Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moving Day/Radiation Day 7

warning: i'm so tired i may not finish this entry! when the tv show i was watching ended, my first thought was, "oh good, now it's 9:00 and i can take my melatonin and go to bed!" and then i was annoyed to discover that it was only 8:00. oh geez.

today was moving day, and what a fiasco. i could not have gotten through it without mom & john & andee's help! mom & john came with the u-haul truck, and we were amazingly efficient, loading all of my furniture into it in just one hour, all ready to drive it away...only to discover that the truck had a flat tire. that delayed us for THREE HOURS. in the 40-degree rain. the people on the phone kept saying the repair guy was "on his way," over and over, until john finally told them his daughter needed to get to her radiation appointment, and then the repair guy came in 15 minutes. yeah, i will totally play the cancer card! even after i called the cancer center to reschedule my radiation session for 2 hrs later than usual, we were still under a major time crunch to get everything done in time for me to drive that 30 mins to the hospital. we got all of my stuff into the storage unit and then brought an entire pick-up truck full of junk to the dump. it was overflowing, in fact, with so much junk that it cost me $58 to dispose of it all! at least 50% of it was crap left behind by my previous roommates and even the previous tenants of the apartments i've lived in, and it sure didn't help that the junk pile had been in the rain all day and the charge for trash is based on weight!

we finished with just minutes to spare, and i went to radiation totally water-logged and filthy. the techs sympathized with my ordeal today, and i joked at the end that i was off in search of more chocolate. i went into the dressing room to change out of that gown (which i still hate, btw), and when i came out, i was surprised to find one of the techs there with an open box of chocolate truffles, waiting for me. it was so sweet and unexpected, i didn't want to sound like a jerk by saying, "no thank you, i stopped eating refined sugar two months ago and now only eat dark chocolate with a cocoa content of above 70%," so i simply thanked her and took a milk chocolate truffle. and when i got in the car, i ate it and enjoyed it! it was only the size of a cherry, so i'm not going to feel guilty for it...especially because i spent the drive TO radiation gnawing on frozen cauliflower right from the bag, in a desperate attempt to get my daily quota of anti-cancer cruciferous vegetables - how sad is that??

now it really is 9:00 and i can start getting ready for bed.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

First, K tells me she thinks getting a dog would be good for me.
I told my mom, and she said, "That's funny, I was thinking the same thing!"
A few days later, I turn on the radio in the car and the first thing I hear is a woman on NPR gushing about how patting a dog releases oxytocin and the therapeutic value of dogs.
A few days later, I was watching a Q&A session with Dr. David Servan-Schrieber (Anticancer author), and someone asked about exercising reducing one's cancer risk, and his reply was, "The best way to get 30 minutes per day of exercise - get a dog!"
Then when I had to have 4 vials of blood drawn at the oncologist's office, E distracted me by telling me funny stories about this bull mastiff dog that she knows.
And my brother and sis-in-law just got a dog.
And now I'm dogsitting for two weeks.

Wow, ya think I should GET A DOG?!? Too bad my life is not at ALL set up for that right now, since I am in between apartments and all. But maybe once I am settled somewhere. In the meantime, I'm having fun taking those "What Type of Dog is Best for You?" quizzes on the Internet. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Radiation Day 5

I arrived at the hospital a few minutes early and met with the rad. onc. to ask flat out, WHAT'S GOING ON? Why has my treatment plan been in question every day? Why did he and the physicist come in 3 times to check things? Why did I need films 3 times in 5 days?

It turns out, he was modifying/tightening the radiation field so that the radiation is even further away from my heart, to protect my heart even more! That was great news! The rad. onc. that did my simulation/designed my treatment plan a week ago was the woman that was subbing for him while he was on vacation, and when he got back, he couldn't just accept her plan without checking it himself. And in the process of checking it, he determined that it was possible to modify the field in this better, heart-protecting way. I was really relieved to hear that, and he showed me the before and after photos (i.e. her plan vs. his plan), and I'm satisfied with the answers now.

