Saturday, September 22, 2012

She Keeps Going and Going and Going and Going...

Where all the 'magic' happens (side view/treatment)

Radiation treatment is going pretty well thus far. I have 10 sessions under my belt and now 18 to go (of course I am totally keeping track!). So far just experiencing a bit of fatigue, no skin redness or itching, although I am feeling a tightness in the skin and the implant is getting to be even firmer than before. Rock boob is not fun, nor is it very attractive... I'm sure other ladies out there who have had a recon can understand.

Yesterday Mike was able to watch how the whole thing works from outside the radiation chamber where the techs do all their magic on fancy computers. He was even able to sneak in a few photos and video the entire process, which fascinated me because I always wondered what the heck they see on their end.

Getting beamed! (front view/treatment)

The radiation technicians monitor my breathing on one screen (on the left) and then when I am in the right range they beam the radiation for a few seconds. This is done from three different angles with a total of 5 different breath holds. 2 beams on the left side, 2 beams on the right and then one longer beam in front... which is the longest one where I hold my breath for quite a bit longer than the side ones.

According to one of the techs, he told Mike that I am pretty good at holding my breath and am better than most at controlling how much air to have in my lungs so that I am at just the right range that they need me. Here I was so worried before and I had been concerned that I wasn't able to hold it long enough!

With today being the first day of Fall and the grey days settling in I realize that there's a lot on the go as we enter a new season. I have had a lot of things on my calendar and in my reminders list. I am trying to stay on top of commitments I have made. Lots of plans and ideas I have on paper and in the back of my mind. I don't want anything to slip through the cracks... but I am still suffering a bit from that chemo brain b/s so it hasn't been easy for me to be on top of things as much as I normally would be.

Being away from home M-F for treatment doesn't help with me being productive or on top of stuff either because I find I am not able to keep up with emails, to-do lists and phone calls during the week. So Saturday morning is my catch-up time. Which works fine because Mike has been pretty busy out in the yard digging in the dirt and laying down piping. The guy never stops! (I guess neither do I?)

I am excited about certain dates this Fall! Nope, no wedding plans just yet... But I am going to see one of the Beatles on November 25! *insert loud girly squeal of excitement here* This is totally something I consider as big of a deal as getting hitched! So stoked for Paul McCartney! (An early Christmas prezzie from pa-pa.)

A few other things marinating in my brain these days… 

  • Working with the Community Resource Centre in Sechelt to (re-)start a cancer support group for people living on the Sunshine Coast
  • Having a story I wrote on "Courage" being shared in an e-course put on by one of my favourite bloggers (and taking part in the course as well... it starts October 8)
  • Debating on re-opening my Facebook account after a 28-month break (So many groups I want to view and join but can't cause I ain't got an account anymore)
  • Writing more about the Pink Ribbon Inc. film and the corruption involved in the Pink Ribbon culture. (I touched on that a bit in my last post already...more info and overly opinionated ranting to come!)
  • Organizing receipts... (because they are soooo out of hand right now!)
  • Understanding syncing my phone with iTunes and iCloud and why the heck I have duplicates of everything everywhere (someone? anyone? help! I'd love to hear what the best method of backing up ones iPhone is)
  • Planning a mini getaway for Mike and I in the Fall (we neeeeeed a vaaaaaacaaaaaation like nobody's business!!)
  • Deciding on whether to go to Breast Fest in Toronto (all travel and accommodation paid for by ReThink Breast Cancer) Think I will have to save this for next year though
  • Doing my blood testing for Army of Women and the Young Women with Breast Cancer Study project (they are looking for new genes in young women who have been diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and need 5,000 women under 40 to sign up)
  • Blogging with Love on October 1 (Another Army of Women initiative) and getting the word out about the HOW Study... the first study where data and info will be collected entirely online in an effort to gain more knowledge about the disease. A Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation driven project.
  • Being a part of a young women with breast cancer education and support study in November for young women coping after treatment through Cancer Chat Canada.
  • Taking a 10-day "Making Space Cleanse" e-course during the next new moon (Something that I won through Andrea's Superherolife give-away after the recent launch of her new Superhero Life website... was super excited!)
  • Looking forward to more visits with friends while I am in Vancouver for 4 more weeks
  • Heading over to Inspire Health for some free healing/yoga/mediation/nutrition sessions
  • Thinking about getting some help with household cleaning... Neither of us has the time or energy these days. Are we too young to hire cleaners once a month? It seems like a weird thing at our age... and we don't even have children. 

And since I now have more information and am no longer in limbo I will share this... 

  • I am finally feeling relieved after getting some positive test results back on Thursday. About a month ago I had found some new lumps and I was terrified (More like freeeaked out as all hell!) that they were going to be cancer. I had an infection near one of the suspicious areas so I was put on anti-biotics which thankfully cleared it up. Then because we wanted to be SURE SURE I had an ultra sound and mammogram on my one 'good' natural breast on Sept 14... And thankfully they turned out to be just cysts along the surgical scarring lines (a result of the reduction). So all is good on the right boob front! Thank goodness.

Yes. There have been a lot of things on the go. In my head. On my mind... All the time. As the fatigue sets in from the radiation I often wonder if I am over doing it... if I am doing too much and not resting enough. But I find it so hard to NOT keep doing, doing, doing.

Maybe it is a coping mechanism? Hmmm...

Brain. Doesn't. Shut. Off.


  1. Hellooo thanks for showing me a peek behind the scenes! At least now I know what I'm stepping into this week! Thanks for that! It's very interesting indeed! I don't know if I have to hold my breath as well.. they haven't told me yet. I will meet with the doctor before getting my first treatment.

    Oh my god you're going to see Paul McCartney?! I am soooo jealous! Big fan of The Beatles over here as well (although Lennon was my fave). That is so cool!

    Yes you so need to get back on facebook! We neeeed to be facebook buddies!

    Oh gosh such a relieve you are okay! I'm so happy for you the results came out fine!

    Make sure you rest enough okay?! Even if you don't feel like it! Just sit down for a bit.. and relax! HUGS! XX

    1. Ooops. Didn't see your comment until today.

      I think that you only have to hold your breath if it was your left side that was affected.

      Resting lots! Hope you are too :)

  2. Hi Ashley just stopping by to let you know that you ROCK! You are a beautiful, powerful warrior and I am praying for you. I was introduced to you by my friend AnnMarie Otis so I know you are the REAL DEAL! Much love headed your way!

    1. Thank you wonderful friend of AnnMarie! So nice to receive some love from people I don't even know! :) Thank you for your kind and uplifting words.

      - Ashley

  3. Ash! I have new mix for you... let's connect!