I’m just about finished molting. Almost all of the peeling is done – just a couple more small spots that haven’t yet let go. It is red, red, red. I’m into the “boost” part of radiation now. Higher doses to a smaller area. Four more to go.
My hair growth is finally beginning to look more like hair than fuzz.
It’s been a long nine months since my diagnosis. I’ve learned a lot about cancer, breast cancer in particular, and its treatment and its emotional effect on people who must deal with it.
I never joined a support group because I’ve had great support from family and friends. I may be wrong, but it seems that support groups are most important and useful to those who are shocked and/or devastated by the diagnosis. Reading discussion boards such as breastcancer.org surprised me at the number of women who are thrown into emotional chaos by this disease. Tears, abject sobbing, and a feeling of hopelessness seem to envelop some women like a dense fog. They seem consumed by fear of recurrence and keep asking and looking for statistics that tell them it will all be ok. I feel so sorry for these poor ladies. Thankfully, there are many, many others who seem to have an attitude as pragmatic as mine.
Ironically, the most distraught women are not those with Stage IV or metastatic cancer. It seems that most of the late-stage women who post on these boards are reconciled to their circumstance. They offer each other moral support and advice based on their individual experiences. They become close friends even though they’ve never met. Only someone in that situation can understand what its like, so they are a great comfort to one another.
Another surprise from these discussion boards is the number of women who hate the whole pink ribbon thing. They hate “Pinktober” so vehemently that a few refer to it as “F***tober”. They apparently resent the cheery carnival atmosphere of the pink events, I wonder if they think that people would attend and participate in somber events that had slide shows of tumors and cancer patients. I think that these are mostly the ladies who are emotionally undone by their disease.
My radiation treatment ends on Thursday. I’ll post at least one more entry when I’m done.