Radiation, said the doctor

Radiation, said the doctor.

Radiation, said the doctor, as she entered the room an hour after our appointment was supposed to begin.

Radiation, said the doctor, as she entered the room after a half hour of poking and prodding by a fellow I’d never met before, intense prodding of each and every lymph node under my jacket, my shirt, my pants, an hour after our appointment was supposed to begin.

Radiation, said the doctor, as she entered the room after I’d spent the day at the hospital, having a procedure to drain my bulging seroma, meeting a medical student and recounting my history anew, every recounted step widening her eyes as I lowered mine,educating about IBC as she left, doing strength tests for the neurosurgeon who towered over me, agreeing to another MRI, scheduling appointments, giving blood pressure by pulling my left pantleg up, and wincing, insisting to the nurse that my arms can no longer be used to give blood, consulting with the head lab tech about the blood draw, waiting again in the waiting room I fear (a room that is, both figuratively and literally, the last stop before chemo), a quick nap on the exam table, and then the poking and prodding by a Fellow I’d never met before, intense prodding of each and every lymph node under my jacket, my shirt, my pants, an hour after our appointment was supposed to begin.


and then, somehow, my sweetie got me dressed and we emerged, blinking, into the sunlight.

We will start radiation as soon as my seroma heals, follow it with oral chemo, and start again with a PET in June. We were prepared, both mentally and physically, with soft bedclothes bought and schedules altered, for triweekly infusions to begin, and so this will take some getting used to, to say the least.

It is a reprieve. A reprieve we could never have hoped for, in the face of what is still a recurrence, and we are grateful, almost jubilent at the good news.


43 Responses to Radiation, said the doctor

  1. clifford says:

    Glad to hear it, babe.

  2. Niksmom says:

    Amen for a repreive. You’re about due! Sending good thoughts and prayers your way DAILY. xo

  3. Kristen says:

    YAY!!! Good news! So very glad.

  4. *m* says:

    Phew! May this be just the first of many pieces of good news you receive in the months ahead. Onward!

  5. Stella says:

    May this good news continue to fall into your lap like a rushing waterfall!!!

  6. Cancer sucks. And yet, I am inspired by the way you look at life and the cards you’ve been dealt. Go kick some cancer ass.

  7. Spruce Hill says:

    Good news! Sorry you had such a hard day though. Kick some major cancer butt!


  8. Thank God! I pray that the radiation and oral chemo kicks this cancer’s ass and you can finally walk away from this road you have been on far too long!

  9. Viki says:

    Good luck to you. Keep hanging in there.

  10. D'Lyn says:

    Rah, Rah Susan! Kick Cancer in the PANTS!!!!!

    You can tell I was never officially a cheerleader. But I’m cheering for YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hugs from Houston!!!!!!

    http://www.princessdlyn.blogspot.com (206 comments and counting!!)

  11. Linda Lawrence says:

    Reprieves are good! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. Rory says:

    I know nothing about treatments, so I am going by other comments that this is good news. So yay! and kick butt!

  13. Don’t you feel like you should just make a laminated pdf with a FAQ for all of the staff in the hospital? That way your naps on the exam table can be longer.

    What can we do to change that waiting room? I think Kristin and I need to come liven up the joint.

  14. NoR says:

    Good except for all the poking and prodding…

  15. magpie says:

    I hope this kicks its butt.

  16. Marcia says:

    Awesome!!! Hoping radiation will be a breeze for you, your skin, your body, while obliterating any cancer cells that dare to be on your way.

  17. Margaret Suttle says:

    Good news comes in all shapes, forms and sizes. I’m glad you got some! Keep on keeping on. Love you!

  18. Sylvia says:

    That is great. Keep up the great fight.

  19. Susan says:

    Hurray! Here’s hoping it’s only the first in a string of good news reports.

  20. Stimey says:

    I’m so happy to hear that. Wonderful news!!

  21. ColleenZ says:

    Exhale. Exhale. Smile.

  22. Robbin says:

    Good for you. You are going to make it through this. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

  23. upsidebackwards says:

    May this just be the first item in a long stream of good news. Snuggle in the soft bedclothes anyway, get some good rest, and know that we are all sending hugs and love your way!

  24. Tangsongshan says:

    You are such a good writer. Even in the face of all this adversity, your writing continues to shine. I can only imagine what a treat your technical articles must be to edit and read. You must make science come to life off the page!

  25. Susan K says:

    Wonderful, wonderful. I am all for reprieves.

    And may I suggest this – something to do with husband and those two wonderful boys (if they will sit for a movie with funny glasses on). Go to Air and Space and watch the new Hubble 3D IMAX movie. It is wonderful. It is moving (me to tears, but I am a well-known sap). It is beautiful. It is cosmic. Some might be made to feel small and insignificant. But I feel privileged – to be part of such beauty and majesty that is the Universe! Knowing you as I think I do, I hope it will inspire you – there is SO MUCH to fight for.

  26. Natalie says:

    I so hope that radiation will kick out anything that might have remained behind. My thoughts are with you and your amazing family.

  27. Miss Britt says:

    It’s amazing to me how well you continue to write through all this.

    And I’m so glad to hear that your treatment plan will be easier than you expected.

  28. What a beautiful day for such joyous news and said always so eloquently despite annoying poking and prodding!

  29. Darryle says:

    AS we all know, no cancer journey is ever a straight path–so glad to hear your next steps will be easy ones. How ironic to think of radiation as “good news” —happy to hear of the change in plans.

  30. Sarah says:

    Great news! Enjoy the spring!

  31. Amy@UWM says:

    I was thinking the same as Darryle — funny how cancer treatment changes perspective and radiation becomes good news. Glad the news was better than expected!

  32. donna says:

    Long day for you. Big big hug and hoping this treatment course- will leave you a little stronger and that the oral chemo is mucho mucho more bearable than the ugly stuff.

  33. Wow. I love the way you wrote this post Susan! I like the idea of a laminated .pdf so you don’t have to retell the details of your story over and over and over and over.

    Also – I’m so happy you are happy!

  34. NYFriend says:

    Wow! I’m so happy for you! This sounds really promising, and hope is flying high! Yea!

  35. Leigh says:

    I am you, I am not you. I have cancer, you have cancer, I am a mother, you are a mother, you have no breasts, I have no breasts, you had chemo, I had chemo, you had radiation, I had radiation…I found you when you/I were diagnosed. I check your blog, I feel your words, I hope/pray for all of us…
    You write, you are brave, I read, I am not. Today I write, I had to let you know, I still pray. I want you to have the life your boys deserve. You/I are stronger than we know. We will because we must.

  36. Malaina says:

    What good news! I am so happy for you and your family!

  37. Elaine says:

    Excellent. I’m crossing my fingers for you that this radiation works wonders.

  38. Elaine says:

    And I meant to add, we found another lizard in our backyard. I thought of you.

  39. I never thought I’d be happy that someone I loved was getting radiation, but radiation is so much better than chemo, right?
    And on a horribly, terribly selfish note I’m going to go ahead and hope that this means that there’s a glimmer of hope that you’re going to be at BlogHer come August because I want nothing more than to give you a massive hug. But that’s me being selfish. Mostly I’m just glad that you’ll get to enjoy spring with your boys without being sick and in need of those soft bedclothes.

  40. […] Tuesday, I woke up (after the news about radiation and fourteen hours of sleep) determined to live an ordinary day and checked the calendar.  Not […]

  41. Amanda says:

    Just so grateful.

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