The Journey Begins

In June of this year (2018), I was diagnosed with breast cancer -- to be specific, invasive ductal carcinoma (stage 2, initially stage 1), hormone positive, Her2/neu negative [I've learned that these details are important to survivors and help us recognize one another and understand our respective journeys]. It was an absolute shock, coming after... Continue Reading →

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It’s the Little Things

I'm three days out from my last radiation treatment and starting to feel a tiny bit more like a person who lives in the world. While I'm still dealing with side effects from the radiation (burns, fatigue), I'm also starting to see that those will have an endpoint. Next week, my port will be removed,... Continue Reading →

Everything in Its Own Time

Radiation, day 30. Radiation is officially done, complete with my very own graduation certificate. I asked why I didn't receive a certificate (or better, a party) when I finished chemo, since that was a bigger deal overall. One of the radiation oncology staff explained to me that while it's likely that I won't have to... Continue Reading →

Done? Hardly.

Radiation, day 27. I am nearing the finish line of 6 weeks of radiation and profound fatigue has set in, along with a lovely bright red sunburn-type rash on my neck and chest. I was warned about the fatigue, and thought I would escape it until it hit me like a ton of bricks last... Continue Reading →

A Numbers Game

Radiation, day 23. I am nearing the finish line of radiation, 23 treatments down, 7 more to go. The remaining treatments are "boost treatments" to the area around the surgical site, so I'm officially done with the treatments to the lymph nodes. Good thing, since I started having side effects in that area this week... Continue Reading →

Support That Is Anything But

Radiation, day 18 prime (it's a weekend). I've been thinking a lot lately about how, when you have cancer, it never really goes away. Yes, you may be done with active treatment, or on a longer-term medication, but the specter of recurrence is always there, perhaps in the shadows, but always there. Add to that... Continue Reading →

Halfway, But More

Radiation, day 15. I am officially halfway through radiation. All things considered, including winter weather, sub-zero temperatures, and getting up at the crack of dawn to get to treatment, it's gone pretty fast and pretty easily. I don't seem to have a lot side effects yet, other than some fatigue that hits me in the... Continue Reading →

Small in Comparison

Radiation, day 11. I am one day over the one-third mark in radiation, and the remaining treatments are down to the teens in number (19 to be exact). So, progress. I learned this week that a very good friend passed away on Sunday. She was 72 and died after a very brief and sudden illness,... Continue Reading →

Owning It

Radiation, day 6. Well, I'll say this for radiation so far: not a big deal, no pain or major side effects so far, and a total pain in the ass. There's nothing like having to get up early and get out the door by 7:30 a.m. in the winter (bad roads notwithstanding) to make you... Continue Reading →

A Resolution-Free New Year

Radiation, day 1. One radiation treatment down, 29 more to go, but who's counting? I am, and will be for the next 6 weeks. As I said to my husband after I had my "dry run" on Monday, "it's a thing... it's not nothing." But it also isn't painful and hopefully the side effects will... Continue Reading →

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