It has been an awesome weekend with the family. We went camping with the ridiculously amazing Aunt Jacque and had a ball. The girls in particular had a great time. Nature is the best plaything. And if nature is drizzling, cousins and aunts are the best playthings. The grand finale for this holiday weekend was grilling out with our awesome neighbors on Ian's hand-made brick patio. I know, I need to post a picture of. Suffice to say that Ian has skillz.
Despite all of these fantastic escapades, I do have a tiny bit of possible cancer-related news that I haven't shared with you. It should be nothing, so don't you fret, but it is weird. Last Tuesday I noticed a rash. Anywhere else and it wouldn't have been a problem, but as I'm sure you've guessed by now it is on my right breast. (Why do I specify a side? I only have one.) I put hydro-cortisone on it for three days, but it didn't resolve. Reluctantly, I called Dr. Oncologist on Friday. She of course wanted to see me, wrecking my first potential 40-hour work-week since October. She didn't know what it was and sent me to a dermatologist. Dr. Dermatologist didn't know what it was and so he took a sample (aka biopsy). This was all on Friday. I should have results on Tuesday or Wednesday. In the meantime I have discontinued the hydro-cortisone because if the rash is caused by yeast, the hydro-cortisone could aggravate it. The reason we went so far as to take a biopsy before trying more preliminary treatments is because inflammatory breast cancer (my former cancer) can manifest itself awfully similarly to the current rash. But I just had an enormous biopsy of the right breast in April that came back clean, so I'm not terribly concerned. Just itchy and annoyed.
Why on earth would I have yeast suddenly growing in that particular location? Who knows. I don't ask these types of questions anymore, I just make the phone calls to get the issue taken care of.
Also, talk about delayed reaction to the radiation! Oh my goodness I am so red and uncomfortable, and have been for at least a week now. And the blisters! I have had this patch of blisters about the size of a cell phone brewing near my armpit for at least 10 days. They refuse to surface and just sting sting sting. Also, a new thing that just started about three days ago is a trio of blistery lacerations on my side, just behind my arm. I'm guessing they are from my skin spitting. Bummer! I'm doing the same twice-per-day regimen of ointments that I've been doing all along, so I suppose that that's what has saved me from more severe reactions. And yes, there is room for increased severity. I'm counting myself lucky that I only have these relatively few blisters considering the vast area that was radiated. A large area around my incision, for example, is healing very well and is scarcely pink anymore. And besides, it's not like these discomforts have prevented me from doing anything that I want to do. Thank you, chemotherapy, for making me so (en)durable.
Updated poke tally:
right arm 12
left arm 6
right breast 2++
left breast 1+
superior vena cava 1
T9 vertebral body 1