Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gonna B OK

Yesterday was much better, because:

A) It was 85 degrees and gorgeous. I walked to and from the hospital along a woodsy trail by the river, and parts of the trail even felt like Fest! The techs laughed at how sweaty my chest was from the sun & exercise.
B) I had 2 Rescue Remedy pastilles and 6 squares of 72% dark chocolate.
C) I remembered to stuff my pockets full of sweet notes from my loved ones, healing stones, little photos, etc. so I could carry all that love with me into the icky radiation room.
D) K reminded me (via email) of why exactly I had chosen to do radiation instead of mastectomy, and I had actually forgotten that (!!), so I thought about it the whole time I was in the waiting room, re-affirming my decision.
E) It felt great to have given up my need to understand & trust the radiation and to be able to just trust by proxy, and thus, I was able to lay there with my eyes closed and breathe and was more relaxed than usual on the table.

And LULU was awesome!! She is the radiation oncologist's social-guide dog that my imagination created, and I was looking forward to seeing her during my meeting with rad. onc. after my treatment... I was so surprised when LuLu showed up in the radiation room first!! She was sitting on the floor there next to the table, and looked up at me and winked, from behind those goofy glasses. "I'm ready!" she assured me, and her voice was surprisingly deep for a dog wearing a pink bow. I almost laughed out loud. Maybe I am really freakin losing my mind. :)

LuLu was very helpful during my meeting with rad onc. When he came into the room and stayed standing against the counter instead of sitting in one of the 2 available chairs, LuLu sat next to me instead. Rad onc said that he heard I'd been having a rough week. I told him I now have contact info for a few therapists and support groups, which is helpful, and he replied, "Have you called any of the therapists yet? Sometimes you don't click with someone right away and have to try a few to find someone who you click with. And as for support groups, well, sometimes hearing all about other people's problems just makes it more difficult, but, I guess you won't know until you try it..."

"I'm so glad to hear you've been reaching out for support! That can be difficult to do! A lot of women have found the support group very helpful; I hope it goes well for you and you connect with some wonderful people. I've heard great things about the therapists that [nurse] recommended to you. It's not uncommon for women who are going through daily radiation to struggle with it like this, especially mid-treatment, so you're not alone, Britta. There are many sources of support for you."

And when I expressed my skepticism of the necessity of the 33 radiation treatments (e.g. maybe I'd be fine with less!), rad onc admitted that I'm right, there's really no way to know if I actually needed ANY radiation, or less than the 33 treatments, or the full 33 treatments... then he started rambling about something that I only heard as: "test tubes of cancer cells extrapolation radiobiology cancer cell death lower curve randomized trials..." LuLu distracted me by licking my face, rolling her eyes sarcastically, and making goofy faces at me. She also apologized for his tie.

I walked about 90 minutes in the sunshine yesterday, which was so nice... and my theory was that exercise would prevent (or at least reduce) the fatigue that comes from radiation, but maybe not?? I started watching a DVD around 7:45 pm and fell asleep before it was even over, then slept straight through till 7 am!! (That's WITHOUT the 20mg of melatonin that I take nightly - because I fell asleep before I could take it!)


  1. A dog like that WOULD have deep voice, wouldn't it?

    What, is it like Joan Rivers? Doctor Girlfriend from the Venture brothers cartoons? :) Ha.

    It sucks that sometimes, people who are REALLY smart have NO personality, or a crappy personality.

  2. When you are done with Lulu, can I borrow her? There are a few people in my life who REALLY need that sort of translator ;-).


  3. steph, i don't know who doctor girlfriend is...i will have to look into that! but yes, lulu is a bit like joan rivers, tina fey, and rachel maddow, i do believe.

    mom, lulu can teleport instantly to whoever needs her and even be in two places at once, because she's magic like that! she can totally help you. i think i know you mean needs a translator. :)