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Mar. 28th, 2007 | 06:54 am

Okay, so sorry it's been a while since I've updated anything here. This past week there have been a lot of conversations and decisions and I haven't really been near the computer for more than five minutes at a time. So, what's been going on?

I will preface this by saying that I am okay. It sounds bad and believe me it has been real sucky, but it's the last week and I will get through this. Then we are going to Outback for steak, Heather is getting a celebratory cake, and I get to lie on a beach for a week and spend some real time with my fiance :)

Well, I had my 4th HDR on Friday. Though the initial implant was done under general the only place they can actually do the radiation is in a lead lined room in the Cancer Research and Treatment Center, so I had to come out of the anethesia, be wheeled into the CRTC and then wait around for over TWO HOURS to get the radiation done. In short? I was completely out of anethesia AND pain meds by the end of it. AGAIN. On top of this, I got a new doc (my GYN is still there, but my Oncologist moved to Kansas of all places) who did the implant and really did a not so good job. One of the things was either putting it in or taking it out he managed to CUT ME with it, so now I have to deal with a 2" laceration in a place you REALLY don't want any type of wound especially after the area is already suffering from radiation burn (it happens.) Ever had a sunburn? Yeah, imagine someone running a fork down it. Oh, but in your crotch (and I don't care what gender you are for this one, the effect is about the same.) Fun fun times.

I will stop right here and say this though...this is my particular fun. I have talked to countless docs, nurses, etc this past week and NONE of them have EVER seen someone respond to treatment this badly. I shouldn't say "badly" because I'm actually responding amazingly cancer-wise, it's just no one has ever come across anybody who has had this many complications. So, any woman who may be reading this who has to undergo HDR, rest assured you are 98% likely to never have so many problems. Most patients just find it "uncomfortable."

And if you happen to be a transguy you may want to express to you doc to the utmost that every one here speculates that a lot of these problems are being causes by the fact that the testosterone has already changed the tissues in that area making everything more sensitive. So, even though the low dose radiation sounds much worse (hospital stay of 2-5 days with the implant in), ultimately you may want to just do it and have them tranq you for your stay. If they don't want to listen to you about the fact that your anatomy is indeed different than a woman's (like mine didn't) feel free to give them my email. Anyway....

So, after that was over for the day I pretty much spent the weekend in bed. Part of it was because the HDR, part of it was because of not having chemo. I know this sounds weird, but not going through chemo has made me sicker than I've been through this whole thing. Most of this I believe is due to drug withdrawal. See, they not only give you chemo, but painkillers, anti-anxiety meds, steroids, a whole bunch of crap. Every chemo day you get them IV and then you take them orally the rest of the time. At least this was my regement. So, basically at the end of the nearly two months now, I'm kind of a legal junkie. Oh yeah and let's not forget how my body likes to metabolize opioids. In sum, since Friday I've pretty much been coming off of anti-anxiety meds and a short mild heroin addiction combined with my body trying to finally repair itself from chemo. This is what happens when you poison your body to make it better. They tell you it's "medicine", ladies and gents, it's poison. All of it.

The weekend through Monday was not fun.

But, the drastic situation did cause me to finally say "enough." Heather and I talked and I did some research and at the end I have decided that I am not going to undergo the last HDR this Friday. At this point the benefits of leaving my body the hell alone to fix itself and not going through that hell again FAR outweigh the benefits of one more treatment. And from the research I've found having 4 doses instead of 5 does increase my risk of recurrence, but it's within 2% and that's a risk I'm okay with. It's not like they can tell me that it WON'T come back if I get five.

So, I have two more external radiation sessions today and tomorrow and then Friday I go under anesthesia one last time for a very very complete exam and removal of the sleeve they put in for the implants. Next Wednesday I give them blood one more time to make sure I'm good to fly and that my hemoglobins are good and then NOTHING for three months! I really can not wait to not have to go to the hospital every single week day. Though I do still have to make appointments with my endo to figure out my new T dose and a dermatologist because I'm a redhead prone to cancer and now have irradiated skin that has some moles. I really don't need skin cancer on top of this, right? But, other than that, back to my normal life.

So, that's it on the factual what's happening front. I realized recently though that I still have a lot more to write about the emotional aspects of this whole thing. I also realized that I think one of the reasons I seem to do so well in stressful situations such as this is that I only focus on the task at hand, what has to be done. It's only much much later that what has really happened sinks in and I start to really have feelings and contemplations about it. I'm sure this will be much like that. As for now I'm in some bizarre exhaustion/anxiety loop and I've been up since 4am. It is now 7:30am and I should probably try to get some more sleep before my day technically starts.

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Comments {1}


from: mom_worry
date: Mar. 28th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)

I am so happy this is nearly over for you. You have been through hell and back and have survived and I am very proud of you and can only say I hope if I ever have to face anything I am as strong as you have proven you are! I hope you and Heather enjoy the sun and beach but you make sure you protect your skin from the sun! Steve is looking forward to his trip and hopefully our move to New Mexico before we have to face another Michigan winter. Take care of yourself not only for you but for me also, you are lucky to have someone like Heather beside you! Thank you Heather for taking care of my son. He is a lucky man to have a woman like you.


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