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Kristin Walega - Journal

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Posted 2017-08-02T03:28:08Z

Call me N.E.D.

And just like that 5 became none. I am officially done with my cancer treatments!! Today was my last day of radiation. I won't miss my daily (weekdays) 8am radiation treatments of being contorted on a table and then "burned". It became quite painful over the past 2 weeks as my skin blistered and peeled. The open wound was quite painful, luckily my skin is growing a new layer. And my hair is growing fast![...]

Posted 2017-07-26T02:53:50Z

5 more

I only have 5 more radiation treatments. This time next week I will be done with my treatments! Hard to believe.

5 seems like a small number but it is harder and harder each day to be there by 8am. The fatigue is setting in and the skin is peeling, raw and very painful. Sleeping, sitting, and overall moving because the skin rubs are all uncomfortable.[...]

Posted 2017-04-14T03:19:00Z

To Wig or not to Wig that is the Question!

Behold the many faces of Cancer. So my hair slowly fell out about a month ago, although you can see I still have some. My friend calls it "baby bird hair", not particularly my best look! Still plan on buzzing it. Before I started Chemo I went and tried a bunch of wigs on. It was actually fun, see the collage of some of them. It's like I am a secret agent. I eventually bought a fun short blond wig- might as well have some fun with it if I have to wear a wig. I also have a purple and pink one on the way! I have been experimenting with hats and scarves as well. I have so many options! Losing my hair wasn't too bad, I was prepared and can have different looks everyday if I wanted. The most frustrating part was my leg hair didn't fall out, I thought I would have some benefits of this chemo thing. Luckily I still have my eyebrows and eyelashes![...]

Posted 2017-03-13T02:16:00Z

Another stop on the wild ride: 3 nights in the Hospital

My last post talked about my chemo cycle the first round, the second round was a bit different.

The first 4 days were about the same - generally not feeling great, nausea, fatigue, bone pain and the beginning of hair loss.Over that weekend following the treatment I felt more achy and tired then before and then on Sunday into Monday I had a low grade fever. Fevers aren't great when you have a low immune system, I called my Dr. and she had me go in to test my blood cell count. It turned out fine and they just gave me a bunch of fluids. I went home and felt better but my breast had some pain in it.[...]

Posted 2017-02-16T04:24:00Z

Next stop - treatment

Once my oncotype was in it was finally time to meet with the oncologist to learn more about my treatment plan.There are 4 types of breast cancer and they look at a number of factors to determine your treatment plan. First they look at the 3 receptors that determine the type and therefore the treatment. Then they look at your age, stage, size of tumor, spreading, and oncotype to advise on drugs and timeframe. The oncotype tests to see how likely you are to have it recur in the next 5-10 years.[...]

Posted 2017-02-16T03:04:45Z

First stops on the wild ride: surgery 1, 2, & yes 3

In my first meeting with my Breast Surgeon, I was in awe of how she made it seem like it was a routine wart removal process. We will remove the tumor and then you will have radiation, it all seemed so simple and easy. And I should add that I really love my Breast Surgeon, she is top notch! I really appreciated that she made it seem simple and easy adding no significance to it all as I can do that all on my own. This entry is a bit long because of 3 surgeries![...]

Posted 2017-02-16T01:29:27Z

The Unknown

At the time I first met with my Breast Surgeon, Dr. Christine Teal at GW Breast Center, my cancer was Stage 1 and I wasn't aware that the biggest part of having cancer is the unknown. There is a lot of wait and see. And that you can only move forward with the information you have on hand at the time, as the layers peel back then you get a little more information. I think the unknown and inability to control any of it are some of the hardest parts of a diagnosis.[...]

Posted 2017-02-16T01:13:22Z

My Diagnosis

Throughout my thirties my mother drilled it into my head to get a mammogram and I would tell her they don't do it until you are 40 unless you have a history. I guess something about that stuck with me. In September I found a new primary care Dr. who told me to get a baseline mammogram. I had heard that Doctors are now saying 45 or 50, when I asked her about this she said let's get the baseline. On October 26th I had my mammogram, at the time they told me not to be alarmed if they ask me to come in for extra images. [...]