UGH! The last couple weeks have been so hard … 🙁
When the radiation doctor told me that my skin would get worse before it got better and she wasn’t kidding. I feel like I’ve been kicked in the chest by the devils hoof. My skin is on fire!!!
I will say that my armpit is better. It’s no longer a festering hot mess and I can put my arm down now without having friction/pain but it seems like the radiation moves around. For a while it was my shoulder and it felt like someone had left a hot coal inside my body. 🙁
Now the radiation has moved to the front of my chest and it is on FIRE! I can’t even explain how uncomfortable it is. It’s like a bad sunburn x1000 and with no relief.
Even with the saline soaks and the pain pills … you never really get a break and it’s exhausting.
I have to lay around topless because clothing rubs up against me and irritates my skin. It’s also so exhausting for poor Ger-Bear. He has to do everything for me right now.
The only relief I had was when I went to see my beloved Go-Go’s on New Years Eve. 🙂
Gerry and I drove over to Vancouver to see the band play at the River Rock Casino. It was going to be the longest day I had been in clothing in weeks. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy so instead of dressing up in something fancy … I wore the baggiest most comfortable outfit I have and as soon as we got to the hotel room I stripped off my shirt and did some cool saline soaks.
Around 7pm I put my shirt back on and my parents and a small group of friends came over to our hotel room to hang out. We noshed on food and drank wine. Well… they drank wine. I ate Tylenol for the pain. The band wasn’t scheduled to play until 11pm so we had a lot of time to wait.
As the hours ticked towards 11pm I realized I wasn’t going to make it to the show if I didn’t take off my shirt and go lay down for a bit – so everyone left and I lay in on the King size bed and did a saline soak.
I was SO uncomfortable in my own skin that I didn’t think I was was going to be able to make it downstairs for the show but Gerry (my cheerleader) helped me get dressed and we met up with my parents down in the lobby.
Once we got inside the venue and sat down … I started to feel better. We had a lot of fun. My parents are hilarious and it was such a treat to spend the evening with them. Look at them trying to take a selfie. So cute.Â 🙂
When the Go-Go’s stepped on stage … I completely forgot how terrible I was feeling. All I wanted to do was DANCE but I stayed in my seat instead. I knew if I went and danced down by the stage that I would hurt myself so I spent the first 3/4 of the show sitting in my seat and chair dancing.
Then Gerry and I popped backstage for the last few songs before New Years.
I love watching the band from this vantage point because you get to see the crowd singing along and having a good time.
When the New Years clock started counting down I was pulled on stage by Jane’s boyfriend Travis and I got to give hugs and clink glasses with the band at midnight but not before I gave Gerry a big kiss. He always gets the first kiss.Â 😉
After the show I was able to introduce my parents to the band and we hung out backstage for a while talking and catching up. My Dad told Jane that this was his first rock show and everyone in the room freaked out. It was awesome. ha ha.
What an amazing night. I want to say thank you to Jane, Gina, Char, Belinda and Abby as well as big thanks to Art (tour manager), Travis and Susan for making my 2013 New Years Eve so memorable.
It’s been a rough year and it was such a fantastic way to end the year and “leave the past behind“. Gerry and I collapsed into bed at about 3am and I woke up the next day feeling like a corpse but it was worth it.Â 🙂
Such a great post! Just keep swimming babe! Like winston churchill once said “if you think your going through hell, keep going”. Happy new year!
Ok, wow. First of all, I’m not a vegan but I sure do like vegan people. I’ve heard of your book and saw a photo of you on Pinterest (cute hair post) and thought… don’t I know this chick from somewhere?… Googled you and saw the cancer post from this blog in March! Then I thought… oh God, is she ok?…. haaaaa, lovely to see that you are still here on this planet. You’re cute as a bug. Blessings from a complete stranger. Hang in there!
Thank you Rosie!
BRILLIANT post. Happy New Year, Sarah and Gerry! <3
Same to you RenÃ©e
Happy New Year, good soul.
I’m so glad the show was therapeutic for you! Though the notion of you sitting in your seat instead of dancing at a Go-Go’s show is pretty inconceivableâ€¦
Stay on the healing path, and here’s hoping we will all be able to dance together again one of these days!
I’m so sorry that radiation was so hard on your poor skin. I did fairly well, lots of itching but not too much pain. Other than the fact that my nipple (which I still have, so I shouldn’t complain TOO much) looks like it was left in a toaster oven for 6 and a half weeks, my skin’s pretty recovered, except for the area right around my lumpectomy scar, and my last treatment was the 19th, so it heals, with time. My radiation oncologist told me to use the creams (a steroid and a moisturizer) for two weeks, bringing me to New Years day, the symbolism of which irritated me, because I would have loved to start the new one free of the remnants of active treatment. But (and maybe it was psychological) my skin felt so much better on the 2nd that, again, I’m not gonna complain too much.
There’s been lots of other crappy stuff happening in my life, but my body feels better, little by little, every day. I hope for the same for you.
Happy new year – it’s gotta be better!
Happy new year Sarah and Gerry! The show sounds fantastic. Now onwards and upwards for 2014! 🙂
Sounds just perfect. Except for the burning and pain. I used something called Traumeel after my radiation. I think it helps.
Happy New Year and congrats on being done with this phase. It’s been 6 months since I finished radiation and while the burning improved within a month or so of being done, I’d have to say that a new pain took a firm grip on my body over time. I built up a lot of scar tissue, fibrosis, and general tissue tightening/shrinking from the radiation and only with the help of massage and physio have I recently reached a place where I am once again somewhat okay and hopeful for a relatively pain-free future. I’m not telling you this to scare the bejeezus out of you, but to give you time to look for therapists who have experience working with BC patients in your hood just in case you need it (but fingers crossed your recovery goes smoothly and you don’t even need them). I waited too long to go to physio, partly because it took me awhile to find someone who others recommended (didn’t want to pick randomly and potentially waste my money) and partly because I didn’t think it was going to be that helpful. I’m happy to report that I was so entirely wrong… the physio and the massage have been life changing!
Your writing is fabulous and I’m looking forward to reading more of it. Sending cool, soothing vibes your way.
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