BUT, I'm annoyed that he couldn't have just explained all this to me days ago! When I was standing up to leave his office today, I said, "Thank you for explaining it all. I had really been worried." He replied, "I know, I could tell by the look on your face the other day that you were worried and I knew you'd have questions." GEE, THANKS! You took a mental note of the fact that I was worried, but made no effort to do anything about that?? What I learned from this meeting with him today is that, for starters, I can't just assume that doctors are going to take the initiative to tell me the information I need, even if to me it seems like common sense for them to do so. I need to keep speaking up and asking all of my questions. I also realized that I had been misinterpreting his motives - I was paranoid and had thought that he and the techs were purposefully keeping information from me, by talking "in code" amongst themselves and being really vague so that hopefully I wouldn't notice that they were having problems and they wouldn't have to tell me about the problems. Now, I understand that they weren't trying to trick me. He was more than happy to explain everything to me once I asked my questions...I suspect the disconnect is simply due to him being more interested in/oriented towards his machines than his patients. He just does not have good people skills. And that stinks, but at least now I "understand" him better and know what to do in the future: JUST KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS, whenever I need to.

Today's actual radiation appointment took just 20 minutes from start to finish, which was a nice surprise and a relief. It's SUPPOSED to be that short every day, but this was the first time it had been shorter than 45 minutes! So I HOPE HOPE HOPE that subsequent appointments will be this short & sweet and I'll settle into a routine, and it will be relatively smooth sailing for the remaining 28 treatments. Because OMG, my anxiety before this appointment... I swear I was already mentally composing the "I quit radiation! I want a mastectomy!" email to my surgeon!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Radiation Day 4

I meant to be asleep right now, but clearly I'm not... Internet addict, that's me.

Radiation was difficult again today, and that's because it was Day 5 of my treatment being questioned/doubted/debated by the staff, and no one has explained to me what's going on and they brush off the direct questions that I ask.
Day 1 - simulation, they took films of my chest but didn't radiate me.
Day 2 - They took more films, because I was "so tense" on simulation day that those films weren't valid. (?!) Then they radiate me.
Day 3 - The techs called the physicist into the room "to check the field." The three of them stood there staring at/poking at my chest, in a "hmmm" kind of way, saying things like, "I think it's okay. Yeah, it's okay." Then they radiate me.
Day 4 - The techs called in the radiation oncologist to check the field, and again, the three of them stood there staring, poking, debating. "Should we use the wire?" rad. onc. asked. "No! It's only her third day!" a tech replies in surprise. Then they radiate me.
Day 5 (today) - The techs again seem uncertain about my set-up and again take MORE FILMS, and again call the rad. onc. into the room. He stares again, says to a tech, "Yeah, I see what you mean," and leaves. Then they radiate me.

At the end of today's treatment, I asked the tech, what's going on? Why have I had films 3 times in 5 days, and is that normal? Why does my treatment seem to be under question every single day? She smiled, told me I'd have to ask the rad. onc. those questions, but assured me that everything's fine - he just "modified the field," and they're "just trying to get everything 'just right,'" and once it is "just right," I'll only need films once every 6 treatments. Now I'm wondering, WHY have I been radiated FOUR TIMES if things are NOT "just right" yet??

I'm not getting on the table tomorrow until the rad. onc. gives me some answers and explanations. I'm nervous, because it's difficult for me to be assertive. But I have to do this! It's MY BODY, and it's the only one I've got, and radiation is freakin SERIOUS!! Today, when I was getting onto the table, one of the techs cheerfully asked me, "So, are you a college student?" UM, NO, I'm 31 years old and graduated 9 years ago! Is that why they've all been talking over me, about me, amongst themselves, without ever explaining things TO me?? They think I'm just some teenager?? Oh Hell no. This is NOT going to work for me.

