Monday, October 24, 2011

Breast Cancer Update

Where am I?   Feeling a lot better these days.   The post surgery trauma, aches and pains are pretty much gone, and I was able to both take a walk and do a full yoga practice today.

I am, however, sleeping quite a bit.

How much sleep?  Well yesterday I work up at 8, took a 1 1/2 hour nap in the afternoon then fell asleep at 9.

I took another nap today.

So, you can say I'm sleeping my way back to recovery.

But, of course, just as I'm feeling better, stuff looms in the future that's pretty much guaranteed to get me feeling like shit again.

Tomorrow I see my oncologist and he'll tell me if I need chemotherapy.  

Needless to say the idea of getting pumped full of  poisons and chemicals and losing my hair doesn't make me want to jump up and down and yell "hooray!!"

My surgeon thinks I don't need chemo, but it's up to the oncologist to make the final call.  

Wish me luck.

Chemo or no, I will need radiology, every day for 4-6 weeks.   I'm seeing the radiologist on Thursday, and based on what the oncologist says, he'll tell me when and for how long I'll need radiology.

Radiology is also not something that makes me want to jump for joy.   I have to go EVERY FUCKING DAY for 4-6 weeks.   That alone is a drag, but I'm told that after a while your boob gets so burnt you can't wear a bra.  

And, did I mention that I'm going to essentially get zonked with huge doses of RADIATION????

I've come to the conclusion that no real progress has been made in the treatment of breast cancer.

Huge strides have been made in detection, leading to fewer deaths from breast cancer.   Huge strides have also been made in reconstruction.   But the actual treatments are just as barbaric as they were 10, 20 or 30 years ago.  When I talk to women who've had breast cancer in the past, the amazing thing is that what I'm going through is pretty much exactly what they went through.

The idea that a full mastectomy was still on the table for me boggles the mind, as is the idea that the only available post-surgery treatment options are still pretty much only chemo and radiation.  


  1. I'll be keeping you in prayer. Sleep all you want. After my surgery this past summer I can to value just sleepin!! I have to have surgery AGAIN soon, so I'll be doing major sleepy time again.

    My sister had breast cancer 20 years ago and the treatment seems the same. You are right in saying that the advances are in the detection end, but the treatment end is lagging...

    Wishing you luck, prayers and healing!

  2. I'm glad you are feeling better, and I feel your frustration at the lack of advancement for breast cancer treatment - where the hell is all of that "pink" money going, anyway???

  3. marie claire had a good article on where the "pink" money goes or who get's it at least. BC get's more money than heart disease (which actually kills more women than BC).

    I thought of you yesterday when I watched Fork Over Knives. A woman who was diagnosed with BC in the 80's and now is in her 70's and doing triatholon's now. I can't remember but I don't think you are on a completely fruit/vegetable diet are you? If you can watch it on Netflix it's a great documentary.