It's October 2015

It's October 2015
Have You Scheduled Your Mammogram??!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Was So Wired Today!


No, not on Starbucks. Today was the SIM appointment. After falling asleep in a stifling hot waiting room and then going for lunch, I was ready to be seen. The good news is that BI's down one machine but only because it's being upgraded with a new, higher-tech machine. Everything was painless, just more of a nuisance. You lie down on a table with lots of computerized machinery on top of and around you. A mold is created of your head and neck. You rest your head on a warm, chemical filled like pillow, turn your head to the opposite side being treated, and then it sinks into the pillow which hardens into the mold. This is one way to ensure that you will be set up the same exact way every time you go for radiation. So, head's turned and now arm is lifted above head and stays put, along w/ your entire body, for at least one hour. By above 45 minutes I got a little twitchy but no big deal. The worst part was the fly buzzing around the room which I obsessed about thinking it would land on me and I wouldn't be able to shoo it away. Well, it knew better and left me alone. 

In the meantime, the radiation therapist wraps around and tapes a wire to le boob. Lines are drawn all over w/a Sharpie, measurements are taken and she's running back and forth capturing each line and measurement, varied positions of machinery on a screen in the next room. This simulation, or dry run, is looked at by the radiologist, Dr. Chada, for a minute and radiation physicists. Last step, I got the tatts which mark the treatment ports. With what feels like a pin prick, 3 tiny permanent markings the size of a freckle are made. These marks are another way to assist the therapist in aiming the radiation at the same spot each time.

Next, while marked up and wired, I walked my mold --which looks like a blue boogie board-- over to the other BI building on Union Sq. East. It didn't matter that I didn't know where I was going. Someone spots you with a blue boogie board, they know where to direct you. I caught up on the tabloids in a room w/folks with varying types of cancers. Let's just say, I felt lucky to be me. Eventually I was met by Terry who walked me upstairs for my CAT scan.   

I change into my new uniform--a mint green and white pin stripe seersucker robe. People are walking around downstairs in those as if at home or in a spa. Women in a robe and pants, men in a robe and no pants. Kind of depressing but that's where the tabloids come in handy! 

If you've never had a CAT scan, it's painless and not claustrophobic or noisy like an MRI. The difference b/w that and a regular x-ray is that a CAT scan is a 3-D x-ray vs 2-D. You can see the heart, lungs, everything going on inside as opposed to say, a flat front view.  We now had to match my position on the table to that of the one during the SIM. I have the mold underneath head/neck, rt arm above head and left arm exactly where it was before (tucked under my tush). I'm moved back into a giant (unfortunately unglazed) donut which captures all of the data. Some stuff inside it is spinning around the donut like your laundry on spin cycle.  After about 15 minutes I'm finished. I pull off the wires and tape and remove the roadmap with rubbing alcohol. 

The films will be reviewed by the radiologist. She, along with a dosimetrist and the physicist, decide how much radiation I get and on what schedule. If I remember correctly, the first 5 wks target the whole general area and the last week and half zoom in to exactly where the cancer was. On December 6th I'll return. We'll make sure the machinery is positioned exactly where it should be as seen in the x-rays, take more films, etc. The following Monday, December 9th, will be the first radiation treatment. I'll go five days a week at 4:30 for six weeks. 

     THIS IS NOT ME
By the way, that wired orb up on top is not at all what I looked like. It was just for effects. I've taken the liberty of stealing, let's say borrowing, another woman's, more accurate image of her simulation which you can be seen to the left.  I apparently am not the only one who's ever written a boob blog. Go figure. 

Thank you, woman whose SIM image I've used. I hope you are doing well and don't mind that I've helped educate others w/the use of your image. 

Last, I'm happy to report that thus far I've had no side effects whatsoever from the Tamoxiphen (Leslie calls me Foxy Tamoxy). I feel great actually. No sugar is suiting me well. I get weekly vitamin c (and some other stuff) IVs which take about two hours each, am popping all sorts of supplements, and not forgetting for a moment, that I may've dodged the bullet, but I've got to do all I can to try and make sure this doesn't all happen again. I hope you do the same and take good care of yourselves. 

I'll have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. 

Love and health to all!

Liz

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Stamp Out BC--this takes TWO minutes at most...

Hi All,

What if I told you that a major source of funding for breastcancer research was at risk, and that all we need to save it is for you to write your Senators? The Breast Cancer Research Stamp has raised $55 million for breast cancer research since its introduction in 1998. It has become the best selling commemorative stamp in U.S. history, with100% of the net proceeds benefiting breast cancer research programs. But unless the Senate reauthorizes it, the stamp will disappear in less than two months!

Please urge your Senators to save the stamp! Just click on the link below. http://komenpolicy.org/campaign/bcrs_sen

We're in a good situation - the House has already reauthorized the Stamp, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein has a bill in the Senate that would do the same. All we need now is to put the pressure on the Senate to cosponsor the bill and make sure it comes up for a vote. That's why I just wrote my Senators - please, will you do the same?

Just click the link below. http://komenpolicy.org/campaign/bcrs_sen

Thanks for your time!

Liz

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Losing Your Marbles

Someone sent this email to me yesterday and I thought it was worth sharing. We all know life is short, etc., but this was an interesting way of looking at it. I think it's a good lesson for kids too. 

3900 Saturdays

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it:

I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling whom-ever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles." I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say

"Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's "dance recital" he continued. "Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities." And that's when he began to explain his theory of a "thousand marbles."

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.

"Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part.

It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays." "I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear."

"Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.
I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.

There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."

"Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time."

"It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!"

You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.

Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.
_________

P.S. No crazy effects from the 1st nite on the T. Didn't howl at the moon once.