Friday, March 30, 2012

Dunzo

I'm done with 33 radiation treatments and have a certificate to prove it!



No more early morning drives to downtown Minneapolis every day. No more radiation burns.
No more wearing mesh bras, half a tube of jelly and gauze pads daily.
It's so surreal.

I can wholeheartedly say, without a doubt, that I was VERY unprepared for what radiation would be like.
Most people have a tough time with chemo and breeze through radiation.
I was the exact opposite.
I tolerated chemo pretty well, but radiation was pretty tough.
Thankfully, it's done.

I will miss the quiet time in the car every morning. I have to admit that I really liked the 6.5 weeks of leaving the house as everyone was just waking up. I didn't have to get anyone dressed, fed or drive anyone to school during that entire period. I felt like a Dad. ;)
It was a great time to just think, pray, cry and sing....usually in that order.

I am done with everything at the Radiation Center. I don't even have to come back for a skin check. Here's the final damage. Not too shabby, I suppose.

I have an appointment with my plastic surgeon on Monday to get my other boob filled back up to what it was before.
After that, I just hang out for 6 months until I have my exchange surgery.

It's crazy to me that I will start having 1-2 appointments per month, instead of 1-2 per day.
I don't get "the look" as much anymore from people. My hair has filled in so much that I look more like a ginger q-tip than a cancer patient. I had forgotten how good it felt to go and not worry who was staring or whispering.

I knew when this started that people might bail. It's hard to see cancer. It's hard to be supportive continually. It's draining on everyone.
Nothing made me happier than to see my facebook page today.
All of the comments, "likes" and sharing of this blog was so humbling.
99.5% of the people I started with are still here. They are more supportive than when we started this journey. They have NEVER left my side. I will never be able to show you all how much I appreciate you. Just know, I love you to pieces.

Onto random thoughts, Eric took this pic of me tonight. I'm tired, pasty and makeup-less; but check out that mop! :) I can't believe I'm posting this. I'll take a better pic tomorrow.

Have I showed you MiCal yet? If not, I got the coolest gift basket from my great friends, Cal and Michelle. In the package, along with a ton of awesome stuff (i.e. booze), was this chia pet thing. I freaking love it. I named her MiCal, for obvious reasons. I have been watering her religiously. It's safe to say that I'm kicking her ass in the hair growing race.
How cute is she?!?

One more random thing. How long should helium balloons last?
My friend, Kyra, sent me these balloons with an Edible Arrangements fruit bouquet right after my surgery on January 5th.
They have rockstar fruit there and obviously, helium.
Today is March 30. The smiley balloon just finally drooped today. The other 2 are still floating away. Next week will be 3 friggen months that those balloons have been hanging on.
Should I be calling Guiness Records or NASA?

Take care, my friends!

16 comments:

  1. Congrats, Angela! It's me, suecureton (from email). Your skin looks great, so much better. I have 5 more boosts to go. Can't wait to end this part of the journey myself. Have you had a haircut yet? I've scheduled one for next week. Gotta trim those scraggly ends! Take care, Susan

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  2. CONGRATULATIONS!! What a happy day for you--you sound like one special gal! I remember my special friend getting the diploma after completing radiation, a happy day, especially since he wanted to quit with only 6 treatments left to go. So for you, too, I'm happy you were able to stick with it and have all the treatments, despite the rest from it. As far as balloons, I have gotten balloon bouquets each year---and some of the mylar balloons lasted about 7-8 weeks, and we thought that was good! Good luck to you!

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  3. You crack me up! Congrats! I think of you daily, I am amazed how strong you are.

    Shelly

    P.S. They use a product called float. It is amazing stuff

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  4. OMG, congratulations! So happy this part of the journey is behind you and so glad your poor skin is healing!! You continue to be such an inspiration to me -- so thank you. I don't have breast cancer myself but went through it with my mom and am also going through another form of cancer with my dad. You are one tough girl!

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  5. Angela
    I was sent to your blog from a friend of mine and I love your posts! I am also going through breast cancer treatment - finished chemo, had double mastectomies and starting radiation in April. I had implants put in at the time of surgery, let's hope they survive radiation. I also get herceptin every three weeks. When I went for treatment on Friday I heard that less than 1% of my cells from the surgery came back as er positive, so now the decision about going on tamoxifen comes into play. I also have two small children, so I completely understand what you're going through. Thanks for being so inspirational - it helps me keep going!
    Steph Gava

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    1. Hi Steph! It sounds like we're on basically the same treatment plan. I will start Tamoxifen at my next appointment on April 16th. Can I ask why you are considering NOT doing it?

      I'm glad you're doing so well. I'm sure, like most people, radiation will be a breeze for you.
      Keep me posted during your treatment. I'll be praying for you!

      Angela

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    2. Hi Angela
      The only reason I'm having issues with the tamoxifen is I fear the uterine issues that may come on. It was depressing on Friday to hear that I might need it. But if course the test came back as less than 1% of the cels - couldn't be clear one way or another! I feel like I ran at this as hard as I could - adriamcin, taxol, carboplatin and herceptin followed by double mastectomies and I feel like there was nothing more that could be done - the chemo was the worst possible! So now it feels like a cop out to not take the tamoxifen. Good times. Now I need to lose 10 Pounds - who thought eating a box of Mac and cheese back in the fall was a good idea? :)
      I will keep praying for you too. My email is stephaniegava@yahoo.com if you ever want to commiserate.

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  6. Never, ever, ever, did any of us doubt for a minute that this day would not come. Our Angela is way too tough/determined/brave/stubborn to bail! Your skin looks awesome, you look hot with short hair, and once again, you have shown that cancer is definitely life-changing but can be beaten gracefully and with an amazing sense of humor. LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. Yay, Yay, YAY!!!! I'm so glad that dreaded radiation is done and you seriously look AMAZING.
    I'm so proud of you. Like... beyond proud. Keep it up girl!

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  8. Congrats again darlin'! I knew you'd rock it out. I'm loving the new do...super hot! Can't wait to see you again soon!

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  9. So proud of you! You are amazing!! Love the hair! Just over a month until I get to see you! Can't wait!

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  10. I'm so proud of you and glad you are done. You are a rockstar!!! xoxoxo

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  11. Awesome! I'm so happy for you to be finishing this grueling part of your journey. You have demonstrated such strength and grace...something most people can't do at the same time. You are one badass momma and I'm so glad to "know" you. :) xoxoxo

    Marie
    MoM to anna, Ava, & Alexis and HUGE supporter of yours!,

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  12. I'm way behind the curve here, but I wanted to share that my radiation experience was similar to yours. I had muscle ache and bone pain during chemo, I didn't want to eat. But no nausea. But ugh the radition? By tx 21, the skin over my right TE just dissolved. It wasn't itchy, it didn't really blister. I just woke up in pain and found this open, oozying flesh. It took several weeks after radiation for the skin to heal. I had to wait a year after the radiation to restart reconstruction due to the massive amount of skin damage. But I used the last year to rehab and do the best I could to enable myself to do these expansions. Not fun, I just had my 3rd one, up to 660 now, and it is pulling on my scar something fierce. It's encouraging to see how well you are doing! Tina

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    1. I'm loving reading your comments as you wade through my blog. You are going to have AWESOME results! Are you able to sleep with the expanders? I just finally started being able to sleep kind of on my side without propping pillows. Expanders are miserable little things.

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