Pam's Journal: Slash, Burn, and Poison
Dec. 29, 2003
She laments the way breast cancer is treated and calls it "slash, burn, and poison." Slash being surgery, burn is radiation, and poison is, of course, chemotherapy.Last time around I was so relieved that I didn't have to go through the burn portion of treatment. Because no cancer cells were found at the time of my mastectomy, it was deemed unnecessary. Chemo did wear me out somewhat, but I had heard that radiation was even worse. Plus, I wasn't too eager to have to drive 30 to 45 minutes every day for treatment.
But now I get to complete the "hat trick" and experience the daily radiation grind. I now know why it's called "burn." My head and a large chunk of my left shoulder and left side of my neck are "hot" pink. For the treatment over my shoulder, I wear something called a bolles (pronounced bowl'-us). It looks like a whole bunch of plastic wrap folded over to a half-inch thickness. This causes the radiation to stay close to the surface of my skin, where the tumors are. I've got a nice square "sunburn" shape over my shoulder and neck where it lays.I'm definitely a lot more tired during these treatments than I was during the chemo-only treatments last year. It probably also has to do with the fact that I'm taking chemo pills every day along with the radiation. But I'm thankful that with the opening of Sky Ridge Medical Center, treatments are only 10 minutes away. That has been a huge blessing! Not to mention that the people there are wonderful and make treatments go so much easier.
Some days are good, and others I just want to stay in my bed and never have to get up. Thank goodness for a loving husband and energetic kids who keep me going each day. I've been working the weekends too, which helps me know that I am not so sick that I can't work. Although on Saturday I was kind of wishing I had stayed home. But coming in and looking at all the weather stuff was good for me. It felt normal, although in reality, nothing is really normal right now. It was good to get my mind off the situation.And because I love her so much, I have to say a public Happy Birthday to my sister, Lisa! I won't say how old she is, although she is OLDER than me! And for the benefit of those of you who kept up with my original journal, I had asked for prayers for her as her husband was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor back around the time I was given a clean bill of health in April. Vince died in August. So thanks to all of you who prayed, and continue to do so. I don't understand it quite yet, but I trust in God's perfect plan, and know there are blessings to come from it.
We'll be saying goodbye (or good riddance!) to 2003 this week. I hope and pray that your 2004 will be filled with peace, joy, and health.Until next time...
The Happy Cancer Patient ... again
You can e-mail Pam Daale at Pam_Daale@TheDenverChannel.com.