Hey! Good evening kids. I’m sorry last night’s post was short, I was just too tired to write much.
Yesterday was x-ray day. Normally they take a few pictures come in and say everything is lining up great and move on to my daily treatment. This time around the physicist decided that everything had to move 4 millimeters so I was on the table longer than I’d anticipated. After my treatment was done I had my weekly appointment with Dr. Hughes (Oncologist). It was the last time I will see her during these treatments. She said that these were rough treatments and that I’d held up well, which made me feel relieved and proud and guilty. Guilty because I’ve had my fair share of down days and an epic prolonged hissy fit. I didn’t so much hold up well as I was held up by some remarkably strong folks, who held me up and bolstered my spirits along the way.
Both Dr. Hughes and my nurse Tricia feel that my skin graft area has held up well and that the bleeding is a minor development. She said to keep using the Silvedene on the graft site and the spot on the top of my head where the skin is now peeling. She gave me ear drops that I can use inside my ears and outside on the skin that hurts so bad. I have to see her in 2 weeks after my treatments are done. During this appointment I’ll learn to massage my scalp to help prevent edema. She also said that my side effects (skin peeling, ears peeling) should be abating by the time I see her in two weeks and more so in a month or so.
In the coming weeks I’ll have to have my eyes checked, see my plastic surgeon, have an MRI of the head and neck to check for any residual cancer then see my Neurosurgeon for a follow-up appointment and I’ll have to see a Dermatologist to check for any other areas of skin cancer. I’ll be glad for the treatments to come to an end but I’ll miss the comfort of knowing that Tricia and/or Pat will see head every day and be able to treat any problems that arise, after Monday I’ll be on my own. Well Chuck and I will be on our own, he’s been taking care of my head like a pro since October.
Funny I was so set on this last day of treatments and yet it’s not so much a finale but instead the end of yet another leg of this journey. I’ll be glad to see the treatments come to an end but I’ll miss the amazing team of folks who care for me every day; I’ll be glad to give my head a chance to heal from the damage the radiation caused; and I’ll be even more glad to get on with the healing and perhaps by October my head will finally be fully healed. However, as I’ve typed before, Monday doesn’t bring me any guarantees. There’s no guarantee that the MRI won’t show residual cancer. This terrifies me. I don’t even know what will happen if it does. I can’t bring myself to even think seriously about this sort of development. So … moving on … if I’m being honest I’m terrified that my eye doctor will find damage from the treatments or that the Dermatologist will find more areas of skin cancer on my body.
I can’t control any of these outcomes so in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Tomorrow is Chuck’s birthday so I’m going to make him and his happiness my only thought tomorrow and I’ll spend the weekend enjoying our time together then go in on Monday for my last treatment then take a few days off from all things medical before collecting my thoughts and continuing on with this newest leg of the journey.
Thanks so much for stopping by, I know it seems trite and hackneyed because I say it every day but it’s true, I love you all.
With much love and great affection,
~ Carol Anne