Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Why am I so tired?

Could it be:

A. Attempting to stay up until midnight on New Year's Eve?
B. Going out in the evening three nights in a row?
C. Traveling out of state and sitting in a car for 3 hours?
D. Snow shoeing?
E. Surgery 2 weeks and 1 day ago?
F. Chemo ending 2 weeks and 6 days ago?
G. All of the above?

I vote for G. I went to bed at 8 pm last night. I was very tired. Not even really hungry for dinner - but that's okay since I ate enough over the holidays to allow me to hibernate for the winter. I would like to say that my fatigue has nothing to do with snow shoveling as I didn't do any!

At least I am well rested for my fun day at Lahey Clinic. First, I have a follow up with the surgeon and will have to tell him about my 'accidental' steri strip removal. (It was completely accidental. They came off when I took off the secondary bandage I had put over my incision and I replaced them with tape. I didn't pull them off on purpose. But the ones that are left are starting to itch.)

Then I meet with the nurse about radiation planning. This is where I find out how to prevent skin burning, etc during the six weeks of treatment. One big side effect is actually burned skin. Some people just get a big red area, some people actually get burned and peeling skin. Considering I burn if I am in the sun at all, guess which group I think I will end up in? (Yes, this is the power of positive thinking.) The other big side effect is fatigue. This apparently is different fatigue than with chemo. With chemo the fatigue is your body recovering from all the drugs they put in you. With radiation the fatigue is your body trying to regrow all the cells that are being killed off. (That's what the book told me now that I finally read it). So now that the chemo fatigue is going away, we can move on to radiation fatigue. Maybe I can write a book on fatigue when all this is done.

After that is the radiation simulation. Basically using a lot of physics and high level math, they try to figure out exactly where to aim to the radiation for each session. They want to make sure they get all the nasty cancer cells but not irrelevant things like your heart, lungs, rib cage, etc. They also want to be in the exact same place each time. To do this, they make a 'cradle' or something to hold you in the same position and they also give you little tiny tattoos to line up each time. I want to clarify, I am not getting a bunch of giant ugly tattoos. These will be little dots that will look like mini freckles afterwards.

After that joyous day, I will go to the grocery store unless I am too tired. We have no food in the house. If I am too tired, maybe we will have soup for dinner.

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