Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Of Bugs and Boobs

I was all set to give you an update of my first visit with the radiologist, but that darn kid (Fisher) trumped my story again. Just like on my first chemo day, when he shoved his arm through a window and had to be rushed to Children's Hospital for stitches, his story is again more interesting.  

So, late Sunday night Fisher woke us up crying that his ear hurt.  He never wakes us up, so we knew something was definitely wrong, but I gave him some ibuprofen and he went back to sleep.  The next morning we thought it best to run him to the pediatrician to have the ear checked.  Well, sweet Dr. Padrez tried and tried to remove what he thought was wax from Fisher's right ear to no avail.  So he called in the nurse with the Water Pic to flush the ear out.  Poor kid, the water pressure hurt like hell and the noise of the machine scared him to pieces.  He was screaming, crying and kicking for it to stop.  I literally had to hold his head still while she worked.  Finally on our last try, a hunk of something came out.  I was like "is that wax?"  "Umm... no" says the nurse and picks up what turned out to be a water-logged insect with wings and eyes and everything!!!  The kid had a half inch bug in his ear!!  I felt so bad for him.

So I asked Fisher his version of how that bug got there, and he says this, and I quote "A bug thought my ear was a cave. He put his front two feet in, and then his back feet and went inside.  He took a tiny flashlight out of his pocket to look around.  Then a big wave came and drown him."  Awesome.  The bug is still in a cup on his dresser.

Ok, back to my boring radiologist appointment.  Dr. Brachman, his PA Mr. Lee and cool Nurse Julie met with us for nearly three hours. Nick and I were really impressed at how much information Dr. Wendt, my oncologist gave them, and how much time they must have spent memorizing it.  Like, I barely remember my colonoscopy of 2003, but they knew all about it.  And sweet Mr. Lee immediately said "we are so sorry to hear about your Dad" the minute he walked in the room. Good sign.

Treatment is pretty much exactly what we expected.  Six and a half weeks of radiation every day, Monday-Friday starting on Wednesday September 8th.  Appointments will be quick, about a half hour each. I see them again this Wednesday for my two hour "simulation" which will map out exactly where the lasers will be aimed.  Every person's radiation is different and that's why Dr. Brachman has such a big brain.  It's beyond scientific how he calculates how to shoot me with radiation from this HUGE machine that completely rotates around my prone body.  Totally wild.  I also get tiny tattoos (my first) on my chest to tell the radiation techs where to aim each week.  

The doctors explained that radiation is super powerful and will kill any remaining cancer cells where the tumors started, as well as in lymph nodes near my collar bone.  This would be the next stop for any bad cells after going to the lymph nodes under my arm, which were removed during surgery.  He said they do chemotherapy first to kill any cancer cells that may have escaped into my body, then radiation afterward to make sure it never starts up again in the same spot. Sounds logical.  I'm to expect fatigue and a sunburn.  Fine.  Let's get it done.

I guess the only disappointment of the day was the news that I have to stop filling the expanders in my chest.  I was hoping to sneak in a few more fills before radiation starts, but my dream of the DD is gone.  Dr. Brachman was pretty adamant about it.  The skin where my new boobs will eventually go is super duper stretched and is getting thin- yuck.  Plus the expanders are pushing on my ribs, making them kind of bend, oops. He literally needs a straight shot with the big radiation lasers and I'm pushing it. He said because of my thin frame and small boob size to start, the B cup I'm at is my limit.  Crap.  My Mom agrees with the doctor.  Traitor.  Just kidding, Mom.

Sorry this got so long, but I had to tell both stories.  I know, Fisher's was better.  Let's see what he has in store for my first day of radiation.  He's quite a little bugger- ha ha.



  1. Ok, seriously....if you don't call me for your ear problems, I am coming after you guys!

    You will really like Dr. Brachman and Mr Lee....I work with them regularly and I guarantee you will be getting excellent care.

    The good news on our end is that Cindy is really growing hair, well, peach fuzz. So much so, I gave her a trim......

    We were sorry to hear about your dad, and missed you two at the last chemo....glad you finished strong!

  2. OMGoodness! Poor kiddo! So glad that thing is out of there...boy oh boy does Fisher have some stories to share with friends! :)

    So glad chemo is behind you and you are working towards the end of this journey. I'm with your mom...I too am a traitor...I think B cup is perfect! I'm just sayin'

    Take things easy. Find quiet moments to nurture yourself. Hugs & smooches.