Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nine Times a Day

I was laying in bed yesterday morning when I suddenly sat bolt upright and looked at the clock revealing 10:00. That was my brain kicking into gear for a change as I realized that I had a 10:00 appointment with the radiologist. Flew out of the house like a hurricane and got there at 10:10 just in time to keep my appointment. Again, I don't know how people in rural areas or even the burbs handle chronic illness. I am always within minutes of where I neet to go and still it seems life is consumed by appointments, adding in commutes would put me over the edge.

Radiologist who I liked very much explained that even with bilateral mastectomy there is a 10% chance of localized recurrence, which I found shocking. Aside from that there is evidence that radiation improves overall survival rates for reasons unknown. I can't pass up anything that improves my survival rate. No matter how many times I've heard it and how thoroughly I understand it, It's jarring every time I hear someone refer to my "high risk status". So radiation it is. I was under the erroneous impression that it would be every day for three months, but turns out it's for seven weeks, so at least that feels less daunting.

The current plan is four more weeks of chemo, a month to recover and then radiation. I want to get radiation done before it's really cold out because I know I'll be horribly sore by the end and restrictive clothing would not make me happy. I've been lucky to have been able to wear loose fitting tank tops since my surgery. Oh and I suppose sometime in there will be the small and much desired surgery to remove my port which I've never made peace with.

Tomorrow is Hawaiian day at camp. There are a lot of Hawaiian days in the lives of todays youth and my particular youth embraces it so much that I keep a bag of hawaiian garb hanging in his closet. Little boy says he's going full on Hawaiian. "How many Hawaiian shirts do I have?" "Two," "well I'm wearing them both... along with the orange grass skirt and many leis. It's a good thing the tall one is away, he'd be mortified.

Yesterday while leaving camp he told me that he had trouble walking when he was at camp. I was perplexed until he went on to explain that he was so happy at camp his feet couldn't stop skipping even when he tries, "camp makes me skippy." How many times a day does this boy save my life? One the drive home, he explained how hugs make your body make chemicals that make you happy {endorphins}, so it's important to hug at least nine times a day. That is fine by me!


  1. hi, Kim,

    Been reading your posts and just want to applaud your wit and bravery in the midst of all you are going through. Radiation for me was not bad at all. The worst part for me was feeling like a meat patty at McDonald's. The nurses at Miriam were so personable and willing to connect with me that it was hard to adjust to the techs at Radiation Oncology. It's every day for seven weeks, but you're in and out in ten minutes. The nine hugs a day will help counteract any side effects. xoxoxo

  2. i'm really going to miss the nurses, they have been invaluable to me. trying to decide what to do for them on my last day... cake? presents? You're overdue for a porch visit jess, i'd love to see you some time. i'm out there most evenings if you're walking by with dog who's name escapes me.

  3. that hawaiian guy is something else!


  4. what a beautiful, wonderful boy. a dream really. lucky you. and lucky him to have you. think of you every day... although i haven't been great at being in touch. love you.