Archive | May 2013

May 28 – Double Digits

No radiation yesterday because of the holiday.

Tuesdays are the days we do filming and I meet with Radiation Oncologist Dr. Lingareddy.

That also means it’s Treat Tuesday!  I didn’t have my usual cookie treats today so I punted with store bought.

My meeting went well.  It seems I’m kicking ass at radiation too.

I’m at 10 treatments completed and my skin is just now starting to show some wear.  It’s a light pink over my beast and a bit above it where the radiation hits it.  It looks like I’m starting to get a sunburn there.

Radiation Oncologist Dr. Lingareddy says it’s what she expected to see last week so yay skin!

Another appointment tomorrow!  And the next day.  And the next day!

This entry was posted on May 28, 2013. 2 Comments

May 24

Friday radiation again.  Ally came with and she gets excited because it’s the only time she can play on my phone!

There’s a woman that has her appointments right after mine so we cross paths.  We are on about the same schedule in terms of our journey.  We keep saying we’ll contact each other outside of the Cancer Center but it hasn’t happened yet.

Today she asked me – as we crossed paths – how I was handling the radiation.  I said everything was fine.  She said that her skin was feeling really tight and not comfortable.  She hasn’t had her reconstruction yet – and won’t be able to until Christmas time.  She delayed her reconstruction which was what I had considered earlier – I’m so glad I didn’t!!!

This weekend we are heading down to celebrate my neice Heidi’s birthday!  I am so excited that I get to see them two weekends in a row!!!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

I’m ever so grateful to our military for doing what I couldn’t!

No radiation on Monday!!

This entry was posted on May 24, 2013. 2 Comments

May 23

I went to radiation today.

As I was walking toward the changing room, I saw Ingrid.

She was walking down the hall toward me with an elderly male patient on her arm.

Ingrid:  “Are you going to be my boyfriend today?”

Man: “You gotta upgrade sometime.”

HA HA HA HA HA HA

 

May 22 I am continually amazed at what you can buy on Amazon

We’re going to talk about n-i-p-p-l-e-s today.

I had my mastectomy on February 15 and during the surgery, the left n-i-p-p-l-e was removed as part of the process.  There are a few options available:

  • Reconstruction
  • Tattoo
  • Nothing
  • Synthetic

Reconstruction

A new n-i-p-p-l-e can be made.  A flap of skin is taken from another part of my body and molded into a n-i-p-p-l-e.  This would be another procedure.  There is a chance that the reconstructed n-i-p-p-l-e can fail and that would be gross.

Tattoo

Yes, this is an option.  In the plastic surgeon’s office, they can hook you up with a tattoo on the beast so at least it LOOKS like there is something there.  They will try to match the coloring of the other one and can even do special techniques to make it look 3D.  Who knew right??  Weirder still – there is a company that sells temporary tattoos.  http://www.rubonnipples.com/  I am not showing pictures.  You can click the link!

Nothing

You can leave things be and just be without a n-i-p-p-l-e.  It looks like a Barbie doll – just smooth.

Synthetic – or a prosthesis – or a fake one

You can also get fake ones.  This was the most interesting research I have done yet.  Looking up such a thing sends you to some very –um — different websites.  Let’s say I learned something about cross-dressers.

There are so many different kinds.  I found a place that will custom make a n-i-p-p-l-e that really matches you for hundreds of dollars.  I opted NOT to get that.

I am pretty content with nothing.

Then I did what I love to do – Check AMAZON!!!!  http://www.amazon.com/Amoena-Adhesive-Nipples-Large-Bronze/dp/B003JTL47C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369279338&sr=8-1&keywords=amoena+nipples

 

Two days later, here it goes.

 

This entry was posted on May 22, 2013. 3 Comments

May 21 Treat Tuesday!

Tuesdays are longer radiation appointments.

Because of this, I have reinstated bringing cookies to appointments on Tuesdays!

Every other day of the week, this is radiation:

  • Check in with Kimberly at the front desk
  • Walk back to the changing area, trade out my top clothing for a half gown
  • Wait to be called back by Ingrid or Becky
  • Hop in my mold on the table
  • Pull an arm out of the sleeve
  • Lay back and get into position
  • Have radiation
  • Put my arm down
  • Sit up and head back to change

On Tuesdays, I do the same thing but there is some filming that goes on during the session.  Radiation Oncologist Dr. Lingareddy will watch the films as part of my monitoring.

After the session, I meet with Cecilia, Radiation Oncologist’s nurse.  We go over how things are going.  We check vitals and then Radiation Oncologist Dr. Lingareddy will come in.

Today she had Occupational Therapist Rita with her.  (This was a good thing).

Progress is going well.  Radiation Oncologist Dr. Lingareddy complimented me on my ability to stay so still during treatments.  Let’s just say I’m an awesome patient!  Many people have a hard time lying still I guess.  She joked that it didn’t even seem like I was breathing – which I explained that most of the time I forget to breathe and end up taking a deep breath between scans!

