Well not quite....but, tomorrow is my last day of radiation.
My skin is darker in the area that was radiated, but it's not too noticeable just looks a sunburned. Christian even asked where I got my suntan....I did not experience any pain, exhaustion, horrible skin side effects, etc.. Dr Altemus is quite pleased with the result. I saw her on Friday to explain the skin will begin to peel in brown layers, but it should look pretty much the same once I "shed". Sometimes, the nipple will be paler than the other nipple due to excess exposure. I explained that I really don't care. As long as I am cancer free then I am fine with a pale nipple :O
I will follow-up with her in one month and then 6 months to examine my breast to be sure all is healing nicely. Sometimes, the radiation can make the breast shrink up a little and if this is a concern then I can have my other breast lifted. I noticed they are a little lopsided, but not enough to bother me; However, we will soon see the final results once I have healed.
This week, I will make my appointment with Dr Heyer and Dr Chiantella for a follow-up. Dr Heyer and I will discuss next steps - just watch me or a low dose of chemo since I don't have a maintenance drug. I am the one who pushed for a low dose of chemo, only because the thought of the cancer returning scares me. However, he told me pretty much to simmer down. He wanted to see what my pathology results were (negative of cancer cells) and how I did in radiation. I am terrified, like always, of this appointment, but I think I will always be terrified of any oncology visit. I have pondered a lot over these 6 weeks about life and cancer.
Cancer certainly annihilated every bit of me - more emotionally than physically. I have a different perspective in life and have changed the way I live and love. I take nothing for granted. I get up every day and thank God for my blessed life and will not take life or the people in my life for granted. My inner being is the same as I don't think I would have faired as easily as I did if I wasn't stubborn and tough. I won't change who I am because that is who got me through this journey, but I will change my perception of life. Make sense? A good friend of mine, also a cancer survivor, told me "Respect the Beast". I couldn't say it any simpler. People say - You kicked cancer's ass. You are a rock star. I smile and say "Yep", but they ask why I don't see excited about it. Well, by no means am I not ecstatic about beating cancer, but I will not gloat. I have asked myself this many times, why won't I allow myself to scream at the top of my lungs, "F&*! you cancer" while I dance in circles waving my middle fingers...It's because of two things. 1) I am terrified of cancer and always will be. 2) I am not a showoff. My dad always told me and just told me the other week when we were talking about my Bucket List, "Barbie, I am very proud of you. You have worked very hard for everything you have and earned, but never brag. Remember who you are and where you came from". My Dad instilled this early in my life and continues to do so. Sometimes, we all need a reminder on how precious life really is. Either it be a gentle reminder or a hardcore reminder - Remember tomorrow is never promised.
Please keep me and my family in your prayers and I will keep everyone posted!