I’m having more opportunity to work on having no expectations. Lots of people, including medical professionals, have told me that radiation will be much easier than chemo. I started daily radiation treatments last Monday, and on Wednesday night, I noticed swelling. I knew I had a seroma (fluid sac) where the nodes were removed, but the swelling seemed to be in my whole breast, not just that area. I pointed the swelling out to the radiation therapists on Thursday, and they had my radiation oncologist see me. He verified the swelling (and showed me that the CT scan showed two seromas – one at the tumor-removal site, too!) but said that it could not be caused by radiation. That the radiation is given in small doses and basically couldn’t have an effect this soon. The weather was very wild then, and barometric pressure sure does affect how I feel, so we thought that maybe the swelling was affected by the weather and would improve over the weekend. So on Friday the radiation therapists ran a scan to make sure my radiation dosage was right for the size of my swollen breast.
The swelling did improve some over the weekend, but I noticed Monday night that the swelling at the node-removal site seemed bigger. I talked with the radiation therapists about it yesterday, and I had my treatment. Last night was a rotten one. I couldn’t get comfortable, and both seromas were sensitive. So this morning I told the radiation therapists, and they thought it was best to do another scan to be sure the dosage was right, because they could see that at least one of the seromas was bigger. I got the scan and was thinking that the treatment dose would start, but out of the corner of my eye I saw people. There are no people in sight when I’m being irradiated because they don’t want to be irradiated. They had called in the doc, and he said that I definitely have more swelling, so much so that the dosage is off and that the seromas need to be aspirated. No treatment today. And he said it sure does appear that radiation is indeed causing swelling. He left to call the surgeon right then to see if the surgeon could aspirate today. So I waited a few minutes, and the doc came back. Of course, the surgeon was in surgery this morning, but the radiation oncologist was hoping to get me in this afternoon for the aspiration. He said that after the aspiration, I’ll need another CT scan and that they’ll have to prepare another radiation plan – because the whole area will be smaller. I ask if the seromas won’t just fill up again, and I’ll have to go through the whole aspiration/CT/replan again. . . and again. . . for five more weeks? He says that a woman had a similar problem previously and that the seromas did not fill up again after the second aspiration – or at least I think that’s what he said. I didn’t go today prepared to take notes.
But no call so far today. When will I have the aspirations? I don’t know. Will the path be what he described? I don’t know. Or did his talk with colleagues indicate another path? I don’t know. But the good news is that I’m not as stressed as when I had the swollen arm and was diagnosed with a thrombosis and had to have daily shots. My pattern seems to be that there is some glitch with each treatment phase. I had the thrombosis the weekend after my last chemo of the first round. I had the node-removal seroma and cellulitis two or three weeks after surgery so that the second treatment of my second round of chemo had to be postponed a week. And now I have two seromas that are affected by radiation – even though they’re not supposed to be. And I’m waiting to hear how that glitch will be treated. But I’m not worried about that this time. I’m staying more in the present, figuring I’ll deal with what I need to when the time comes. Though I’d like to have had the aspirations today. Because that would certainly help with the pain. I slept poorly last night because it was hard to get comfortable. The pain isn’t intense, but it’s a low-level constant. I don’t know what tonight or tomorrow hold. But then, I never do, do I? I might think I know what’s next, but we’ve all had situations that came out of the blue and changed our lives in a flash. So all I have is now, this moment. A little pain, a lot of uncertainty, and I’m wondering what’s for supper. One of those I can control.
What shall I have for supper?