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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

And So It Begins.... Radiation Day 1

If you had have asked me what I expected from today when I woke up, it would be completely different from how my day ended up. (Tuesday August 27)

We had our appointment at Lankenau hospital today to just get more information on the radiation. I was scheduled to start radiation, but after our appointment at Cooper, we weren't so sure. We went into the appointment armed with a little more knowledge about the whole process and wanted to see what was different between the two hospitals and why one was better than the other.

Once in the appointment, Dr. D2 started going over everything again. It turned out, his treatment plan was almost identical to Coopers. Cooper had just gone into a lot more detail when describing (which I hate) and that's why I felt like they were completely different. Dr. D2 had a confidence about him. He knew what he needed to do and didn't want to waste time. I wouldn't be able to start with Cooper for another week. I WOULD be able to start today with him. He got up, left the room to give my mum and I a chance to decide, and my mom and I agreed, Lankenau it is. I don't want to wait any longer. Dr. D2 said it himself, my cancer was metastatic meaning it spreads and if we don't get it under control sooner than later who knows where else it will spread too and how treatable that will be.

I didn't care anymore. I like Cooper's facilities better, but I like my doctors at Lankenau better. My decision was made. Lankenau also brought up one more point that for me was a big deal. They were NOT going to do the surgery. They said there was only a 7% false positive rate that my lymph nodes were faking being cancerous. They were just going to assume they are. The robotic surgery is risky. Its dangerous. There will be scars, and I already have enough, hence why I hate bikini season.

The other thing I liked about Dr. D2, he said this one sentence which made me feel a lot better.
"You're only 25, you're young, I'm treating to cure so I'm going to be aggressive. To give you the best quality of life."
That sentence made me feel like he knows that there is no point in curing if there is no life to live after. It sounds morbid, but its true. That instilled the confidence in me to say lets just do this. I feel like I've been waiting around for Cooper and I don't have time to wait. My life is waiting for me.

I miss my friends. I miss work. GOODNESS GOLLY do I miss work. I miss my customers, my regulars, my coworkers who are my friends, I miss my bosses, even the crazy ones. I miss my gym, I miss my hometown which can honestly be insanely annoyingly small at times but I don't even care anymore. We got a FroYo place, so obviously they're moving up in the world. I want to move on and start by getting home. I'm not even upset I'm going home to the crazyness that ensues when you put your life on hold, "like crap will my car work, prob not." Dealing with OSAP and phone bills and all this stuff you try to put on hold. Its just a pain, but I don't even care. I can't even wait.

So I started radiation. I walked over with the techs and they compared me with my picture that they took on the first day I met them. (Yup, because everybody wants to be getting radiation these days, its all the rage.) I went into the room, and there was a huge machine on the table. All I keep thinking about when I think about it, is the villain from Spiderman, Dr. Octopus. The machine had these long arm like things that went around your body to take pictures (xrays before the radiation) and it was so creepy. I wasn't allowed to move. Every time the radiation beam would fire, these 5 lights which resembled Emergency Exit signs lit up with a beeping nose. My heart jumped each time.

*This is an advertisement for the machine. It's similar but not even close.

I was afraid to move even the slightest movement. I was scared at first, because how was I supposed to know how this was supposed to feel. I could feel tears welling up, and could just picture them about to roll down my cheeks but then my mindset changed. The cancer is on the left side of my pelvis and I just pictured my cancer clinging on for dear life as this machine zapped its brains out. I pictured it shrinking, disappearing. By the time I knew it, it was over. The techs came back in and told me they had to give me another tattoo. Great. That was it, it was done. I felt weird.

People keep asking me
"How do you feel?"
I don't know how I feel. I feel weird. Somethings off. I can feel the cancer, as weird as that sounds. Its on my left side and it feels like there is this cramp like sensation there. Its not tingly and its not crampy its just awkward feeling there. It feels like if I laugh too hard or loud or move the wrong way it could burst. I feel like I constantly have to pee and like I did a really intense ab workout. There's this burn sensation but not. It's just not something you can describe. I'm tired and just weirded out.

We start chemo tomorrow. Between the two, I'm probably going to be feeling like $#!%. I'm angry at the people who assumed,
"Oh this will be a piece of cake."
No, its not. It sucks and let me feel like it sucks. Stop trying to tell me not to get mad or telling me to stop pitying myself because I'm allowed to be angry and upset. I can be the most positive person in the world, because I am, I know I'm going to beat this, but I can and am allowed to hurt, and cry and be pissed the **** off sometimes.

There's nothing worse then when people try to tell you,
"Well maybe you should go do this"
, or
"maybe doing something will help."
Well you know what, maybe laying in my bed, doing nothing or reading and taking my mind off the situation will help too.
I had a person after chemo say
"Well I think it would be good for you to get out of the house, see a movie and take your mind off things."
I felt like I wanted all day to die, stop pressuring. Odds are I want to see you, I usually do, but unfortunately it has to be on my time right now. How I am going to be feeling is unpredictable, Don't take it personal.

The hardest part about dealing with any type of cancer is people not being able to relate to the situation and thinking they understand completely. YOU DONT UNDERSTAND. No matter how close you are to someone who has gone through it. I can't even relate to people that have gone through it because everyone's situation is different. Its a really lonely feeling.

The best thing people have done for me to help me get through, is to take my mind off of it. The last time I was in transplant, Twilight was just about to come out. I became obsessed, with everything Twilight. I read the books in 5 days, I went and saw the movie 13 times (I was in isolation and the only thing I was allowed to do out of the house was go to matinee movies.) It was the best distraction. Go ahead, ask me questions to understand, don't ever assume. I don't mind answering questions, it helps me to know that you're at least trying to understand. That you care. Some times, I'm not going to want to talk about it and some days I would LOVE to vent. This is where support becomes a fine line. I had a person wish me luck for radiation yesterday. After I said thanks he asked
"When will you get the results?"
haha I giggled and laughed but thought it was adorable.
"Its not a test, its a treatment so there wont be results."
I appreciated he asked, I appreciated he cared and don't expect him to know whats going on and that is 100% ok.

It sounds like I'm really ungrateful for a lot of the support I've received. I'm not, I'm so blessed. But I also know this situation is similar to a funeral... You don't know what to say. Its ok to not know what to say, whats not ok is to assume you know whats best. Aid in helping someone deal, don't tell them how to deal with their life altering situation.

As I head into the microwave Dr. Octopus machine tomorrow, I'm going to remember:
"Yes this sucks! Yes you are one unlucky SOB, but YES you can get through it. Yes you WILL get through it. Yes your life will never be the same, but YES you will have a life and you have amazing friends and family, and although you will never be ordinary and normal, you will just have to do with being extraordinary, and special."

11 comments:

  1. This blog gave me chills!! Love you court!! Keep me updated!! <3<3<3

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  2. I have the utmost respect for you! You kick the cancer's ass lady! Love ya and miss ya!

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  3. You are always 100% entitled to feel however you want, and don't let other people tell you otherwise. This does suck, I can't begin to understand, but I have faith and am rooting for a smooth recovery.

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