Tomorrow, rad. onc. needs to tell me WHY and HOW the field has been modified, and what it all means, and why he and the techs and the physicist have needed to spend so much time conferencing about my treatment every day. Or I QUIT RADIATION.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Radiation Day 3

I still hate it. Is it going to get better?? I have to do this THIRTY MORE TIMES. :(

Today, the main problem for me was that one of the techs poking at me while I was lying there bare-breasted was male. I have told the radiation oncologist, his sub last week, the nurse, and one of the techs, at least once each and sometimes twice, that I am very uncomfortable having male doctors touching my breasts and need an all-female team. My surgeon, too, called the rad. onc. ahead of time and had a lengthy chat with him about this. On my simulation day, the tech who was doing my CT scan assured me that although the facility has one male tech (and the rest are female!), if he is part of my treatment at all, he will just be the one who is in the other room to turn the radiation switch on and off and he won't be touching me. Well, today he was in there touching me! And it's only Day 3!! Did they all "forget"? Or not take me seriously? Is the info not in my chart? I was mad. I don't CARE if they don't understand/agree with/relate to my discomfort with being touched by male doctors, because you know what, it's MY BODY, not anyone else's...which means no one else has to understand, they just need to RESPECT MY NEEDS when it comes to MY BODY. So when I met with the rad. onc. after my treatment today (I'm required to, every Wed), I AGAIN told him that radiation is difficult for me emotionally, and I need the techs who are touching me to be female. He looked awkward and said he'd talk to the staff again.

That's my primary problem with radiation. My secondary problem is that I absolutely hate having to change into the damn hospital gown at every appointment. For starters, it takes up time and is rather pointless - I have to go into a changing room, take everything off from the waist up and put on one of those horrid, ugly, shapeless, huge gowns that I can never seem to tie properly, then put my clothes in a locker and lock it, put the key on my wrist...then walk down the short hallway into the radiation room so the techs can take the gown off of me. What the F is the point of the gown?!? I asked yesterday, can I please just walk into the radiation room in my normal clothes, take off my shirt, lie on the table and get zapped, put my shirt back on, and go home?? They said NO, basically because the gown is just "procedure" and they know someone's ready to go when they have the gown on. I really don't see what the big deal would be if I didn't wear it, and they'd "know I was ready to go" because I'd be sitting in that same stupid "waiting chair" by the radiation room entrance that every other patient sits in. Not bothering with the gown would not only save time, it would help me emotionally, too - wearing that big ugly gown every day makes me feel so much like A Sick Person In A Hospital, and not like ME at all.

OH, and another problem I had with radiation today - when I was lying there on the table, the techs called in the rad. onc. to "check the field," and they stood there debating whether the field was okay or not, staring at my chest for what seemed like forever... rad. onc. asked something about if they should "use the wire," and one of the techs blurted out, "No! It's only her third day!" WTF?!? "WHAT WIRE?!" I asked with much anxiety, and rad. onc. was just like, "Oh, nothing really, I was just thinking out loud..." ALKHFUIEHW:K??! That's all he said about it then, and I had to wait until the radiation treatment was over and I was in his office afterwards to again ask him to explain what he was talking about with the wire comment. And he clarified that later on during the treatment process, they may have to place a wire on my skin, ON, to check something. Not IN my skin. It would have been helpful if he had made that clear WHILE I was lying there on the table, so that I did not spend the rest of the treatment having flashbacks to that horrible pre-surgery procedure in which two men stuck a wire deep into my breast while I cried.

Radiation, so far, is a hell of a lot more stressful than I expected it to be. Am I going to make it through THIRTY more treatments like this?! I honestly don't know. If I had a mastectomy now instead, I'd never have to go through it again. I'd never again have to have a mammogram, an ultrasound, a breast MRI, or a man touching my breasts...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Radiation Day 2, and Oncologist Appt

I was double-booked today, with both radiation and my oncology appt at 2 pm - annoying! Radiation was difficult again, emotionally. I had to wait a few minutes for my turn, after I'd changed into the hospital gown, and the chair they have you sit in to wait is directly across from the entrance to the radiation room. The door has always been open, but this time it was closed while some other patient got X-Rays in there, and thus I got to stare at the door with its huge orange and yellow sign:

That sign made my stomach heavy. Yeah, radiation is scary & dangerous & BAD... we've all been told this for years. So it's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that right now, in this situation, radiation is GOOD for me. I'm trying, I really am. But so far I hate these daily radiation treatments and I'm only forcing myself through it because 6 weeks of this is preferable to being breastless for life.

