Radiation is finished. I had my last treatment, and none too soon, because my skin was not doing too well. Essentially your skin receives a deep sunburn, the kind of sunburn one might get from slathering on baby oil and spending the day at the beach. In spite of my efforts and the special lotion I was given, one side of my chest is a dark, angry red. This is supposed to go away, eventually, but right now, I really dislike wearing my bra!
Next up...a hysterectomy/oophrectomy. My risk of ovarian cancer is very high, because of my BRCA1 mutation. At least with breast cancer, I was able to notice that something was wrong, and investigate further. Ovarian cancer is often a silent killer; the symptoms are often so vague that a woman doesn't give them a second thought...until it's too late. I have enough things to worry about, what with a seven year old running amok and such.
My doctor assures me that this particular surgery will be pretty routine. Outpatient, even. Minimal downtime. I'm still nervous about the whole thing. There's something about losing your female bits that gives a woman pause, even when the alternative is death. I can't really think of anything comparable that men have to go through, maybe because they have different plumbing. But here I am, losing my breasts and my ovaries and my uterus and how am I still a woman after all that? Do my physical attributes make me who I am?
I don't think so, most days. Other days, when I'm feeling less than positive, I'm not always so sure of myself. This is a hurdle. Since I was first diagnosed, I've been hearing all of this, but it hasn't really hit me until this week, because I've had time to brood. I don't do well with down time, I think I've mentioned.
It's a hurdle. I'll get over it. It will just take time.