Saturday, October 29, 2011

Breast Cancer Journey - Off Season Training

I usually avoid traveling to the east side of Hwy 101 into Santa Rosa or Rohnert Park like the plague. I save up errands and appointments so I only have to go in every week or two. This week was an anomaly for sure, but all for a good cause ~ my future health!

I met with my Oncologist on Monday ~ reports are good, the tumor removed was about half the size they anticipated. I have positive estrogen receptors so it has been suggested that I start a regimen of Anastrozole to help lower estrogen levels ~ as if menopause wasn't enough! One of the possible side effect is hot flashes ~ Geeze Louise, I made it all the way through menopause with one night sweat and no hot flashes, so I'm hoping that whatever my body knew then it remembers now! Due to a long list of other potential side effects I've asked if I can start when I'm done with radiation. I should hear back in a couple of days. I don't want to hammer my body with too much all at once. Tuesday was a follow up mammogram to see if there were any residual calcifications. Report back from radiologist was that films were clean and clear. Oh Yeah!

Wednesday off to the Rohnert Park Cancer Center (RPCC) to meet with my Radiation Therapist and discuss preliminary treatment plan: five days a week for four weeks. We've got it worked out so I'll be done about a week before we take off on our 25th wedding anniversary adventure (destination pending ~ we keep getting new ideas).  

I got Thursday off and didn't leave the property except to attend a concert at Studio E with singers/songwriters Tom Russell and Thad Beckman. It was an amazing evening full of laughter and outstanding music dedicated to my late friend Trisha and shared with family and friends.

Friday took me back to RPCC for a CT scan, to document my treatment plan, design positioning devices to keep me in same position for each session and tattoo my skin for positioning accuracy (we're talking four blue freckles here, nothing major). I met with nursing staff for patient education and got more homework. On Nov 9th they'll do a Sim Verification or dry run and perhaps my first treatment.

Trisha's Bobcat ~ Cherry Camp Vineyard 2009

For anyone who knows me, Bobcats hold a special place in my life. As I walked into my Radiation Therapist's office and sat down I looked up at the calendar on the wall ~ there looking back at me was a Bobcat and the words of William Wordsworth "Let nature be your teacher". I no longer question these experiences, I just know my husband, friends and spirit guides have my back and are with me for the duration of this journey.