Thursday, October 01, 2009
It`s been so nice to be in the middle of a park and watch the seasons change from summer to autumn. We have the campground almost all to ourselves. There is a thick carpet of yellow leaves and squirrels are busy caching their food. We had frost last night - the petunias survived but the geraniums are done. I am enjoying the trailer lifestyle. Another week and then we will park the trailer for the winter and head home.
My last treatment will be Friday Oct. 9th - YAY!! The treatments are much easier than I expected. I still have a good level of energy and happily head off to treatments in the morning. Now I am now 76% likely to not get a recurrence of this cancer, whizzing my way to 97%
Bye for now, heading back to the campsite
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I am doing the 5K training again. I go out at 8 AM while the trail is still shaded and my energy level is high. Our YMCA membership is renewed for another year and I will go back to the gym when I am back home. My diet is not so good, but maybe a little guilt is good and that is why I am running ; )
We are leaving the hotel and going to Edmonton and our campsite (no WiFi). Thanks for you comments on my blog. I really appreciate hearing from you and wish I had more computer time to visit your page. Have a great week!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I haven't blogged for awhile - no computer connection. The hot spot at the campsite is gone and I don't know if they will fix it. We are away for the weekend in High River to attend a 50th wedding anniversary. What fun! Their tip for success, 50 years and never had a fight. I think from all the pictures, they are always smiling and happy to be together.
I am doing well, no adverse effects yet. My appointments are at various times each day. I think that was done to accomodate me, so I could start and finish my radiation treatments sooner, and be back home before it gets too cold. Thursday I had a physio therapy, so I keep all the mobility in my shoulder.
After the first radiation treatment, I decided to make peace with my feelings about having the treatments. It is now my relaxation time and I look forward to going and seeing the wonderful people who are so helpful and kind. The other day I was listening to an audio book while I was wearing my hospital gown and sitting in the waiting room waiting to be called in. I am almost fell asleep. During the treatments I listen to piano music on my iPod and yesterday during the treatment I almost fell asleep. I will consider it a real success when I start snoring while I am getting a treatment!
When I started treatment I had a 40% chance this BC won't recur and I am 8/16 through the treatments and a 68% chance it won't recur. By the time I finish the treatments I will be at 97%!
We are really enjoying our camping lifestyle. With Alan being just a short drive from the office, we are sleeping later, drinking coffee, reading the paper and eating together in the morning. At home he gets up alone as he is on auto pilot - gets ready for work, catches the bus to the mine, then naps on his way to work. This is so nice to share time together in the morning.
Thursday I made dinner in the slow cooker outside (chicken mushroom soup casserole). When Alan got home we sat outside and played cards, had dinner and walked. We are sleeping very well every night too. It was a heat record for Edmonton, 33C which is 92.3F! I brought a couple of my favorite potted plants along and the look gorgeous, in fact I fertilized them yesterday as they are still getting more blooms.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Sept. 16, 2009 – Radiation Treatment 1, 15 to go
It is easy to lose yourself in the moment and worry needlessly. For me, I was concerned about larger radiation doses but fewer number of treatments, 16 vs the standard 25, possibly resulting in more peripheral damage to the lungs, heart, ribs and shoulder. Then I met the man next door to us in the campground. He had lung cancer 2.5 yrs ago and had part of his lung removed and chemo. His cancer has recurred and now he is having radiation. He will certainly have more peripheral damage. So let’s not lose sight of what the goal is – prevent a recurrence and deal with other issues if and when they happen. Most of what we worry about never happens.
I ran into him at the cancer clinic. I just missed seeing his brother, a farmer who has rectal cancer and is taking radiation and chemo concurrently. He is driving himself 2.5 hrs each way, everyday so he can harvest his grain. That is one tough guy! He is living in the moment and gives it his all every day.
The first radiation treatment was longer than the subsequent treatments will be. They did scans and marked me up with permanent marker, likely doing a double check of what had been done before. I was in a supine position on the treatment table (much like a very narrow x-ray table) with my arms above my head, resting in slots. When everything was set up the the radiation therapists stepped out of the room and I lay there motionless for 10 minutes or so.
I had the strangest feeling of intense loneliness. During the treatment I was alone in a way that is different than walking in the dark, getting lost while driving, or home alone and feeling lonely. No one can be with you and all you have are your thoughts. You are behind leaded doors that say `Danger Radiation`. There was music I didn’t like playing in the background, and it was annoying. I laid there doing my yoga relaxation breathing which is minimal movement. My next treatments will not be as long, but I found out iPods are allowed so I will bring it along.
In the afternoon I went to the weekly support group, Healing Connections for women with breast cancer. It goes for 3 sessions. Most were recently diagnosed and had surgery in the last month and I had mine 3 months ago. There was a Q&A, physio therapy, information about who gets cancer, round the table introduce yourself, etc. I wish I would have been able to attend something like this sooner. It`s the first time since I had surgery that I met someone else who had breast cancer. I had met a volunteer in June who told me about the group and her experience with bc.
I learned the reason for physio is to prevent a frozen shoulder, and keep enough flexibility to be able to raise your arms over your head for possible radiation treatment. For up to 2 years after treatment, daily arm excercises should continue. When I was evaluated yesterday I was rated as having very good mobility and it will be checked again as treatment goes on.
I was awed by the kindness and generosity of some of the ladies. Two different ones asked if I had a place to stay in the city and offered me a place to stay. When I told them I was staying at the campsite, I was invited to come visit or go for lunch. Amazing!
Tuesday night we went to the YMCA and I did 15 minutes of challenging cardio, followed by strength training. Playlist – Brittany, Lady Gaga, The Veronicas, etc.
Sept. 17, 2009 – Radiation Treatment 2, 14 to go
Diet is going well. There are some great upcoming concerts – Lady Gaga, Sean Kingston, etc. I would love to go to one but I am not sure how I will feel in a couple of weeks.
The others campers are very friendly and we are really enjoying the place. We have folks here to visit with and good dog walking trails. We are very happy with our decision to camp this month. Yesterday it was a record high temperature, and we slept with the windows open. On the weekend it will be `normal`temperatures.
Today Kali and I hiked a trail and had a few walks around the campsite. I am sitting in the car with my computer because it is raining now and our trailer is just a little bit out of the range of the hotspot.
Today during treatment I listened to my iPod – piano concertos which kept the lonely feeling at bay. Alan is home from work and running with Kali before dinner.
Dinner this evening - fillet of sole, salad, veggies.
I likely will not be able to read and comment on your blogs for awhile. I can't use the computer in my trailer and I am only on the computer for a few minutes. I wish you all the best and look forward to catching up later.
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