I can't say that I felt very excited about today or even felt like celebrating but... it was a mile marker worth mentioning. Today was my last day of radiation, I am very thankful for that . My skin is burnt so bad that I honestly wondered how much more my body could take. I had one tech tell me that my skin didn't look near as bad as a lot of people she has seen, and that actually it looked pretty good. But somehow that didn't make me feel any better. I still hurt and to have to wear clothes on top of this burn,it is a real struggle every day. Some day ...I am hoping to design a jacket of some kind, that the ladies going to and from radiation can wear. Some thing soft (because your skins is so sensitive) plus, something that has pockets for padding so you don't have to look so weird when you walk in. For the last 3 weeks I have been too sore to wear Mrs. Doubtfire or my bra and so it has been a bit embarrassing to walk in with one side of my sweat suit just laying there. A little obvious that I had a mastectomy. There are so many other issues that you are dealing with already, embarrassment shouldn't be another one. It is hard to feel like you look good at all after a mastectomy and that makes it even worse. It isn't like we get to enter through a private door where no one will see us, but through the main part of the hospital with the rest of the world is so....some day I would like to design something available, comfortable and affordable for these dear ladies who are trying to survive.
My daughter Amy came the other day and took some photos of what I have been doing for the last 7 weeks. She is going to make a book of my second journey through Cancer. Actually in our family we call it RECNAC, that is cancer spelled backwards, it is still the same word, but by pronouncing it backwards takes a lot of fear out of such a terrible word. It actually almost sounds funny. Laughter has been a very necessary part for our family, to survive this.
This is a photo of the actual room and machine that I get my radiation from each day. Here is the sky over top that I said is wonderful to look at, it has lights behind it, so when the lights are darkened then you feel like you are laying outside, in a field looking up at the sky. ( of course you have a gown on,you are naked from the waist up, you have tattoos and permanent markers drawn on you, you are laying in a really awkward and uncomfortable position... on a very hard table in front of a few people, but ...other than that, it feels just like you are outside :)
"SEVEN DAYS WITHOUT LAUGHTER, MAKES ONE WEAK!"
My granddaughter comes twice a week with me to the hospital. Like I have said many times, she is a breath of fresh air around there. She wants to talk to everyone, see and touch everything and then her very favorite thing... is to go and get a Strawberry Shake (Ensure) out of the mini fridge there in the waiting room. Ahhh...what it would be like to be a kid again. Life was so much simpler.
"Children are our most valuable natural resource." ___Herbert Hoover
So this will be one of the last mornings I will have to come up these escalators for a while. I have to come back in one month for a check up but, I think I can handle that. I will miss the ladies in there with me, I almost felt guilty saying good bye to them today, when I know they still have a ways to go. But I did make some new friends and once again was surrounded by women who are fighting for their lives and are definitely survivors, I am proud to have known them. I appreciated all the tech's, nurses, doctors, physical therapists, receptionists and even the dear lady who filled up the fridge with shakes. They were kind to me and I was grateful to have the opportunity to get to know them some. That surely would be a hard and heavy job at times when working in ONCOLOGY.
"IT IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COMPENSATIONS IN THIS LIFE THAT NO MAN (OR WOMAN) CAN SINCERELY TRY TO HELP ANOTHER WITHOUT HELPING HIMSELF." _____Ralph Waldoo Emerson & (Lynn)
What I will miss the most, is that beautiful chapel... where there was such a wonderful spirit. I can't say thanks enough to all the people who were involved in creating that incredible room. I went in there today and wrote one last time in that prayer journal. It was definitely the highlight of my experience there, how I wish I would have known about it sooner.
"WE ARE HERE TO DO, AND THROUGH DOING TO LEARN; AND THROUGH LEARNING TO KNOW; AND THROUGH KNOWING TO EXPERIENCE WONDER; AND THROUGH WONDER TO ATTAIN WISDOM; AND THROUGH WISDOM TO FIND SIMPLICITY; AND THROUGH SIMPLICITY TO GIVE ATTENTION; AND THROUGH ATTENTION TO SEE WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE" ____Ben Hei Hei
"THERE ARE TIMES WHEN SILENCE IS THE MOST SACRED OF RESPONSES." ____Eugene Kennedy
So am I happy to be done? YES Do I want to celebrate? NO
First,I would like to start healing some. I still have quite a bit of the journey yet to go, I am by no means done with this battle. But I am making progress. Thanks so much for all of your love and support. You believe in me and I truly can feel that. Thank you again!
"I AM NOT DYING, NOT ANYMORE THAN ANY OF US ARE AT ANY MOMENT. WE CAN RUN, HOPEFULLY AS FAST AS WE CAN, AND THEN EVERYONE MUST STOP. WE CAN ONLY CHOOSE HOW WE HANDLE THE RACE." ___Hugh Elliott