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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Bright Future Ahead

This morning, while I was having my brunch.  I was told by my husband that my radiologist is expecting me tomorrow for my first radiation therapy.  I was like "WHAT?!"  I don't remember me or him calling the radiologist's office for an appointment.  I know that I got a packet in the mail a couple days ago.  It was from one of my doctors but having scheduled for a therapy?  Oh, please! Does these doctors think it is easy for us, women, to accept what is going on to our bodies?  I am still feeling pain from my previous breast surgery.  Can I have a break from that tension, please?

I am not ready to see my skin being burned.  I love grilled food but me being grilled, it never came to my senses.  Though, I was not so happy about the news, I know I really have to undergo a radiation therapy. I remember talking to one of my co-workers and mentioned to her about the plan and how I said it "I do not want that radiation therapy!  they just opened a part of my body and now they want to burn it this time?"  She candidly answered, "Well, it is better to have a burnt skin than losing one the twins."  She was right, I know.  But, it is the stubborn side of me that was declining the process.

November 20, 2014 is my first radiation therapy appointment.  Yes, I am getting it, unwillingly.  It is a 5-weeks session.  Everyday except Saturday and Sunday.  Not fun at all.  On the brighter side, I will be cancer free.  Hence, I have to take a pill for five long years.  I still don't know if I will start taking the pill after the therapy or on the day of my first therapy. Phew! Why does it have to happen?  I don't smoke. I drink occasionally.  Say, one glass a week and I only had it since I came here in the United States, prior to that, NEVER!  But, I stopped taking alcoholic beverage a month before I had my surgery. 

Anyhow, I am blogging about my surgery and the therapy and all, so that anyone who can read this can get an idea.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.  I started supporting the campaign even before I found out that I am having a nipple discharge and up to this day.  After I had my breast surgery, I really feel that I have to continue supporting the campaign.  I will help spreading the good news that we, women, are special human beings and there are people and organizations out there that are willing to support and help us.

Thank you for dropping by and hope to see you again! =)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

What Is Duct Excision

September 10, 2014, I had a major duct excision surgery.  I was having a discharge on my right breast so I needed an operation.  After the surgery, the surgeon sent the specimen to the lab for pathological study.  When the results came out, my doctor called us home to let me know that there was a spec of cancer found in one of the milk ducts that was removed.  He said there is nothing to worry about because he did a total duct excision on me.  Though there was a spec of cancer, it was zero stage.  Below is the procedure of a duct excision.

I searched for this YouTube video and to tell you the truth, I cannot watch it.

I had a post-surgery interdisciplanary meeting with the surgeons, pathologists and radiologists.  They discussed about the recommended treatment.  I learned that there are two types of breast cancer  surgery.  The lumpectomy and total mastectomy.

LUMPECTOMY -  The removal of breast tumor,some normal tissues around the it and some lymph nodes in the underarm.

 Image courtesy of

MASTECTOMY The removal of the entire breast but no other tissues or nodes

MODIFIED RADICAL MASTECTOMY -  Removal of the breast, the line of the chest muscles and some of the lymph nodes in the underarm.

Mine was duct excision and has to have a radiation therapy similar to lumpectomy. When you think about the word "Radiation Therapy".  You might think it is scary.  I feel the same way.  I do not want to get that radiation therapy.  Imagine, I am laying down on that gurney like a pig, I will be aware of what is going on with me and what these nurses and doctors are doing to my booby.  I cannot bear the thought of it.  Although the surgeon told me that it is recommended to have a radiation therapy as I retain my breast, I am still not decided.  According to the doctors, the percentage of the cancer coming back is high to those who did not have a therapy than those who had it.  Along with the radiation therapy which takes 25 days everyday I will also have to take a pill for five years.  Yes! Five years. 

Radiation Therapy graphic

Friday, October 24, 2014

Unchained Melody

I work for people with dementia.  It is an honor that I get a chance to know these special and wonderful elders.  Sometimes, I will find myself sobbing or teary eyed if I see one of them acting so differently from the previous days.  I have witnessed how one's mood can change in a matter of seconds.  Imagine how independent and proud they were in their younger years? Now they need someone to help them do the things they used to do by themselves.  It is not easy for these elders.  Though, most of the time they were out of it, there are also times where they can still remember.  The best part of my job as a CNA is I hear a lot of different stories, a real life fairy tales and adventures.  I have taken care of people from different walks of life.  Whether you were a prosecutor or  WWII veteran, there is no assurance that dementia will spare us. 

I have a resident who was known for being combative.  I will name my resident "Hope".  Hope will hit you unexpectedly.  I was almost got a kick on the face.  Fortunately, my reflex was good and I saw the flying kick coming.  I cannot get mad at Hope because it was a "different" person now.  Until I figured out one thing.  Every time I hum a song, Hope would swing head left and right.  My humming calms Hope down.  If I sing, Hope will look at me with adoration and say "Oh my God! You have a beautiful voice. Oh my God!"  Of course, yours truly is always flattered and happy that Hope appreciates my singing.  Hope told me last night, "I love Elvis Presley.  That song is my favorite." 

This is the song I was singing for Hope last night and every night at bed time.  Hope is a sweet and loving person.  Anyone can say that about Hope and I will keep singing for you, Hope.