Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Another Lahey Parking Garage adventure

Upon my arrival at the Lahey parking garage yesterday, there was a big conversion van blocking one of the two entrances. I am not sure why. They just sat there until the security guard gave them a note (why a note? A special signal on where to park?). The gate was open and it was clear they would just fit but needless to say they caused a traffic jam by just sitting there. Then there were several OMWAHs and the parking garage was very full and I was late so they really aggravated me. Blocking parking spaces, taking several tries to park, and driving the wrong way in the one ways - my personal favorite. I ended up parking on the roof (right near the conversion van) and basically running to my appointment. (Its a good thing they were running late so they didn't check my blood pressure right away.)

It was an interesting doctor's appointment. Apparently I am not a candidate for the clinical trial (again) even though I did research (again). I did get a prescription for Tamoxifen for two years to be followed by an AI for the next three years. Hormone therapy is actually very important. It can reduce the risk of recurrance by up 40-50 percent, which is more than chemotherapy. It is another systemic approach (medical lesson for today) like chemo. In contrast, radiation is a localized approach. I also did get a promise to have my port taken out after my follow up appointment next month. We can have a little party when my port is out.

My next big adventure is radiation which starts tomorrow. Now that I am past this hormone therapy thing I need to focus on that. I know I had my simulation last week but radiation is complicated. Well, it makes life complicated. With chemo you just go and show up and feel like crap. With hormone therapy you take a pill every day. Those are easy. With radiation therapy you have to 'keep your skin hydrated'. But you can't put anything on your skin where it is being radiated that might have metals in it. This means no lotions each other than what they specifically state. So in the morning I have this one special (expensive) lotion that I can put on and that's it until my daily treatment. After radiation each day I am supposed to put on lotions and aloe 3-4 times each day. This will 'keep the skin hydrated' and help prevent the potential burning. Now, if my radiation is in the late afternoon and I can only put lotion on once before then first thing in the morning but then am supposed to put some on 3-4 times after that, I could be up all night. Very complicated. Never mind having to go every day as well!

My real concern with radiation is their stupid little parking lot. Now I could be a wimp and avoid it by parking in the big parking garage and walking 1/2 mile through Lahey each day and paying to park. Or I can be a big girl and actually learn to deal with the stupid little parking lot. Now since I am known for my extreme bravery in many circumstances I am sure some of you are thinking that of course I will park in the garage. However I am going to learn the secrets of the little lot and not let it get the better of me!

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