OK, I am going to try to be brave and show you my hair regrowth without feeling like a total martian. The first pic below is right after my last round of chemo. I ended up losing all of the rest of those fuzzies by mid-December. I also included a closeup of my eye with no eyelashes or eyebrows. The last photo is of my head as of Feb. 1, 2017 (this is almost exactly 2 months after my last round of chemo). I've been rubbing my head every morning with a potion made of Castor Oil, Olive Oil and Rosemary Essential Oil. Every night I can see my hair has grown a teeny tiny bit. It's pretty exciting! It's also soooooo soft. It is coming in quite a bit darker than before, but I was told to expect that. Hubby is super jealous now. I'm going to catch up to him then pass him soon!
So, I was supposed to start radiation on Feb 13th, but the doctor ended up calling me a little over a week ago and said I am clear to start, so I started last week!
I had envisioned visible laser guns pointed at my breast like a firing squad. I was happy that was not the case. The first treatment was a little scary, but now that I have had a week's worth, it is no big deal. I go in, take off my top, put on a robe, walk into the treatment room where I am greeted by two technicians. I lay down on a bed, drop my top, then put my arms above my head in a specific mold made just for me. The longest part of the treatment is them inching me over this way and that until my tattoos are all aligned. They walk out of the room and this enormous round machine circles around me then radiates me for a couple of seconds on one side, then moves to the other side and does the same. Now that I have done it for a couple of days, I am in and out of there within 15 minutes! The weirdest part of it all is that each time I go there seems to be different technicians even though I go at the same time every day. I feel weird walking into the room, meeting my male technicians, then taking off my top to expose my breasts for them! eek!
The doctor has told me, the more active I am, the less fatigued I will be. I have vowed to myself to make recovery my priority this year. It's so easy to put other things first which leaves you with no time for yourself. So this year, I am going to be selfish and give myself that hour a day for my walk.
I went in for my radiation mapping the other day... it started out with a consultation then led to me taking off my top and laying down in a freezing room baring all on a table. I'm happy to report all of my male nurses and doctor said my lumpectomy looked great. So you're saying you like what you see, huh? With my arms above my head laying on a table, I felt like I was at a playboy bunny photoshoot for a nano-second. I've never had a male doctor as an adult and now I feel like I drop my top for every doc I see. The mapping went well until the nurse informed me he was going to give me three tattoos then I would be done. Uh, what? I immediately thought of a thorned rose or skull and cross bones. I wasn't prepared to get a tattoo? I soon found out he was going tattoo a small dot in the middle of my chest and under both armpits. This is supposed to help with mapping to make sure they always hit me in the correct spot. If not, they run the risk of radiating a vital organ. eek! I start radiation Feb. 13th.
I also went to my first appointment with the occupational therapist. After a lumpectomy you have to go see a therapist. Since my surgeon had to take a large cluster of lymph nodes (15 to be exact) to test for cancer, I have now been put in a higher-risk (18%) category for Lymphedema. Lymphedema is a form of swelling that affects the arm or trunk on the same side as your breast cancer. I have been instructed to do specific stretches on my right side and will also need to wear a compression sleeve and glove whenever I fly. Fingers crossed with my active lifestyle and luck, I won't get this chronic issue. I have to measure my arms each month to make sure there isn't any swelling.
BUT, on a more positive note, I am feeling great and back to myself! My ban on walking the dog has been lifted since it has been 3 weeks since my surgery. I have been going for 2.5 mile walks and feeling great. Also my hair is growing like a weed! It's crazy, every night when I inspect my head, you can actually see that it has grown that day. My hair is as soft as baby hair. I have a hard time keeping my hands off it of it ;) I have been rubbing castor oil on it every morning to stimulate the hair follicles. So ultimately it took 6 weeks after my last chemo treatment to pop through. I'm hoping by June I will be able to wear a cute pixie cut.
Hi! I'm Amy. I was diagnosed at 44 with