I had my lumpectomy on Tuesday and my lymph glands came back clear. That means no chemo (yay!), so I have just one more thing to get through: radiation therapy.
As I mentioned in my last post on this topic, there are three types of radiation therapies, lasting 5 days, 21 days and 5-8 weeks, respectively.
How to choose among them?
When I was 5 or 6, I got caught playing down at the neighbor's house without notifying my parents I was leaving the yard. They had an appointment to close on a house (my dad sold real estate) and they searched high and low for me, making themselves late for the closing in the process. My dad was pretty mad, and promised me a spanking when he got home.
I spent that entire day sick with worry about that upcoming beating. But when they got home, my dad, who was nothing if not mercurial, was in such a good mood from the nice, fat check he'd just received that he forgot all about the planned punishment.
A common-sense takeaway from that event would have been: don't worry about bad stuff because it may not even happen. My takewaway was, "Go ahead and take your beating. Once it's over, you don't have to worry about it anymore."
In keeping with that life lesson, I decided to go with the 5-day radiation treatment.
Tomorrow, my doctor will insert a device that looks like this into the cavity where my lump was.
Then, twice a day, six hours apart, they will load radioactive material into those lumens sticking out at the end. The lumens will ferry isotopes into my breast, where they'll destroy the ability of any remaining cancer cells to reproduce. They will do the same thing to any nearby healthy cells, too.
Here's the tricky part:If you picture my breast as a clock, my tumor was at 1 o'clock. This gadget, as I understand it, will be inserted from the 7 o'clock position.
Which kind of means they're going to have to shove it all the way through my breast to get it into place.
I'm pretty sure there's a bunch of meat in the way. (Okay, "a bunch" may be overstating the case, but there's definitely tissue blocking the path between 7 and 1.)
So that's gonna smart. And I understand that yanking it out kind of smarts, too, but I'm sure they'll numb the area. For afterwards, they gave me good drugs and I'm not afraid to use them. (Okay, a little afraid. Hydrocodone is pretty addictive.)
The good news is, a week from tomorrow, this beating will be over.