I was 15 minutes late for my oncology appt, because it took longer than expected for the techs to position my body exactly/correctly on the table underneath the linear accelerator. They had to call in the physicist to check the field. I have no idea what that even means, but I had the physicist plus the two techs taking turns touching my sternum and saying numbers to each other, nudging my hips like 3 millimeters to the left, then tilting my torso half an inch to the right, and on and on. At least I wasn't crying with anxiety today, I was more impatient and annoyed because I was late for my oncology appt.

Not that I was in any hurry to get upstairs to have 4 vials of blood drawn!! That was no fun. But E was there to keep me chatting and laughing and distracted from the blood. E is the manager of the clinical trial I have joined, the TAILORx Trial. At first the only reason I signed up for the TAILORx Trial was because it was a way to get the Oncotype test for free - which normally costs $3000+!! TAILORx is complicated, but in a nutshell: the researchers' goal is to determine what effect chemotherapy has on breast cancer patients who are at "intermediate risk" for recurrence, based on Oncotype scores. Half of the intermediate-scoring women in the trial will receive chemo, and half won't, and you don't get to choose whether to be in the chemo or no-chemo group - it's randomized.
The catch: the creators of the Oncotype test say that no one with an Oncotype score less than 18 benefits from/needs chemo, and is thus categorized as "low risk." TAILORx, in order to have a larger study group, categorizes you as "low risk" only if your score is less than 11, and categorizes you as "intermediate risk" if your score is between 11 and 25. This meant that even though the ONCOTYPE people say my score of 15 indicates that I'm at "low risk" for recurrence and do not need chemo, the TAILORx people say I'm "intermediate risk" and thus I had a 50/50 chance of being randomized to the chemo group. If I were put into the chemo group, I would have chosen to drop out of the trial, because there's no way I'm doing chemo experimentally, just to verify that the Oncotype people are right that chemo won't benefit me. I'm gonna believe the Oncotype people that I don't need chemo!

But anyway, I was randomized to the "no chemo" group, THANK GODDESS!!! This means that, for starters, my relationship with my oncologist has greatly improved, now that chemo's off the table and there is no longer that tension caused by her pushing chemo and me resisting it. This also means that I can stay in the TAILORx Trial and my participation in it will contribute to research that will help other women in the future, and that makes me really happy. Helping women (and kids!), in general, is what my life is all about. I was pissed off when I was dx'd with cancer and had to put so many things on hold, including applying for a job at the Women's Crisis Center, facilitating Girls Circles, and sponsoring the girl in Pakistan that I'd been sponsoring for 8 years... right now I'm still in the process of putting on my own oxygen mask before attempting to help others again, and I'm frustrated by being A Cancer Patient and impatient to get back to my activist life...so I'm thrilled to be able to at least participate in a research project that is designed to help women. The other great part of being in the TAILORx Trial is that now that I'm not in the chemo group, there are no negatives/downsides to being in the trial - I don't have to participate in any risky or experimental treatments; I'm receiving the same treatments I would have chosen even if I weren't a part of the trial. I guess you could say I'm part of the "control group" - if the researchers want to know what effect chemo + Tamoxifen has on women with intermediate scores, they need to compare that with women receiving Tamoxifen only, and that latter group includes me. (Tamoxifen won't start until after radiation, so I'm trying not to think too much about it right now!) And because my information/progress is being used for research, I'll be monitored extra carefully by all of the doctors, which certainly isn't a bad thing... And, so far, the manager of the TAILORx trial, E, is my second-favorite person on my medical team (second to K, of course!). She is friendly and chatty and keeps me laughing. We already have running jokes about silly stuff, and I appreciate her/that.

