This past summer has been particularly challenging--but not because of the breast cancer. I have been dealing with excruciating hip and joint pain since the beginning of July. Every day during my three-week, one-hour drive to CSLA, I would exit the car and have to massage my hip every few steps in order to reach the Writing Project office. Once the Advil kicked in, the pain subsided, though didn't disappear entirely. In mid-July I attended a three-day conference in St. Louis and, by the time I reached the St. Louis airport to return home, I needed a wheelchair to make it through the airport--and then another when I reached LAX. Although, I've got to say, cutting in front of all the check-in lines was a definite perk. I thought this condition might be due to the injections because it all began the day after one of them. But at my last oncologist appointment, the doctor was skeptical because my pain is concentrated in the hip area, and the medication would affect other parts of my body as well. I'm telling you...compared to this, the breast cancer has been a breeze. I've been doing stretching exercises, physical therapy, drugs (okay, only Advil), and now drinking a Turmeric/Ginger concoction that Jared's friend recommended. I've also set aside all vanity and started using a cane. Imagine...dying my hair to maintain my youthful appearance only to be given away by that silver cane. Not fair. On September 14th, I am going in for an MRI to determine the cause of all this hip trouble. Can't wait.
My next round of injections is scheduled for September 24th, and then exactly 15 days after that, October 8th, I will have an ultrasound, mammogram, MRI, and appointment with my oncologist. On October 12th, I have a pre-op with my surgeon and the next day will go in for the lumpectomy. I desperately wanted the surgery to be on Oct. 30th so that I could skip school and avoid wearing a ridiculous Halloween costume, but because this is a clinical trial, all dates are determined by the protocol. If you happened to talk to Doug and heard that my surgery was on the 22nd and then heard that it had been changed to the 13th, that was never the case. That was Doug thinking the surgery was on the 22nd for reasons known only to him and then being retold that it was actually the 13th. That's okay, Doug~~we know you mean well.
One more month to go and then the real fun starts-- daily radiation treatment for eight weeks. What a wonderful holiday season that will be!