Spikes – A Message of Hope

by Heather


After my shower the other day, I noticed for the first time in a LONG time, my hair (what little there is of it) did something more than lay flat on my head:



It’s very fine & soft, and looking darker than I thought it would.  A few days later and with a dark background, it actually looks like it could be styled, at least on the top and left sides of my head.

I’ve been through and finished my radiation treatment.  You’ll remember back when the first Breast Surgeon said I was “Ample”.  Well, because of my Ampleness/Amplitude(?), the burns from radiation were aggravated into blisters, and so that treatment was cut one or two sessions short of the plan.

At one point the pain and irritation were such that I didn’t care to do anything that required movement of my left arm, or the wearing of a bra.  I didn’t even care to take a photo of my full-on misery until it was well into the healing process and much less painful.

WARNING:  Gross photo below…

The underside of my irradiated breast.

The underside of my irradiated breast.

Where it shows pink & flaky was, at it’s worst, raw and bubbly.  I had another area that had the same kind of reaction, just under my armpit.

Today, I’m happy to report, both areas are doing MUCH better.  And, though it’s still more comfortable without one, it, at least, is not torture to wear a bra; and I WILL wear one for the safety and psychological well-being of others, but not otherwise.


Looking Ahead

I turned 45 a month ago.  And, despite my age, I feel like my dance with Breast Cancer Treatment has matured me a bit.

Used to be, unearned generosity was not in my wheelhouse.  I had too many other things to worry about.  I find myself only concerning myself with important things now, and helping the less-able is less of an annoyance and more of a privilege.   Trivialities occupy less and less of my time & energy.  I don’t take things personally.  I don’t know if, because of the chemo-induced menopause I’m experiencing, my lack of monthly visits from Cousin Charlie and all the hormones he brings with him is the reason I feel more balanced than usual.  But, the only other time I’ve felt this way – this normal – was while I was pregnant.

But, for those of you reading this at the beginning of your journey with Breast Cancer Treatment, I want you to know that it DOES END.  Right now it may seem like a hundred years until you’ll be done.  But I am now standing in the light at the end of your tunnel.  You might not be able to see it right now, and that’s o.k., but it is there.  My advice would be, right now, to take care of yourself today.  Advocate for yourself today.  Get through the trials of today, and the end of it will show up before you know it, just like it has for me.