Halfway through Radiation and only slightly tickled pink

Must say it’s not the same writing my blog on my PC as being tucked up in bed feeling like crap from chemo…… it just doesn’t seem right, however way too hot to type up there!  Got to the halfway mark of radiation therapy yesterday, 14 sessions done and 14 sessions to go.  So far so good no major side effects feeling very tired some days and my skin is starting to go a little pink from the radiation.  This is normal they say the burning starts in the later weeks, I am just hoping I don’t get it too bad, I am lucky being dark-skinned that helps a lot as my body takes a good colour (if I ever let it).

As I said before Luke’s is a lovely small hospital in beautiful surroundings and I have been lucky to be able to drive in good weather and home in good weather.  I wouldn’t like to make that daily trek in the middle of winter it would become very depressing.  It is tough in there though to see so many extremely sick people, a man around my own age with one leg, a lady of around 60 with a hole in her throat but worst is the young children (which thankfully I have not seen many) going around with bald heads, it’s the Mammy in me I just can’t handle that emotionally I get immediately teary eyed thinking of both the child and the poor parents.  Cancer is a bastard for anyone to get but for a kid to get this shitty disease well that’s pure unfair….

A friend of mine Siobhan works there and they have a lot of other services in there to make the patients “trip” with cancer a little easier.  I am meeting with a lady on Wednesday for some information on complementary therapy, so maybe a bit of Reiki, Massage and that feet one (can’t remember the name – ahhh reflexology thanks Adele)…… never had any before so should be interesting.  Also as part of the process met a Social Worker/counsellor and she was asking if I felt I needed counselling I said I didn’t think so at the moment I just wanted to keep going and going and not get stuck in the “thinking about the fact that I have cancer bubble”.   I told her that I sometimes look on in at my cancer and it’s not really happening to me it’s happening to someone else, she said that is quite common and its called denial and some women just want to go, go, go and get it over with.  It was mentioned that people like myself after it’s all over, its then the shock sets in and your mind and body actually realise what you went through.   Hopefully it won’t be a big shock and if it is then yes I would agree to some counselling if I felt I needed it.

A lot of kind people keep telling me I am nearly there, which I am and I nearly have the worst over.   Without being negative but I still have a good bit to go after radiation.  I still have to get my boob pumped for a few months (which is uncomfortable), then an operation to take out the tissue expander out, then another operation to get the implant in.  After that in another few months I have an operation to reduce Floppy Fiona to look like the other one…. then a nipple tatoo for my new girl…..   Sounds like I am a bit morbid today, I’m not I’m just a bit tired I think and even though I know I am close to the end which is great, it’s getting really tedious getting there.   However hopefully by Christmas I will be planning the “I Kicked the Shite out of Cancer Party” and meeting you all for a few pints :-)

Also a word of advice for women going though an “immediate reconstruction” I think they should change the name of it, as it is in no way immediate, absolutely nothing immediate about it my right chest is just a crater still.  To have it all finished it maybe around December/January and the operation was in April – I am no mathematician but doesn’t sound immediate to me.  Looking back if I had known it would take this long I probably would have opted for the “Tummy Tuck” reconstruction where they take the “excess fat” which I have plenty of and use that for your new boob.     Ah well we will just have to wait and see.

On a much brighter note I have gone through all this with ease.  After speaking to many of my new cancer friends who have ended up with infections en route which ended up in hospital stays, I never did, even after eight chemos my body responded really well and I obviously have a great immune system.  I got the best news ever afterwards that I was cancer free the news you dream about and radiation compared to chemo is so much easier on the ole body.

Had an absolutely fantastic day and night at Elaine and Bryans wedding,  Elaine Laverty has been a great friend to me and we only met each other through Facebook.  Elaine took all the baldy pics and Dip in the Nip photos she is a legend.    Elaine and Bryans theme was a 50′s wedding and was held up the Wicklow Mountains at Kippure estate it was an absolutely amazing wedding and the two of them seem just perfect together.  What fun we had (of course I was wrapped up in bed by 11.30pm).  Watch this space Elaine is organising a Calendar in aid of Breast Cancer and I will be in it – a whole month to myself :-)   12 Lovely ladies who have either had breast cancer or have been effected by it.

