Thursday, August 27, 2015

DCIS, fibromyalgia, radiotherapy part 2

Here I am, I've completed 13 days of radiotherapy. Halfway done (spread over 3 weeks)!

I've managed to keep my jobs going along. One is a day a week in an office, so the past couple of Mondays I've driven from work to the hospital to have radiotherapy straight after work (so as not to have to lose work time). That's been OK, but those are long days. The other part-time job is more of a do it when I can job, so that's what I've been doing and I'm happy to say I've kept up with it.

It is SO lovely not to be doing my PhD and NOT FEELING GUILTY! I have ignored my PhD completely. Which is fine because I flipped it to part-time and now my submission date is mid-2017 (I can flip it back to full-time any time I want).

As for the radiotherapy itself, the rays are imperceptible. But the effect of them on my skin is not imperceptible. I have a reddened square of skin starting under my collarbone and extending 2 ribs down beneath my b00b, sideways it goes from my midline to my armpit. The skin is very sensitive and I haven't been able to wear a bra for the past week. By about day 7 all constricting tops or anything that rubbed on the skin was out. Thank goodness I've got little b00bs (never thought I'd say that!).

 Unfortunately, I am in a fibro flare. Lots of my body hurts, most of my joints and especially my back ... but no back spasms - hooray! Days 2 and 3 were strangely awful because my muscles were specifically protesting the weird position I'm in. Left arm tucked down beside my body, hand under my thigh to keep the arm still, a little splayed away from my body so the side dots* line up. My right arm is crooked like a body-builders but my hand is clenching a round "donut" so I don't have to reach all the way back to the handles abovebehind my head and there's a wedge under my elbow to balance my arm. It's better than having my right arm fully extended out abovebehind my head, but not by much. I've taken 2 Panadeine Forte (and an antihistamine to stop the itchiness that I'd developed) before half of the sessions. I tried a few other combos, but short of knocking me unconscious it appears impossible to relax my neck/shoulders completely. So I'm muddling through with prophylactic pain relief.

I'm not sure if I've been fatigued from the radio, because I'm always tired. But I don't seem to be more tired than usual. I have naps a couple of days a week.

So there we have it.