Monday, October 25, 2010

Exit Stage Left

The Alien has left the building.  Friday afternoon I had my 10th and final radiation treatment.  One last scan in the CT and one last radiation delivery in the HDR room.  Shortly after my treatment I moved over the procedure room where Dr. P came in to remove the device.  One of the radiation therapists came in and let me squeeze his hand while Dr. P removed my Alien.  It was a little kind of felt like pulling a big scab off...slowly.  But once it was out, the pain was gone. 

After living with this device for a week, I actually learned what the Alien is officially called.  It's called SAVI (pronounced savvy), Strut Assisted Volume Implant.  For more info about the SAVI click here.  So, apparently if you ask, they will let you keep your device.  I'll give you one guess who thought it would be super cool to keep the Alien? wasn't me!  My SAVI Alien is currently wrapped up in a paper towel inside a plastic zip top bag sitting on our dining room table.  Let's just say it needs a little work before it can be mounted in a clear Plexiglas display box.  Enough said.

Leaving the radiation office was a little sad.  In just a week's time we had made fast friends with the staff there.  But it was great to be free! 

Afterwards Brad, my Mom and I went out to dinner to celebrate the successful treatment.  The evening was emotional for me because it felt like the hardest part of this journey was finally over.  Though an open question remains about chemo, completing the radiation was a significant milestone.  This whole process has been a little surreal from the time we found out positively that I had cancer, to all the research, learning and doctor's visits.  It was a series of steps to complete to keep things moving forward to ultimately treat the cancer.  It was almost like it wasn't happening to me, even though it was.   I think I tried to emotionally disconnect from the process and treated it more like a work project.  Now that the surgery is over and was hugely successful, and that the cancer did not spread, and that I was a candidate for partial radiation and the radiation went off without a hitch....I feel like I can breathe. 

I am humbled by this journey and feel a huge sense of gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this process.  From my family and friends to my doctors and nurses and other treatment professionals and most importantly to my fabulous husband, Brad who has been there every step of the way.  As it says on this great bracelet I received from my best girl friend Crystal, "Love is all you need!"  =)  No doubt I feel loved!

This week I'm spending time recovering from the whirlwind that was the last 2 weeks and just taking it easy.  I will be back at work on Monday, November 1st.  On November 5th I will see my Medical Oncologist, Dr. R and she will talk to us about next steps and make a recommendation on chemotherapy.  The recommendation is largely based on the results of a genetic test called Onco Type DX.  The test results should be back just in time for my appointment.  The lower the score the less likely chemo will be recommended and we are hopeful that chemo will not be needed. 

I will continue to post updates here so check back in a few days to see the latest. 

P.S. In other big news, I was able to take my first unsupervised shower on Saturday!  Woo hoo!  This too is a major milestone!

No comments:

Post a Comment