Thursday, April 8, 2010

"I'm Too Young for This"

This weekend, I'm going to a conference in Boston for young adult cancer survivors. Haven't been to Boston in years...really looking forward to it!

Actually, I was on the fence about going. It's 2.5 hours of travel each way... is it worth it? Is being with other young adults with cancer that important to me? Then, I had this interaction with another radiation patient yesterday... she's maybe in her early 70s. I said hi to her as she came out of the radiation room, and she said hi back, and I asked how many treatments she has left. Just a few, she told me, then grasped my arm and launched in with:

"You just started, didn't you? I'm so sorry, honey! You're so young! How old ARE you? 31? You don't look that old! Oh, you shouldn't be here! I'm so sorry. I'll pray for you. You're a good little girl!"

I went home and registered for the conference!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Britta,

    It's been a while since I've read your blog. I'm sorry to read that you were having such trouble with radiation. Wow. Just so you know, the radiation treatment is different for every patient. It's not all the same. The radiation oncologist designs a treatment for you based on your type of cancer, the depth it was in your breast, size, etc. It's all done by computer. Then he makes a plan for the zap. I wish you could have gone to Cooley Dickinson with Dr. Bornstein (a woman). She's wonderful. I never had a prob wearing the gown, so I can't really relate to that issue. The way I look at it is: when I made the conscious choice to do radiation, then I needed to do what they said. It sounds like a lot of energy has been poured into somewhat resisting the overall treatment. Still, I'm proud of you that you're standing up for yourself. They in no way should have been talking OVER you instead of TO you. But, I think I remember that happening to me too. They needed to confer with each other to be sure they had everything set up exactly right. Just remember that all they want is to help you heal, stay alive, and live a healthy life. This is the job they've chose: in the helping profession. They are good people. Sure, they say stupid things and try to comfort us with stupid questions (I had lots of that too). It's great to get mad, and it's also great to realize that they are doing the best they can. They see about a hundred people a week, and they care a lot about each one.

    What a great idea to bring LULU into the treatment room!!! Very creative. Good for you.

    Radiation is a pain in the ass. And, the fact that you have to drive there day after day is temporary. Maybe it will help to remember that. I wouldn't advise stopping, because I believe that if you decide to start again, you have to start at the beginning, but I'm not sure.

    Radiation kills the cancer cells that may be remaining in the area where the tumor was. It is a local treatment, where chemo is a systematic treatment that treats every rapidly-dividing cell in the body rather than just those in the direct area of the tumor site.

    Have you been using your Aquaphor? Or the ointment they give you with a perscription? It's important to use something.

    Another visualization you can try is imagining that the "board" or table is the hands of the Goddess. She is cradling you and loving you.

    I love you hon. You're doing a great job. Congrats on the move. Sorry about the flat tire. What a hassle.

    Soon, all of this will be OVER!!!! Then Tamoxifen. I'm still pissed that I had cancer. It is a PAIN IN MY ASS to this day. I just realized that the yummy Morning Veggie Patties that I've been eating and love have phytoestrogens in them. Oye. Can't I just eat whatever I want to and not worry if it's giving me cancer?

    Congrats on going to the conference. I think it will help you a lot. I'm thinking of going to one too.

    Love you,