SOOOO, so far so good. I'll complete the 6 weeks of radiation (hopefully - there's always that slight chance that I'll say SCREW THIS and choose mastectomy), then my oncologist will pitch her case for Tamoxifen and I will probably agree to at least TRY it even though I'm resistant to it/scared of it, although like I told her, I can't promise I'll be able to stick with Tamoxifen for the full 5 years that it's prescribed for... we'll see. One step at a time. And the next step is Radiation Treatment #3, tomorrow at 2 pm. Sigh.

Monday, March 22, 2010


The radiation oncologist wants me to STOP DRINKING CHICKWEED TEA!!! I gave them a list of supplements/herbs/vitamins I'm taking, and they said everything is fine to continue EXCEPT the Chickweed. This is preposterous. I asked the nurse why, and she couldn't even tell me - she said the doctor "looked it up" and decided that "something about it" would interfere with radiation.

Green Witch sisters, help me out!! What could possibly be wrong with CHICKWEED??? Radiation already sucks. Why are they attempting to get me to give up my plant best friend?!?

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I'm starting radiation tomorrow morning at 8:45, and I'm feeling heavy with dread and resentment. Last Monday was the planning session, when I had the CT scan so they could map everything out, and they put the 3 tiny tattoo dots on me. Friday was the "simulation" - I was in the actual machine, but they didn't actually radiate me, they just took films to make sure everything was set up properly. Tomorrow morning is the REAL RADIATION. The first of 33 radiation treatments.

I'm feeling bitter about the fact that during the next 6 weeks, the skin of my breast, chest, and possibly underarm is likely to become red and hot like it's sunburned, possibly itchy or painful, possibly blistered and oozy and gross, making sleeping and clothing uncomfortable. The irony is that a few weeks ago, I came very close to deciding to just have both of my breasts removed. I sent my surgeon a long, rambly email explaining that I love my body for its health, abilities, strength, and usefulness, and I'm not so focused on its appearance, thus, I would still love and appreciate my body even without breasts. I had a big long list of reasons why I'd be totally fine (emotionally!) with a bilateral mastectomy. From Day One, that has been my attitude - I don't give a damn what my breast looks like after surgery, or if it's even gone entirely, as long as I'm cancer-free and can still be on the trapeze!! I was fully prepared for at least a slightly misshapen breast after surgery.

But then... I went through a lumpectomy and TWO reexcisions, so three surgeries total, and my breast still looks AMAZING. Its shape is totally normal - I cannot tell a difference between it and the contralateral breast. Even K was amazed (and seemingly surprised!) when she saw it at my postoperative check. "Britta, I took tissue out all the way up to HERE!", she exclaimed, touching the area all the way up near my clavicle. It's rather miraculous that you'd never know by looking that my breast has had tissue removed from it 3 times! Well, except for the scar, of course... but for some reason, even the scar looks beautiful to me, it really does. Again K was amazed, also, by how quickly and how well the incision has healed after being cut into THREE times.

I don't know how to explain it, but... even though I was previously feeling unperturbed by my breast's future appearance, now that I'm done with surgery and my breast DOES look so gorgeous (to me!), I'm feeling surprisingly possessive/protective of it. The rational part of my brain has decided that I need radiation. I've researched all of my options to my satisfaction, and have come to the conclusion that radiation is slightly preferable than mastectomy, and that while I don't like EITHER choice of radiation or mastectomy, the risk I'd be taking by choosing neither option is not a risk I would be comfortable living with. So I'm choosing radiation because it is the lesser of the evils. But now that the time is upon me, I'm feeling bitter and pissed off.

