Waiting for Savasana


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Keeping Busy

Radiation is still kicking my tush.  I am still nauseated on a regular basis.  I am also exhausted most of the time.

However, the show must go on.

My Mother in Law or MIL was here in April when I had surgery.  My husband bought some plants for her and my youngest to put in our garden bed.  I have no recollection of any of this happening.  I assumed that there would be a variety of vegetables but it turned out, they planted tomatoes.  Just tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes  Mostly cherry tomatoes because that’s what the little guy likes.

Well, my little guy watered that garden all summer and did he ever get a bumper crop!  We had mounds and mounds of little tomatoes all summer.

We thought we were done with tomatoes a week or two ago.  Apparently this is not so.

Here is yesterday’s harvest:

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My husband is thinking of making sundried tomatoes with this batch.  I made chilli with the last batch.  He made a huge vat of tomato soup with a couple of the hauls.  We have been up to our ears in tomatoes!

The little lad is so over it.  He is tired of picking tomatoes.  He stopped watering a while ago and we still are getting huge hauls of them.  He claims he will soon rip the plants out by their roots!  I have enjoyed them.  They make me happy.  And they are so sweet and delicious.  And my little 8-year-old did this all by himself with some help from grandma in the beginning.

It’s been very cool.

And speaking of fresh fruits and veg, we joined a CSA of organic fruits and vegetables.  It’s delivered to our door every week and it has been an adventure.  Here’s a picture of one of the deliveries:

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We used every bit.  Although I must admit, I am not thrilled about squash.  It’s nobody’s favorite around here.  At one point, we received a butternut squash.  I was baffled and intimidated.  The husband chopped it in half for me and I roasted it with some agave syrup drizzled on top.  Then we didn’t want to eat it.  So I found a recipe and purreed it into soup which we kind of half enjoyed.  I made a salad with the lettuce, carrots and heirloom tomatoes and that went over much better than the soup.

I still had half a roasted squash left so I processed a puree and made squash muffins:

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The little lad decided they needed frosting:

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And after all of that, we unanimously decided, that we as a family, don’t care much for butternut squash.  Lord knows we tried.

Lastly, in an effort to de-cancerify our home, we’re trying to get rid of our nonstick cookware.  That coating is toxic, you know, especially if it has been scratched.  We had already bought a small cast iron skillet and The Husband ordered a bigger one on Amazon.  We knew it was going to be big but not this big!

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Look at that pan!  It’s ginormous and its also quite awesome.  You can make a stir-fry that lasts for a week in that pan.  And it was $39!  I love it.  But I don’t love cleaning it.  I am learning though.  Cast iron is not quite as convenient as non-stick but it does the job.  It’s like we’re pioneers!

We are also trying to phase out all of the plastic stuff in the kitchen.  Did you know when plastic is heated, it leeches chemicals onto your food?  I did.  But I thought I was good as long as I wasn’t putting plastic in the microwave and reheating.  But think about it, hot food on a plastic plate is also a danger.  My kids everyday plates have been these Make-it Plates that they have been making since preschool. You can see my son eating his not so delicious muffin on a Make-it plate.  I love Make -it plates.  They remind me of my boys at every age.  They make me happy BUT they’ve been retired to a box in the garage.  Got to lose the plastic if you want to be safe. Right?

This is what I’ve been up to during radiation.  Besides sleeping and eating and a great deal of t.v. watching.  I thought this step would be pretty easy but it’s still quite challenging.  Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.  We still need them and we still need you.


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My Poor Neglected Blog

I just haven’t felt like blogging.

I started radiation therapy this week.  It’s very weird.  The technicians are nice.  One guy tells corny jokes.  Everyone seems nice.

I hate it.

That machine is a big monster.

Tuesday I left treatment feeling nauseated.  Wednesday morning I threw up.

“Oh no!” they all exclaimed, “It couldn’t be from the radiation.  That’s not a side effect.  You must have a stomach bug.”

Yeah, I call BS, I don’t have a bug.  I did some research and apparently, nausea can in fact be a side effect.  It’s just not a common side effect.

I was nauseated all week.  And now it’s Saturday and I am slowly feeling better.  And hmmm… no radiation today.

Sometimes I feel like every doctor I meet is trying to pee on my leg while telling me it’s raining.

Let’s see how I feel tomorrow and compare it to how I feel on Monday after my next treatment and see if this is just a bug.  Hmph!

When I went for the simulation, they made me this cool moulded pillow for my head and arm.  So that was cool.  It has my name on it.

I got a couple of dot tattoos and many people have written on me in extremely permanent marker and I have bullseye stickers on my torso that will not come off no matter how much I shower.  It’s all to keep me lined up so the beams hit me in the right places.  It makes me feel like a piece of meat but whatevs.  I’m a big girl.  I know who I am.  I’ve been through worse.

I come in and lay on the table and put my head and my arm where they are supposed to go and then the techs move me around until I am in the right spot.  My arm goes over my head every time.  The arm that lost most of it’s lymph nodes and a big chunk of armpit in April.  That arm.  Over my head.  It’s not the most pleasant way to be.  The first two sessions, I had to be in that position for an hour.  I started whimpering at one point my arm hurt so bad.  But I stuck it out.  You know what trained me?

Bikram Yoga.

I kid you not.

Bikram taught me to withstand extreme heat and extreme pain. Just breathe into it and you get by.  Thank goodness for Bikram.  Bikram taught me never to give up and to find peace within discomfort.

And yes, I am still upset that I may never get to do it again.  Angry face.  Angry face.  Angry face.

People at risk for lymphedema should avoid extreme heat changes.  Bikram is done in a very hot room.

Screw it!  I will do it again.  I will, I will. Someday.

But back to radiation.  In and of itself , it’s not terrible.  I made it through week one.  The nurse recommended using clear aloe vera gel on the areas because I AM going to get burned.  It seems to be doing the trick for now.  Many people recommend Emu Oil which is rendered fat from Emu birds.  I feel guilty using it…but it’s very soothing.

I keep telling myself that this radiation thing is something I need to do.  I’m not happy about it one bit but I’m not happy about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 either.

But it’s like I was saying to my son earlier, the worst part of all of this is that even after my diagnosis, I FELT FINE.  It’s the treatment that is really grueling and painful and horrid.  It’s the treatment that made my hair fall out and has kept me home bound and often bedridden.

And there are no guarantees, no promise of a cure.  Just hope.

And now I drive my butt to the doctor’s office every weekday to lay in this stupid Darth Vader looking machine that buzzes at me and radiates my body and gives me nightmares.

All I can think is, this had better work.

This had better work alright.