Sunday, November 8, 2015

20 minutes, 4 times a day

It's only 20 minutes. But it's 4 times a day.

It's about the same amount of time as Phineas and Ferb. 

Actually, it's 2 minutes less than Phineas and Ferb.

It's about the same amount of time as it took to feed the boys when they were each nursing. 

Just 20 minutes. 


That's the goal. 

The minimum is 2 times a day. Lynn the Radiation Oncology Nurse said that in order for it to work, you have to do it at a minimum of twice a day.

Friday was a busy day, and I reached the minimum level, but it was the highest level I could achieve. Two. Two times. I tried my best.

I'm trying my best to do 4 times a day. Saturday was 3 times. My goal today is 4 times. I am trying my best.

The radiation techs said my skin looks really good. That normally by this time, with 11 sessions of radiation under their belt, a person's skin is usually pretty pink, and incredibly sensitive. 

But my skin looks good. And if anyone's going to be honest with you about what they see, it's the radiation techs. 

And Lynn the Radiation Onlcology Nurse, who really is a freaking Rock Star. Lynn the Radiation Rock Star Nurse. She sees my boob once a week at minimum, but really whenever I need her to. You know, like when some new spot shows up on your breast and you're convinced it's skin cancer. Even after chemo and in the middle of radiation (because they're shooting fucking RADIATION into my BREAST! So skin cancer totally makes sense!). But she says to keep moisturizing like I have been, because it could be the beginning of a blister. We need to keep the girls moist. Both of them. Balance in the Force. Duh.


In a clean plastic container, I make up saline solution: 16 ounces of water, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of baking soda. 

Then I pour the saline solution onto a brand new bamboo baby washcloth, purchased specifically for this purpose, because Lynn the Rock Star Nurse said so. Do what Lynn says; she's been doing this over 25 years. Rock. Star. 

Next I lay down on my bed, with towels, and put the soaked and dripping washcloth on my right breast. 

It's cold. Well, it's room temperature. So guess what, I turned the heat up. 

"Wet wound therapy" is to keep my skin moist, prevent blistering, and soothe my skin. 

Pat dry. Apply Radiation Oncologist approved cream concoction: 50% CeraVe SA & 50%, 1% hydro-cortisone cream. 

The goal is to do this 4 times a day, for 20 minutes at a time. 80 minutes. Not quite an hour and a half. Ok that's doable. 

Wait. What? Four TIMES a day? 

By the time I make the saline solution, get my towels, get myself situated, lay down, treat my breast, get up, pat dry, put everything away, and then massage the cream concoction into my breast, we're talking 2 hours, total, each day. 

Who in the fuck has that kind of time? 

You mean there's something else I have to do to take care of me? 

Oh Sweet Jesus! 

How do other people do this? 

Do other people do this? 

I've got shit to do!

I've got people I need to spend time with! 

Fucking cancer. Fuck you. 

Is this bullshit ever going to fucking end?

Goddamnedcancer. This sucks. 

Stop it. Reframe that shit. 

I'm able to give me two hours each day to be kind to myself. 

But my breast aches...from deep inside....

To help prevent blisters that will ultimately pop. 

It'll hurt worse if you don't. 

Prevention--what you specialize in. 

To help prevent pain. 

Prevention--what you went to school to be able to do professionally. 

To help prevent infection. 

Infection equals treatment. Not your specialty, Rachel. You are Prevention. Social Workers. Nurses. Chemical Dependency Treatment Providers. Those guys know Treatment. But you, you are a Prevention Woman.

To rest. 

No pressure. 

To read. 

The boys are fine. 

To blog. (They've got an app for that....)

Randy's got them. 

To take a much needed, 20 minute timeout, for me. 

Thank you Randy. 

To be better. 

Thank you boys. 

Because I am strong. 

I love you guys. 

And I am alive. 

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