Overall – six treatments in and all is well.

I did bring up something that has been bugging me and I wasn’t sure who to go to.  I have these odd pains in my left arm.  They are really hard to explain.

  • The pain isn’t all the time
  • The pain is in different places of my arm:  along my tricep, at the joint of my elbow, at my wrist, on my palm
  • It isn’t muscular or skin
  • It’s like having a bruise – only hurts when you touch it

It turns out that this kind of pain happens post surgery.  Radiation Oncologist Dr. Lingareddy and Occupational Therapist Rita asked me to raise my arm and immediate looked at each other and said “cording.”

Of course I have looked this up for you!

It’s actually called Axillary Web Syndrome

 

If you have axillary web syndrome, you’ll often be able to see and/or feel a web of thick, ropelike structures under the skin of your inner arm. Lymphedema therapists often call these “cords.” (In some cases, you may not see or feel the cords, but sensations of pain and tightness will tell you they are there.)

Some experts believe that the surgery to the underarm and chest area traumatizes the connective tissue that encases nearby bundles of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and nerves. This trauma leads to inflammation, scarring, and eventually hardening of the tissue. This hardening can spread down the fibers of the connective tissue, which causes the cords to form

What do we do about this?  Occupational therapy with someone who understands axillary web syndrome.  I should have some more information in the next couple of days about setting up some sessions.  I’m happy about that because this pain is limiting during my daily activities.

With Tuesdays being meeting days, I decided to contact my friends at Cupcake Moms to create some delicious treats to hand out.  It must not happen very often because everyone was so greatful!!  HOORAY!!!

https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/cupcakemoms?fref=ts – Candy is AWESOME!!  She does cupcakes too…exceptional quality, super fresh and always creative!

See you tomorrow!!

 

 

May 20 My Cooking Show – NOT

I have a short story to tell you about the Pampered Chef party last week.

Cucumber cups - more on that in the blog

Cucumber cups – more on that in the blog

Remember this photo from the gallery?  If not, here it is again.

Know this about me and cooking.  I am not one of those people who can make a dish based on “whatever is in the fridge.”

In my case, I’d be serving a bowl of Cherry Coke with ready to serve bacon and Yoplait Yogurt Soup.  (ewww)

So at the party, I’m just watching the cucumber cups come into being.

Super Chef Tina made these using awesome Pampered Chef tools.  She first took cucumbers and cut them.

She carved the insides out so they looked like little cups.

Then she took a bunch of veggies and chopped them up into a pico de gallo type mix.

Then she scooped them into the cups.  Voila!

 

I happened to snag the last two!  I’m talking to Mommy about these.  I decide that this is something I would want to have again.  I realize that I wouldn’t make the cucumber cups because it’s just not something I would do.  I would need something to hold the veggies.  CHIPS!  Chips would be perfect for this mix.  Then I realize I don’t keep these veggies on hand in my fridge at all so I’d have to go buy some pico or salsa.

chip

Yup, this would be my version of a cucumber cup.

May 16 FUNdraiser recap

ty mickey onlyThank you thank you thank you to everyone who came out last night to Mary’s house and shopped with Tina for the Pampered Chef Whip Cancer Fundraiser!!!

Thank you Mary for letting us use your gorgeous home and being such a wonderful hostess for the evening!

Thank you Tina for putting on a great show with so many samples and yummy treats to try after using the amazing tools.

Thank you to everyone who came and shared in the evening!

Thank you to everyone who couldn’t make it but ordered online!!

Are you smacking yourself in the forehead and saying “Shoot, I wanted to order.”?  Here’s the link:

www.pamperedchef.biz/tinapchef host Mary Boyer to place on line!

The total from last night hit $325 raised!!!!  Pampered Chef gives 25% to American Cancer Society to fund early detection!!!

I am so proud of you all who were involved!  It was a great night to see Zumba friends dressed in something other than workout clothes and family and friends I haven’t seen in a while!

I had treatment 3 today of radiation and it went smoothly.  I found out today that they warm the bolus gel pad that goes on top because it gets really cold in storage.  I found it funny.  At the same time, I am fine with not having a cold something on that part of my body!

Back for more tomorrow!

On a side note – there is LOTS of discussion about my reconstruction.  This is an area of the process I didn’t do a whole lot of research on so I went in blind and am just living with the results.  Last night there was some talk about it…and once again, today at radiation.

The nurse I had today said it looked great and asked who did it.

I think I owe Dr. Sigalove a thank you note!!!  It seems not everyone’s reconstruction comes out this well.  As a radiation nurse, she sees LOTS of these and not everyone looks this good.  SO I will be writing a note and probably putting some online testimonials out there too.

Anyone looking to do plastic surgery – lifts or implants – Dr Steven Sigalove is the best!!!

Enjoy the warm weather!!!