I Know How I’m Spending the Summer

July 19, 2010

That’s it then. Chemo 6 of 6 – and its obnoxiously long recovery – is done.

Phases IIa and IIb start.

Phase IIa is the continuation of infusions of Herceptin every 3 weeks, with echocardiograms to monitor for any heart damage before every second infusion. This starts next Wednesday (7/28) and continues until the end of March 2011 (one year from start of chemo). Fortunately and over time, the side effects of the Herceptin alone will not be as bad as the infusion experiences I’ve had already. Oh. And it won’t be an all day thing anymore. Cool.

Phase IIb is the start of radiation. I guess I was supposed to hear from the radiation oncologist to set up an appointment but haven’t yet. Considering today is the first day I haven’t felt like a she-devil or the alter-ego of the she-devil – the she-pitiful – I haven’t made a point of calling him (her?) myself. Need to though because there’s a good chance that Pamela will – 

Wait. I haven’t introduced Pamela, have I?

Yes. This is “Pamela.”

Well, if Pamela didn’t have a giant scar from ear to ear.

 And if I couldn’t stick refrigerator magnets to Pamela.

Oh, and I don’t have a bra like that – sorry.

Okay. Remember the expander I think I told you about that the plastic surgeon put in during the mastectomy? Well, they’ve been expanding it. Turns out, even though, ultimately, I wanted and will end up with a breast reduction, to make as much usable “native” skin as possible for the reconstruction, they like to OVER-expand. Like, “I wonder how big of an expander Dr. Hsu put in you… Huh, your chart says 650 cc’s. That’s weird. We’re already at 680. Well, we’ll try 60 more, I mean, it’ll only hold as much as it will hold – right?” (Seriously, a nurse asked me that. Not sure if it was a medical question or just a math question. Either way, watching her come at me with a needle full of 60 ccs of saline after that gave me yet another life opportunity in trusting that everyone that ever [a bit contemptuously] told me I had a “charmed life” was right.)

So that is the delightful and heartwarming birth story of Pamela. Anyway, back to today…

– have to be evacuated. Depleted. Devitalized.

740 cc’s of saline have to be uninjected while I’m in radiation.

What I love is the fact that, for five long weeks of summer, this will leave me with the epitome of the antithesis of Pamela – the inverse if you will – an empty boob sack.


From what I understand however, M-F radiation treatments should start sometime around the 2nd week of August and continue for 5 weeks. Rumor has it that, because I survived chemo, radiation will be like a walk in the park. Granted, a walk in a park somewhere along the equator in August during which I fall asleep in the direct sunlight with my a magnifying glass lying across my exposed, scarred and sagging left breast sack that then sticks to my belly skin and itself for about 6 hours.

Funny really. It does sound better than chemo.

Ciao for niao.


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