeling so crappy all last week, I just didn't think I could make it. I can hardly go up 1/2 a flight of steps, and I wouldn't have been much help moving all Shonna's stuff up to the 2nd floor (or 3rd?). Rich would have spent too much time worrying about me.  This way they have more help (Alyssa), and don't have to make any special stops for me.

It was tough saying goodbye this morning!  Tough for Rich and Shonna too!  She'll miss her "mama bear", and I sure will miss my baby!  From previous experience I know that everything will be ok--that she'll still be living here sometimes, and that it will be fun watching her grow into an independent young woman.  I so enjoy my relationship with Rachel and Alyssa now, and that has helped me to not be too sad. It also helps to know that God is really in this, and Shonna is following His will for her life.  He will take good care of her for me! Besides--I have a spare room!!!  You have no idea how exciting this is to me!  I've never had a house that had any extra storage space.  My mom lives with me, and her stuff takes up alot of room downstairs  (not complaining--just saying!)  I hope I can get the room painted and put together before too long. I'm looking forward to growing old with my hubby, and being a good grandma.  :)
Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since my last chemo, and 2 weeks until my next.  I hope to enjoy this break as much as possible.  Next week I have a MUGA scan and EKG on Monday, and an appt. with the radiation doc on Tues.  The MUGA is a heart function test that I have to have done before I start Herceptin.  Adriamycin (one of the chemos I just finished) and Herceptin both can cause heart damage, so this test will check to make sure no damage was caused by the Adriamycin (they will compare it to the test I had before starting chemo), and then make sure everything is good to go for the Herceptin.
The Radiation Therapist (Dr. Bisignani, or Dr. B.) is the same one I had for radiation last year.  Told him I never wanted to see him again!  Oh well, I really do like the guy, but radiation was really tough on me (and still is!!).  He's the one that gets to decide whether or not I need radiation this time.  I had 3 nodes with cancer, and 1 of them the cancer grew through the node to the outside.  4 nodes definitely need radiation, and 3 is sort of a "gray" area.  But with the cancer growing through the node, I'm pretty sure I'll need it too.  I will pay more attention to what the side effects might be and I want reassurances that there will be no heart damage (its the left side).  Since I had a mastectomy, I think it'll just be the underarm area that'll need the radiation, and I hear they can pinpoint it pretty well to minimize damage.  The skin will feel and look sunburned, but the good thing is that area is still mostly numb from the surgery.  If I do have to have radiation, it'll be after the Taxol is done (2 months) and while I'm still on Herceptin.  Radiation would probably be daily (except weekends) for 6-8 weeks.  Yeah, I know, sounds like fun doesn't it?  I was just telling a fellow bc survivor today that I have to keep in mind that my prognosis is good after all this treatment.  Just gotta get through treatment!
Well, I've decided to not be too mopey, and enjoy this "quiet time" I'll have the next few days.  Some woman pay to stay in a hotel to get this--I can just stay in my own home and do what I want for the next few days--every mom's dream right?  I had lunch with a friend today (yeah--had to quickly wash away the tears from the "goodbye" and re-do my make and head off to lunch!)  Tomorrow I am having dinner with mom and Dee (and maybe Rachel?).  Sadie (my 11 yo dog) and I are gonna have some "girl" time!  Maybe I'll paint her toenails....hmmm.
Have a great day everyone!!


  1. I'm thinking of you often and praying for you. And now your baby has flown the nest! Very exciting new beginning for her. You are so blessed to have such close family support. Your blog is wonderful - in case I've never mentioned that! Love you, Tina. You are an inspiration.

  2. Sorry to hear about Shonna heading off to school already. How proud can you be as Mom though to see your daughter sold out to following Jesus and pursuing a life serving Him? What a testimony to you and Rich and your walks with the Lord. Well done faithful handmaiden of the Lord! Praying for your adjustment and the further treatment coming up. Love and blessings! Tom