Friday, October 30, 2015


Today is a milestone for me.

I'm 1/3 of the way through radiation treatments. 

Only 14 left. 

My last radiation treatment will be November 19. 

That's also my 43rd birthday.

I can't think of a better way to start a new trip around the sun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


There's a lot of anger in our home.

We are raising a child who has epilepsy and autism, and we get frustrated. We've been watching our son seize for nearly six years, and have not found one anti-seizure medication stops the seizures. We've tried six. Or maybe seven. He still seizes.

On a good day, I see less than 10. His seizures last about 2 seconds. If you don't know him well, and you're not constantly watching him, you'll miss it.

On a bad day, he'll have 20. Or 30. Or more. I stopped counting them a long time ago. I just know, in general, how many he has.

But for him, it's like living in a strobe light.

Two years ago, Pop-pop (Randy's Dad) was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. Stage 4 translates to "the worst type of fucking prostate cancer ever."

And then I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. My cancer was a triple negative, which translates to "the most aggressive type of fucking cancer a per-menopausal woman can have."

We don't do things half-assed in our family. Only full-assed will do, thank you.

We both fought our cancer. But then Pop-pop developed a melanoma so aggressive, he wasn't able to fight anymore. On June 13, 2015, he lost his battle with both of his cancers. 

I made it through chemo. It was between treatments that my father-in-law passed.  

And now I have to deal with radiation. Twenty-one treatments. Every weekday.

So my family is beyond angry. We're pissed. We're a white hot type of anger. We're enraged. All four of the humans in my house are angry at life. 
Fortunately Abby, our black lab mix, isn't angry, and helps us all balance The Force. 
Anger can be healthy; it can drive us to get motivated and make positive health choices. Like if a person is obese, they can be angry about that and start exercising and eating healthy foods.

Anger can be detrimental; it can cause us to rage; saying and doing things we wouldn't do if we were thinking clearly. Last night I had a horrible fight with Nathan. I don't even remember what it was about. Oh...wait...right, I told him to stop wrestling with Isaac after dinner. Hello? Someone's gonna puke! I told him more than twice. And then I lost my mind.

Why? It's a combination of things. We had a good day until I got home from radiation. Tuesday is doctor day at radiation. So I saw the doctor. But it wasn't MY doctor. MY doctor is a woman. This doctor was a man. And I felt like I was treated like a child.

I have a Master's Degree in Community Health Promotion. I KNOW I need to write down all my questions (which I did). I KNOW I need to bring a friend (which I did) as a second set of ears. I mean I TEACH my students how to have a good doctor's appointment. I have more experience with different specialists than a person should have.

Had he bothered to read my chart, the conversation would've been different.

Had I bothered to speak up, the conversation would've been different.

But thanks for the pat on the head and the "atta girl!" Now go away and get me MY doctor. The lovely woman who takes the time to get to know her patients.

Afterwards, I went to Costco because we need ink cartridges. And I saw these winter coats, which the boys need this winter. And I texted a pic to Randy. But it didn't go through. And then I couldn't remember the model of printer. So I said, "Fuck it!" and I left for home.

It's not like I'll be in the Costco neighborhood again anytime soon. I go today. And tomorrow. And Friday. And each weekday until I'm done being radiated.

Cancer is a clusterfuck. And this year, there's been more yelling than normal in our home. I mean, by default, as a family living with autism, we're the loudest house in the 'hood. But this year has been an exceptionally difficult year for us. 

We're done with this year. We're looking forward to 2016. And no matter what happens, we say sorry, we hug, we forgive, and we love each other.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Note to self

Note to self: do not put dinner in the oven after you have radiation treatment. 

Hot boobs.

Friday, October 23, 2015


No bra for the duration of treatment. And probably sometime after so that my skin can heal.

I wear a 36DDD. Or at least I did before my lime-sized tumor was removed on March 20, 2015 (same date as my parent's 33rd wedding anniversary). I've also lost about 20 pounds, so I'm probably down to a DD. Maybe a D. Not a C. Sometimes, I wish for a B or even an A cup. Because, it's gonna be a lot of work keeping the girls under control with no bra until, like, the end of this year.

Actually in looking at them in the mirror, I'd say L is a D-cup and R is a C-cup. That explains why I have a slight limp in my walk! 

My radiation oncologist told me to wear Men's Mitchum Deodorant (solid, not gel, mind you) under and between my boobs to prevent nastiness. "Nastiness" is defined as stuff that can include, but is not limited to, chafing, fungal infections, yeast infections, and smelling like a nasty piece of....well, I think you see where I'm going. Nastiness. I think that sums it up nicely.

Men's Mitchum Deodorant. Yeah. My husband occasionally calls me Mitch. It's kinda funny. But kinda not. Bc, really, it's not sexy to smell like an old man when you're trying to make it with your husband.

Fortunately, in our community, we have two--TWO--Super Walmarts, and it was at one of those that I found Women's Mitchum Deodorant to put under and between the girls. At least now I smell like a lady.

Not that I'll behave like a lady. Where's the fun in that?


Radiation treatment started yesterday. I have to go 20 more times. Each weekday that the Sequim Cancer Center is open, I'll be there. I get to go. Not "I have to go." Gotta reframe that shit.

The science and technology behind what goes into this machine amazes me. Mathematics. Physics. It's fascinating. The machine is huge. It moves. It puts green laser beams on me and they zap my breast. I don't feel anything, but I'm a little sensitive today. And my breast is sensitive, too.

When this is all over, I'm going to have the ability to shoot green laser beams out of my boob. It'll be one of my super powers. Because you don't get zapped 21 times with radiation and not get a super power.
It's supposed to be a couple of weeks before I see any changes on my skin. They said it's like a sunburn. I grew up in Tucson, AZ, so I'm picturing every single sunburn I've ever had in my entire life, then putting them all together and putting that on my breast. And then setting my boob on fire. Drama. But RIGHT? Jesus. Goddamnedsunburns. They suck.

They tell me that radiation is easier than chemo. And chemo sucked big time. Oh--"They" is my radiation oncologist, her nurse, the man who is in charge of the radiation machine, and the three techs that helped me.

When I was on the table, the techs said to focus on my breathing. I chewed my gum. I asked permission (I even surprised myself by asking permission!). They said ok.

But today I'm not going to chew gum bc I don't want to swallow that shit on accident and then end up choking and they end up zapping some other part of my body that doesn't need treatment. But maybe they'll zap the other boob on accident and I'll be able to shoot green laser beams out of both boobs. That would be even better.