Pink ink…


Two radiation treatments left!
Two affirmations needed today!


Today I woke up in pain. Pain I haven’t felt in a long time. Pain that brought me to tears as I sat up. Pain that brought more tears in the shower. Pain that brought tears as I was fixing Lil B’s breakfast. The skin under my arm had officially and fully cracked open. It hurts every time I move my arm. It hurts when I don’t move my arm. Big B rushed to get me pain meds. But at the end of the day, I know I am going to hurt for a while. In fact, for at least a week after radiation stops! This pain brought back to my mind the pain I felt after my surgery. Pain, I had managed to place in the same box where we, as women, put childbirth pain. You know. The box marked “Forgotten”!

I made my daily trek to Mayo for my 27th zapping. As I lay there, the techs adjusted the covering, & more tears flowed. Even laying a sheet on my skin caused me to tear up. No yelps, or sobs. Just tears, that they gently wiped away. Finally, it was time for the machine to zap me. Only, it didn’t work.

Yup. It was temporarily “down”.

I lay on the table for the next 15 minutes as they tried to get the machine up and working!

Fortunately, Lizzie, my good friend in Philly had just sent me a book on affirmations. She was worried that I may think she was “kooky” for sending it. But I told her that these days, I need all kinds of affirmations to get me through. I read the book cover to cover. Today, I relied on 2 that had stood out in my mind.

ONE: I am taking the next step in my healing.
This helped me focus on the fact that this pain was actually a part of the healing process. It is a result of me FIGHTING cancer. This affirmation took my mind away from the pain. At least temporarily.

TWO: I listen to my body.
As the book says, “ I pay attention to my body & make the necessary adjustments. I give my body what it needs…to bring it back to optimum health. I call upon an inner strength that is mine whenever I need it.” Listening to my body led me to find not just one, but 2 cancers! I CAN do whatever it requires to get healthy and live. So while my physical body was telling me it was in pain, my emotional body was telling me, I will be better, stronger, faster. (Ok, bionic woman reference!)

I lay on that table and silently said those 2 affirmations over & over. While I did feel “kooky”, it allowed me to ignore the pain…until the radiation was done.

Next, I met with my Radio-oncologist, my friend Dr. Michele. She immediately knew something was wrong. Through more tears, I told her about the pain.

Yeah, the affirmations had worn off!

Next thing I knew, I was being prescribed more Percocet, topical meds were being applied, and finally, I was wrapped up like the burn victim I am.

On the upside, this morning AZ passed a bill that eliminates access restrictions to Breast & Cervical cancer treatment funds based on location of cancer diagnosis. Previously, a low-income or uninsured woman had to go to a certain location & be diagnosed there, in order to get treatment services. If she were diagnosed somewhere else, no services! Today that changed. That makes me happy.

Friday can’t come quick enough! This part of the journey will be done. I know that I will be one step closer to being healed and… whole.

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