Thursday, June 4, 2009

So Much for My Timeline

I was right to worry about the lightning when I was being radiated.

Today was the first time I had to really race out the door to be sure to be at my 9a.m. appointment. And when I got to the little waiting room outside the changing rooms, I saw that it was full. At first I thought perhaps someone had brought their entire family to their radiation session but then I realized an awful lot of those family members were attired in those little blue hospital gowns I've become so familiar with. Huh. Backlog of folks in need of radiation has occurred. No need to have rushed. I went ahead with my little drill--changed my clothes, slipped on the sexy gown and locked my belongings in my locker (I always choose locker #2). But then the routine changed. There were no chairs available! I had to stand, backed up against a wall. And I don't know why, but it seemed sort of pathetic (and just wrong) to be in a small room filled with hospital-gowned folks, standing up against a wall.

I had noticed previously that in chemo everybody chats. Well, that makes sense since we're stuck together for hours and pretty much staring right at each other. But in radiation, you're there for such a short period of time that most people just grab a magazine or just sit chatting with whoever drove them in, but there isn't a lot of talking with strangers (i.e. the other patients). This morning there was plenty of time to chat. Turns out the lightning had zapped the machine overnight (0kay, well, it affected the electricity; close enough) so when the nurses got in they had to get the machine going and apparently somehow there is water involved and the water had to be warmed up. So in the waiting area with me was the 8:15, 8:30 and 8:45 appointments (I'm 9) and by the time I went in (at 9:40) the 9:15, 9:30 and 9:45 patients were there as well. Because as fate would have it, today was Thursday which is also the day all the patients see the doctor. So each of us had not only the extra wait time, but the extra time with the doctor. So this time, I definitely wasn't at work by 9:15. More like 10.

At any rate, there was chatting amongst the inmates. I learned from Mr. 9:15 that he has twice had to miss radiation altogether because the machine was down for some reason or another. That means he picks up those two days on the end.

What??? This means my perfectly scheduled "radiation ends on July 10th" edict may not be. And sure enough, I asked the nurses if the office was closed on Friday, July 3rd. It is. Good news is I get a three-day break from radiation, bad news is that's one day added at the end already. As of today, my finish date is July 13th. And that makes perfect sense--there seem to be a lot of 3's and 13's involved with my breast cancer odyssey--including for those of you with really, really good memories, the fact that I was research subject #13 back at UCLA in January when I volunteered for a study, and that the post-op pre-chemo boobie bash was on February 13th, my head-shaving was on March 13th, and my first meeting with the oncology radiologist was on May 13th. Ending the radiation on July 13th makes perfect sense (I really don't want to extend it by a day or two, so I'm hoping that there aren't any more machine malfunctions!).

In other news, Save the Tatas had a link to an ABC report on the 10 year old girl who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. I have mixed feelings about this report--first, Save the Tatas posted the link because the little girl is wearing one of their shirts in the video and I don't know, that seems rather mercenary on the Save the Tatas group's part--they point out that it's their shirt so you feel like maybe they wouldn't have been supportive--or noticed?--if the little girl had been in just a regular shirt. And then again, as usual, the reporter is quite focused on getting a tear-jerker story and pushes the little girl about "why" she's sad when it's clear the girl is barely holding back tears--having just shaved her head because of the chemo. I don't think the reporter needed to question why the girl was sad and make her vocalize it (and hence, cry). The sadness was all quite clear in the story. Even I (not a hugger; really, really not a hugger) wanted to hug the poor little girl. Forget the adults around her the little girl is a winner and I will admit it....I teared up. Just a little, but I did.

Here's the link directly to the ABC video. Get your tissues ready.

PS. Remember to vote in the sidebar to the right (and now choices 1 and 3 are actually only 6 days apart given the new timeline, but hey, it's still important!).

PPS. Then remember to check out for the new posting on a wine you may not be too familiar with (you can just click right there on the address and voila' you will be there!).

PPPS. That's it. I'm done. You're on your own now.


  1. Teresa,

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. I had to shave my head last week. I'll blog about it here shortly--I've been compiling all my wig photos and was going to put them in a poll for readers to vote on and then I saw yours! LOL Yours are much better choices than mine! I just stopped by your blog because I feel the need to reply to those that have taken the time to send prayers and well wishes and really enjoyed your blog. I was thinking I would put it in my blogroll and then I noticed you linked my blog on your site. Thanks! I am looking forward to getting to know you--you seem to think a lot like me! Maybe you could help me out with my latest dilemma...
    Talk to you soon, I hope. CJ

  2. Hope you had a relaxing weekend, T--


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