Recovering from the surgery takes time and numerous daily arm and shoulder exercises. I am still recovering - maybe forever. Chemo has been continuing throughout, every 3 weeks. This chemo is not as bad as the first two series. But it does make your body tired. August 12, 2022 is my last day of chemo. But let's go back a bit and talk about the fight against my body's invaders.
After the 6-8 weeks of surgery recovery, to let the skin scar well, radiation started. I imagine that I have these bad cancer cells at the microscopic level (the space invader ships) and the radiation machine is like a large friendly spaceship that kills them one by one. Unfortunately, it does kill some of the good ships/cells too and burns your skin ...
The treatment is daily (M-F) for 30-45 min. The setting of the instrument requires you to stay still for 30 min or so. I also got 4 tiny dots tatooed to know where to set the instrument. My first setting session was ok. The second one, my neck and head were hurting like hell. I cried. Then I was suggested to take tylenol prior to the treatment and it helped. I also found a better way of positioning my head and the pain was negligible afterward, with the tylenol too.
It was nice going and seeing the same team day after day. It felt like seeing comforting friends. I kept a positive outlook and my humor throughout the treatment. There were very few side effects during the treatment for 4 weeks so it was all ok until ... Unfortunately, as my doctor said, the pain came once the treatment stopped (or the 4 weeks). Really bad burning sensation and tingling like one of the worst sunburn you ever had. I was lucky though. First I only had 4 weeks of treatment. Second I did not really have blisters, nor skin lesions. The worst pain was under my arm were the lymph nodes were removed. And, after a week or two, things went better and I was just left with a nice tan.
Recovering and continuing chemo every 3 weeks were the next steps ... Coming soon: It's time for "recovering ..."
LASTLY BUT NOT LEAST
All my family, friends, boyfriend, colleagues, neighbors, and even my work and hospital/doctors/nurses/care givers have been very supportive. I am feeling appreciated and loved. I feel very lucky and blessed to have such people around me.