Thursday, January 21, 2010

Not a Writer

I'm not a writer. On one of my first posts, I mentioned ... this could be fun. It is, but then, I know I want to put up a post and my mind goes blank! Well, ok, it's blank most of the time...
So last Thursday after work, I went for a 300 mile ride to my sister's house.

Yes, of course I got permission from the boss to take Friday off - duh.

Anyway, our family has been in a turmoil since the holidays, because my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. With no family history of cancer, we were all shocked.

She had a biopsy done the day before Thanksgiving and didn't tell any of us and she was here at my house for that whole weekend. She went back home that Monday and on Tuesday called me and told me about discovering the lump and going for the biopsy, and not telling us because she didn't want to upset anybody over Thanksgiving. Now on that Tuesday, she received the information she didn't want to hear, that the biopsy came back as cancer.

The day after Christmas, I went to her house for the week. She had some tests she had to have done and I went with her. They wouldn't let me in when she had the pet scan, which came back showing no other cancer anywhere. They did an electro cardiogram? and let me in to watch that. Anyway, all those tests came back good. So the treatment plan was set up. The decision to do chemotherapy first, then lumpectomy, and then radiation was made. We spent most of the week, other than the day she had those tests done, not talking about cancer.

This past Friday was her first chemo treatment. That's why I took the Thursday night ride, so I could go with her. Technology is amazing. A few days before she went for this treatment, she had outpatient surgery. They installed this triangle plastic thing (a port) under her skin, and it has a tube going into one of her arteries. Now when she went for the chemo, they kind of plug the intravenous needle end (it kind of looked like a plug for ear buds) into that plastic thing under her skin and they were able to draw blood and put in the different meds and chemo from the same spot. They will use this port every time and won't have to poke her arms to find veins and all that stuff.

There must be a million possible side effects from chemo. She had a few of them. They said the first two treatments shouldn't be too bad, and the worst will probably be the 3rd and 4th treatments. These first four treatments will be done every other week, then she will have one treatment a week for almost six months. All of this is expected to shrink the tumor down to hopefully nothing. Then they will surgically clean out the area where the tumor is/was. There is a new radiation treatment that only goes to the spot where the cancer was and we are hopeful she is a candidate for that. If she is, she will go twice a day for 5 days and be done.
We talk daily, since we are 300 miles apart. She is staying positive. Right now she is having some discomfort where the tube is going into her artery and she has been feeling tired a lot. Two days after the treatment, she had a horrible headache, which probably was partially from the weather changing. We both have sinus/allergy problems. Tomorrow she will go see the doctor for a follow up from the first treatment.

This is really a scary thing. Before starting any treatment, she didn't feel sick, she just knew there was a lump there. Doing nothing, would not be a good outcome. So you do what you have to kill the cancer. To do this, they have to poison her and make her sick to get well. At least that's how I interpret it.

I love my sister and I know everything's going to be ok.

It looks like a lot of words have poured out of my "blank mind" tonight. I'm allowed to ramble sometimes. I can because this is my blog.

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