I'm winding up the radiation treatments. Tuesday was the last of the full radiation and today started the "boob boosts." Chris came with me on Tuesday, since this would be the last chance for him to see the full radiation in action. Thus, we have photos! That's me with my Blue Gown BFF Ms. 9:15 (okay, her name is Melanie). You see how she rocks the cute hats while I stick with the scarves, and there's another semi-regular who has a perfect wig (there's really no way to tell she's wearing a wig it looks so natural) so we cover the spectrum of chemo fashion. And this gives you an idea of the initial part of my radiation mornings--we change into our blue gowns (oh and either the light blue or the dark blue is supposed to be the "large" gown--neither one of us can remember or actually tell which is the large size).
Next up I get called into the room where "The (giant moody) Machine" is. Meet The Machine--that's her on the right. Menacing looking isn't she? Well, she's fighting off cancer, so you'd expect her to be menacing looking.
And speaking of fighting off cancer, here's me assuming the position with the assistance of the world's best radiation therapists (Shirley on the left, Jana on the right):
Normally at this stage my blue gown would be off down to my waist, but that's not really appropriate for a blog. Once I'm positioned like this, they (and Chris in this case) scurry off behind the thick metal door, which I also insisted Chris photograph (that's it on the right, the door swings shut toward Shirley during the radiating of me). I just find this 1,000 lb door kind of amazing.
I described the actual radiation process before (if you've forgotten, just click here: "Radiation Explained" and it will take you there) so I won't go into that again. I'll just point out that today was the first "boost" radiation. Look back up at the photo of the machine. See the extension coming out of the middle of it (kind of looks like a brace) that isn't in the photo where I'm laying on the table? That's for directing the boost to the tumor bed--you know the one that is circled and butterfly stickered at "right breast 10 o'clock." The boost is pretty quick. I was about 10 minutes late this morning and still made it in, out, thru Starbucks and to my office by 9:30. The final four are all that's left. Should be breeze.
I now also have a plan mostly in place for celebrating the end of treatment on (please, please, please, fingers crossed dear machine) on July 14th. First, my Blue Gown BFF and I are going out to breakfast. She'll still have her 5 boosts left to do, but hey, it's worth celebrating how far we've both come. Then LAUREEN PITTMAN and I are taking off for a girl's day--shopping (can I find a dress that doesn't make me look like a pudgy, bald, retired linebacker? Unknown), lunch, shopping and then it's the Brea Glen Ivy day spa for manicures, pedicures and massages. Maybe even facials. Whatever we can get appointments for and fit in in the time we have. Then it's home to celebrate with Chris. And the next morning? I'm sleeping in! No radiation appointment for me!! So close I can almost taste it.
I did think I had a month off before I had more doctors appointments, but that didn't quite work out. I couldn't get appointments with both Dr. Glaspy and Dr. Karam on the same day that was also a day that works for me until late August. Dr. Glaspy's office didn't think I should wait that long. And Dr. Karam is leaving on vacation at the end of July...so, July 23rd it is. I get a whole 8 days off before I have another doctor's appointment. Truth be told, I don't know what's in store for me at those appointments. Do I get a mammogram? Do I get an MRI? I don't know. Maybe they just see me and we schedule those things for later. I just know it's not surgery, it's not chemo and it's not daily radiation. Perspective is a wonderful thing.
When you're voting in the poll over to the right, well...things have changed a little... the August 14th appointment is now July 23rd. But, there may be a mammogram or an MRI in August, I don't really know. So basically that August date will stand for "after the last doctor's appointment before we get to the regular check-up appointments." Makes total sense, right? Good. Now go vote.
[Special Programming note: tomorrow night is Chris's Forgotten Grapes wine tasting event at Omakase and it's sold out!! Hence there may not be a post tomorrow night, but you know what's great about that...you don't really worry about me anymore when I don't post. You see how I'm improving over time? When I return to posting, I will show you the Survivor shirts that have been made and the party planning committee hard at work--because practice partying is hard work.]