Have had plenty of “me” time recently and maybe too much time to think….. met a lovely friend Karen Meagen last week for dinner and drinks and we had a great night, love getting out and about in Dublin and there was a great buzz around the place.  We had a great giggle.  A very handsome taxi man on the way home – thanks Ed and thanks for the lovely wine glasses you left at my folks.

Big life event for me got a hair cut last week, honestly you should have seen the state of it small grey/black curls – just gross!  Got around an inch off the top and now it looks shorter with small grey/black curls…… hairdresser says I just have to grin and bear it and let it grow out……mmmmmm……searching for some hairbands of neutral colour to make it look at bit more normal :-)   Always have Daisy the wig to fall back on – ehh nooooo never put that girl back on me – curls or no curls.

Good luck to Marie and Darina for next week in Vinnies xx

Good things that happened this week

  • Halfway through radiation
  • Boob so far not really burnt
  • Great night out with Karen
  • Two B&Bs with the folks and got pampered as always
  • Mary Ball popped in for a chat last night – always great to see you Mary
  • I’m cancer free
  • We are just up to €20,000 for our Dip in the Nip Fundraiser

Have a great weekend folks, go out grab the rays, hold your kids tight and wonder at all the beautiful things you are surrounded by.

This was playing yesterday under the machine – love this song

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10 Responses to Halfway through Radiation and only slightly tickled pink

  1. Ah thanks Dee we were delighted you came to the wedding you are a legend yourself!! I will bypass the in bed by 11.30 comment as I wouldn’t know I was asleep by 10 :-)

  2. Lorraine O'Brien says:

    You’re doing great, Deirdre, continue with your amazingly positive outlook, I think that’s what has helped you the most – among, of course, the great family, friends, and support system you have. For what it’s worth, I think you made the right decision in your reconstruction choice, despite the fact that it is definitely not an “immediate” reconstruction, but a considerably lengthy process. Two of my friends chose to have the “tummy tuck” option, and I know the process and recovery was exceptionally painful for them. Hang in there, when this is all over we’ll all be envious of your perky new boobs while we walk around with our own versions of Floppy Fionas :-) Prayers continue for you each day!

    • Deirdre says:

      Thanks Lorraine it insteresting you say that about the tummy tuck option as heard it is very painful and your out of action for a good few weeks. THanks xx

  3. Sue Browne says:

    Hi Dee – am so happy to hear you are halfway through – an inspiration to all – Sue x

  4. Ger says:

    Yaay halfway through. You won’t know yourself in a couple of weeks.its been such a long haul the last 11 months but u are on the better side of it all now and the best is u are CANCER FREE!!..you will be fine through the pumping and ops as you have so much support behind you and if you do fall into shock after the whole experience you have so many people to pick you back up including ur three amazing girls. They are your rock and your distraction and Xmas with them this year will be amazing for you all cause you will be well for it..you have great determination to get well and that courage and strength will pull you through.ask for the help when you need it, accept all offers and have fun with ur hubby and girls when they come home. Xxx

  5. Breda says:

    Hi Deirdre
    Just clicked into your blog for first time this evening, thoroughly enjoyed your humorous account of your cancer journey so far, I am sure it will be an inspiration to all starting out on treatment, I would have really loved to have known about it when i started I am now finished Radiotherapy since july 2nd. Each stage has its own different challenge as you eloquently described and I think you will find there are a few bumps left yet but you will get there I found that some regular exercise ie walking while I was in St Luke’s helped alot in the reintegration back to real life when treatment finished.
    Breda xxx

    • Deirdre says:

      Hi Breda thanks for your nice comments = just finished in Lukes myself now so next step new boobies so a little while to go yet glad you go through it so well xx