It’s been three weeks since finishing my radiation treatments, and I have to say that it was the hardest thing I have physically had to endure so far during this journey.When I found out that radiation was recommended, I thought it was going to be something I just had to go and do, and that’s it. I knew I would feel a little tired and I knew my skin would get a little pink, maybe even burn some. Whoa, was I wrong! I dare say that radiation was worse than chemotherapy.
I had 33 treatments and went every day of the week, minus the weekends. I noticed my skin turning pink, to red, to angry red, and then to black…yes, black. After about 7 treatments, I could no longer wear a bra and could not tolerate anything touching my skin. My skin was getting burned on top of another burn. The pain was constant and just continued to get worse. By the end, my skin was falling off. Towards the end of treatment I thought I couldn’t go on. My doctor was willing to give me a day off, but not the couple of weeks I wanted and my skin needed. Again as He has done throughout this whole year, God was right there with me and gave me the strength to finish. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength. 2 Timothy 4:17
About 4 weeks into treatment
After 28 treatments
After my last treatment
Not only does radiation affect your skin, but it also affects your energy. You get to the point where you can’t do simple things without having to sit and rest. Just getting everyone ready in the mornings took everything I had. Once they left the house, I would go back to bed and sleep for a few hours.
Starting radiation, I thought I didn’t need to ring the survivors bell again since I had already rang it for chemotherapy. By the end of treatment my feelings changed and I couldn’t wait to ring the bell.
Levi wanted to watch his mommy ring the bell, so we made it a family event. Cancer doesn’t just affect the one with it, it also affects their families and friends. (We never go through this alone.)
Once I finished my treatments, I thought that my skin would immediately start healing and I would get my energy back. Nope! My doctor informed me that the radiation would continue to accumulate and work for the next couple of weeks. It would get worse before it would get better.
Three weeks out and I am amazed how well my skin is doing. I thought I would be scared for life from the radiation because it looked pretty bad. Thankfully, it is looking smooth and a healthy pink. My energy is not coming back as fast as I would like, but I am noticing an improvement.
I don’t tell you all of this and show you my yucky pictures for you to feel sorry for me. I would do it all over again. I tell you this to be proactive in your own health. Most of my friends are not even old enough to start getting mammograms. This means that the only way to catch breast cancer early is to check yourself. Know your body and if anything doesn’t feel right, go to your doctor. I am ashamed to say that I wasn’t even checking myself, I was just blessed to have a grabby husband. So husbands, do your job and be grabby. It’s not just about saving the ta ta’s, it’s about saving women’s lives.
I had my 3 month check up last week with my oncologist and everything is good. I am having a not so fun delayed side affect from the chemotherapy. My bones and joints ache and hurt. I wake up with my hands crumpled up and I walk around like a 90 year old. Hoping this doesn’t last long. I am also being referred for lymphedema. The sooner you get treatment for it, the likelier the swelling goes completely away.
I will be completing the last of my cancer treatments on November 17 with a hysterectomy. Please keep me in your prayers that everything goes well.
Love to all,