Today, even though its Super Bowl Sunday, I'm spending the day organizing the house and getting it ready to be cleaned (YES - TO BE CLEANED!!) Thanks to some of the most amazing friends and co-workers in the world, my house is going to be cleaned until I can pull myself together from this cancer treatment! These angels went out and found me a housekeeper, called her references, and purchased me a gift card for housekeeping! I'm hoping to meet with her this week to give her a tour of the house and show her where everything is. This is going to be such a huge help for Shane and I since its been practically impossible to keep up with house work since my diagnosis. While I'm able to work full time, by the time I get home at night I'm exhausted. Shane is still working full time, doing his internship, and going to school so his days are extremely full and his weekends are spent catching up and then working on Sundays. This is going to be such an unreal blessing to us at a time when we need it SO badly! I can't say thank you enough!!
Just an update on radiation: I called OHSU Friday to discuss the possibility of getting the full dose of radiation and to get a second opinion from Dr. Marquez. Sierra (the most amazing Breast Nurse Coordinator in the world) said that she would contact my breast surgeon and they would discuss the case and let me know by Monday if a dose reduction is the smartest thing for me. Once again, I am so grateful to have the amazing team at OHSU on my side!
So far, the radiation hasn't caused any side effects. I am slathering the area twice daily with Calendula gel and Aloe Vera from the natural food store here in Salem. It seems to be doing the trick! Of course, I'm watching out for signs of lymphedema and any burning that might be happening. I'm expecting fatigue about half way through the process. So far, so good.
The nurses at radiation are wonderful and have been super helpful in making me feel comfortable under the huge radiation machine. It isn't the most comforting process, but it doesn't take long and with the exception of Thursdays I'm out of the hospital within 15 minutes.
On another note, I was asked by a Professor at WOU to be the "center of attention" at an upcoming Women's Basketball game. They are going to honor me, as a breast cancer survivor, at the annual "Pink Out" to raise breast cancer awareness. I feel a little funny about the whole thing because I don't technically think of myself as a survivor yet, but it does help raise awareness. I think its particularly important on a college campus where I'm just a little bit older than many of the women who will be attending the basketball game. It really brings to light the need for young women to do self exams and get checked! It CAN happen to young women!!!
Anyway, the most exciting part of this whole process is that my parents are going to come to the game to support me (and ensure that I don't pass out when I have to walk out in front of everyone and have my "story" read). The game starts at 5:30 on February 17th at Western Oregon University if you want to attend.
As always, thank you so much for all the love and support!
Heather & Shane