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Showing posts from March, 2009

This and that...

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I have become very lax about blogging--a combination of low energy and nothing really to say right now!

I'm feeling pretty well. Completing the chemotherapy has made a huge difference in how I feel. My hair has begun to grow back--it's about 1/4 - 1/2 inch long. Sort of duck fuzz. If it were a bit warmer out, I'd be tempted to go without a hat. As it is...Winter is not over in River City!

However... I've developed a condition called lymphedema, or LE for short. What is lymphedema? I hear you saying...

Short course:

Part of breast cancer surgery (whether lumpectomy or mastectomy) involves removing one or more lymph nodes from under the arm, to see if the cancer has begun to spread (they did find cancer cells in one of the 20 nodes removed in my surgery). The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which filters and clears toxins, infections, and general junk out of the body. When lymph nodes are damaged or removed, other nodes generally take up the slack. In cancer tr…

And another update...

And there are other things going on in my life besides my cancer journey!

First and foremost, Strong Heart and I are changing our relationship to one of friendship. Our relaionship as partners was very deep and special, but it was meant only for a certain time, and that time is over. She is beginning her own ministry. Not that she didn't have one before, but now she is ordained and will, in all probability, be serving a church of her own before too long. The churches of our denomination are spread widely apart--the geographical distance between us will be even greater than it is now We have always agreed that our ministries, our calls, come first. I'm feeling that my time in River City is drawing to a close, and so I will probably be moving elsewhere at some point in the near future as well.

But one of the best parts of our relationship has always been our ability to share, to be open and honest and clear about our thoughts and feelings. This has helped us in coming to terms wit…

On The Journey XIII

Two days away from beginning radiation...

I'm scheduled for 35 treatments (5 days a week for seven weeks). It seems like a lot, but it's pretty standard for someone with my kind of cancer--grade 3 (very aggressive) and triple negative (not receptive to hormones, thus no hormone treatment like tamoxifen is possible for me after radiation). This is, basically, our one chance to hit the cancer and hit it hard--if there's any still there after the chemo. We don't know, can't know (there's no test to see if you have any cancer cells floating around in your body), so we have to do all we can.

The procedure itself is like getting an xray. I'm put in position (the techs are guided by the tattooed dots I received during the planning session back in January), which allows the radiation beam to be tightly focused on just exactly where the tumor was, and thus affect the rest of my breast/skin less. The beam is switched on for a few moments, then off. And that's it. …