(Note: If this is your first time visiting my page, thank you for your concern and support. You may want to read the pages to the left first (My Story, About Me, My Dr. Oz / Oprah Story, etc.), then read from below. My latest blog entries will feed to the top automatically. The most recent blog entries are also listed as links on the bottom left.)
Ok, first for my curious bewonderment (is that a word?). As most of you know, there’s a section on my blog behind the scenes where I can see what people search for in search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, etc.) to find my site. I look at this pretty often because it’s really interesting (and sometimes fascinating or funny) to see how people are finding my site. For example, someone has searched for my sister Natalie a few times and came to my site. My Aunt Lori also had a couple hits and Dr. Oz questions also come to my site a lot from that whole story. As a reminder, I can’t see WHO is searching the terms, just the terms/phrases themselves. Anyway, I looked on there yesterday and noticed that someone searched “danielle murray breast cancer blog b*tch”. Do you think this is a practical joke, someone being mean or am I a bi*tch? 😦 Grrrrr.
Ok, now for the update on my radiation appointment. I had my first appointment last Friday (well my first appointment at this office; I originally had a consultation at an office downtown but chose an office closer to my house for treatments). It lasted WAY longer than I expected – over 2 1/2 hours! I met with the radiation oncology nurse first, recapped my whole medical history, diagnosis, treament, etc. Since my first consultation was at a different office, we had to go over everytning again. Then the radiation oncologist doctor came in and I had to recap the whole thing yet again. I asked a bunch of questions, including inquiring about the tattoo markings. They said they gave a choice for that now and I could choose permanent marker instead with little sticky clear tape circles over each marking to keep them in place (I chose this option). After I met with the doctor, I had a CT scan and laid on this cold table for a while. They marked me with the permanent marker all over and told me to make sure I didn’t move (even a millimeter) because the machine was very sensitive and it was very important for me to line up in the exact same spot at my next appointment. They placed some type of metal detection stickers over the marker markings. These were removed after the CT scan but would be used in the scan pictures. I go back this Thursday for my next appointment, where they’re reviewing my CT scan pictures, lining up my marker markings on the radiation machine and giving me new markings for where they’re going to be pointing the lasers each time. I go in for my first treatment on Monday. They said the side effects weren’t anything to worry too much about. Here they are:
1. Fatigue about 1/2 way into the 6 week treatment (treatment will be every day for about 15 minutes for the next 33 business days – about 6 1/2 weeks)
2. Reddening (like a sun burn) of the skin at the site of the treatment
3. Lung damage – there is a small section of my lung that will be in the path of the radiation lasers which will scar over. They said this is definite but that I may or may not notice it. They said it wasn’t anything to worry about if I don’t smoke, which I don’t.
4. Radiation induced cancers years later down the road. They said the risk of my cancer now is higher than the risk of other cancers later. This seems weird/scary but I guess that’s where we are in today’s cancer world.
Well, that’s about it. I’m not worried about any of the side effects. The worst part of the whole appointment was having to lie on my back (for the CT scan) with my hands above my head for 20 minutes because I can’t raise my arm all the way up yet from the lymph node dissection surgery. But I’m doing good and better than expected this soon so I’m happy about that.
About the adoption. Dan’s older sister has a family friend who has a 21 year old daughter who is pregnant and they are considering a private adoption and are considering us as a family! I’ll keep everyone posted but she’s having a boy, due Feb 6! Keep your fingers crossed!
I go in for my next every-3-week Herceptin appointment tomorrow. I’ll meet with Dr. Limentani, my oncologist, this time too. I see him every other Herceptin visit now, so every 6 weeks. He’s writing my adoption sign off letter with my diagnosis, his prognosis, recommendation letter, etc.
Dr. Oz’s new show started yesterday! Set your DVRs! I’m still not sure though about when the XM show is going to air or when I’ll be on the show.