I feel like, my breast has been through ENOUGH by now, goddammit. I just bought two wonderfully soft, silk tank tops to wear for the duration, because I've heard from other women who have been through radiation that many fabrics are irritating to sensitive, radiated skin. If my skin is going to get irritated like that, it probably won't happen until approximately week 3...right now everything feels so normal and good and happy; I have healed so well from surgery... and I just want to leave my poor breast(s) alone. I don't want to bare my breasts to strangers every freaking day for a month and a half so they can radiate me, I just want to leave my breasts alone in this comfy, soft, beautiful silk tank top. Just let my breasts be.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Britta and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday was one of the worst days I have had since Diagnosis Day.
It was my first day of radiation.
20 minutes before my appointment, I was eating lunch and cracked my tooth. This was the third time in 15 months that I have cracked a tooth. I cried. I would rather have another lumpectomy, than a SIXTH ROOT CANAL.
I cried all through radiation.
When I got home, my landlord verbally attacked me and announced he's not giving me my security deposit back when I move out. He said mean things that I can't post on a public blog.
Then there were 5 men in my apartment for 2 hours, to clean up black mold, inspect for fire safety, and fix the sink. I had nowhere to cry in peace and could barely breathe from the bleach fumes.
I fled to a friend's house for the evening, and cried. Then I called my mom, and cried some more.
Then I took a Benadryl and slept for 11 hours.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Oh, man. Ever been so stressed out you popped your stress ball?!

I don't even know where to begin. There's too much going on at once. During the next TWO WEEKS, I am doing all of the following:

- Leaving a job
- Beginning 2 weeks of dog-sitting
- Moving out of my apartment and in with my parents
- Beginning daily radiation treatments

TOO MUCH TOO MUCH TOO MUCH!! There's so much to DO that I have just been plowing through it all every day - packing, bringing stuff to the dump and recycling and thrift stores (thank you, Anneka, Cathryn, Hart family!), dishes, laundry, more packing, meeting minutes, phone calls, doctor's appointments, bills, emails, more packing, tamoxifen research, cooking, cleaning, getting more boxes, finding my W-2s, making lists of questions to ask the oncologist, blah blah blah. And so frequently these days, I think that I'm doing fine, and then realize that actually, I'm subconsciously clenching my stomach and holding my breath. My shoulders are always up around my ears. I have to put on loud music and belt it out in the car, otherwise I spend entire drives barely breathing. I'm gobbling Rescue Remedy pills like there's no tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sweet 15 Party

I am still celebrating my Oncotype score and doing the No-Chemo Happy Dance!! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010


My Oncotype test results are in! I scored a FIFTEEN!!! That means NO CHEMO!!!! :) Receiving a score below 18 (on a scale of 1-100) means that your chance of having a recurrence of cancer in the next 10 years is LOW. People with scores of less than 18receive "little to no benefit" from chemo and thus don't need it. It is 90% likely that I will NOT have a recurrence of breast cancer in the next 10 years.


In other news, I had my radiation planning session this morning, and it wasn't so bad. They put 3 tiny tattoos on my skin to mark the radiation sites and that was slightly painful but not nearly as bad as all the other needle procedures I've had during the past 5 months! My radiation sessions will be every day at 2 pm from next Tuesday until sometime in May.

Friday, March 12, 2010

2-week Postoperative Check-up

Had my post-surgery check-up yesterday...

Good news: I've healed SO well and SO fast! I don't have to see K for 6 months!

Next up, radiation. Ugh. Also, still waiting on Oncotype score. I'll keep y'all posted...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kindness of Strangers

My recent experiences with the kindness of strangers:

1. Many of you know how much I despise the telephone! And what telephone experience could be worse than having to call your insurance company and your hospital's billing department to try and figure out why one of your medical procedures hasn't been covered by insurance? I'd been putting it off for months, until the bill for one of my ultrasounds came in the mail for the THIRD time, so I sucked it up and made the calls. I was surprised by how kind every single person I talked to was! As it turns out, my insurance company hadn't been billed for this ultrasound - so all I had to do was call the hospital's billing company and give them my insurance info. The first time I called, I didn't have all of the required info about my insurance, so I told the person on the phone that I'd talk with my insurance company and then call back with the rest of the info. I called back about 10 minutes later, and it was someone else on the line, Terry. When I said I was calling to update my insurance information, she replied, "Oh, FANTASTIC! I would be so glad to help you with that!!" and she thanked me multiple times for "calling back so promptly" and then she got me giggling by joking about the strange "Dr. Dynosaur" program (which is associated with my health insurance co.), and she was just so surprisingly cheerful and kind throughout the whole phone call. It was probably the first time I'd ever had a chatty-and-giggly phone conversation with a billing representative of a medical institution! Thank you, Terry!

2. A couple weeks ago, I went to the laundromat to do two huge loads of laundry. After I transferred it all to a dryer, I went to run errands, and returned about an hour later to fold it all and get it back in my car. But as I started to approach the dryer, the woman who works there jumped ahead of me with a smile to retrieve my clothes out of the dryer - FOLDED AND BAGGED! She told me she "got bored" and folded all of my laundry for me, and she hoped I wasn't mad! MAD?? I was, in fact, bowled over with gratitude! She smiled more, and told me to a have great day, and held the door for me on my way out... when I got home and opened the bags, I discovered the most BEAUTIFULLY folded laundry I have ever had. Super neat, tidy stacks of meticulously folded clothes...clothes which usually just end up shoved haphazardly in my drawers, if they make it to drawers at all. I seriously almost took photos to capture the beauty of her folding.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Looking for Help!

Hi, local friends...
If you didn’t already know, I’m moving at the end of the month!
Mar. 31, I’ll move most of my stuff to a storage unit here in town, then live with my parents for all of April during radiation.
May 1, I will move to a new apartment in the town I’m currently living in (this is a public blog, so I’m not posting the name, but you know!), either a studio apartment or into my friends’ apartment – not sure yet!

I’m overwhelmed by everything that I need to do in preparation, especially since I will be undergoing daily radiation treatments from approximately Mar. 22 to the first week of May and I don’t know yet how that is going to affect me, what side effects I’ll be dealing with, etc.

I would love, love, love your help. Tasks I need help with anytime between 9 am and 1 pm on Sat, Mar 13 and/or Thurs, Mar 18:

1. Help me figure out which of the stuff I’m getting rid of can be donated, and which stuff needs to be thrown out. You may take anything from this pile that you want!! (Random books, VHS, kitchen stuff, kids’ toys, clothes, art supplies, magazines, bikes, etc. Like a yard sale, but free).
2. Drive stuff to the dump with me (not bags of trash - broken electronics, tires, etc). I’ve never been, don’t know where it is and where everything goes, etc. Trucks would also be helpful, for bigger things like the half dozen bikes in the basement! Dump closes at noon on Saturday.
3. Drive stuff to the thrift store downtown.
4. Help me figure out the logistics of renting a storage unit, because I’ve never done it. Where is a good local place for this? If the fee is monthly, can I move stuff in Mar. 31, or do I have to wait until Apr. 1, and how do I do that if a new roommate will be moving her stuff IN to this room on Apr. 1 and my stuff HAS to be out by Mar. 31?? Should I rent a truck from the storage rental people? How do I know what size storage unit I’ll need? I’m guessing I will need to photograph my collection of boxes & furniture to determine that?

Between 9 and 1 on both days, I will provide bagels & cream cheese and coffee! :)

Anytime between now and Mar. 24:

I’d appreciate boxes from the Co op, of various sizes (the kind that close on both ends). You can drop them off on my porch!

March 31, ANYTIME:
I would be so grateful for all the help I can get to move my stuff to the storage unit, which will be somewhere here in town. I have furniture and need people with trucks! (Cars, too, for all the smaller stuff!)
I will have ice cream available all day.

If you have any availability on any of those days, even just 30 to 60 mins because it all helps, please let me know, and let me know which task you can help with. Also, I would so appreciate it if you could circulate this message to whoever you can think of who might be able to help... I can never keep track of who reads my blog and who doesn’t!


Monday, March 1, 2010


I have decided FOR SURE to do radiation instead of having a mastectomy, and it feels good to have so clearly made a decision. Email me/send me a message if you want to know the funny story of how I came to this decision! (Women only...sorry guys!)