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Posted 2017-07-05T02:33:46Z

Chemo is over, onto Radiation

Hello fans! Sorry for my delay in updating on my journey.

I finished chemo about 5 weeks ago and I am 2.5 weeks into radiation.

I am thrilled to be done with chemo and am starting to get my full energy back! The last 4 rounds were on Taxol. Which definitely made me feel better than the AC, less nausea. However there is an allergic reaction to Taxol, which causes about 3-4 days of severe bone and muscle pain each round. And not much helped to ease the pain, it felt like my joints and my legs were in a vise being squeezed. Going through the last round I was grateful to know that it would be my last time with bone pain. And lots of fatigue, I've never felt so tired and weak by the end of 18 weeks of chemo. At my last chemo infusion I had the opportunity to ring a gong in celebration!

The week after I finished chemo I had a 4th surgery to remove my chemo port. That's another reason to celebrate! I felt like a cyborg with the port in my body. I could feel it all the time and I am so excited to have it out. That week I had a surgery, radiation simulation, mammogram (that looked good), met with my surgeon, x-rays, and radiation.

I started radiation a little over 2 weeks ago after the port removal. I have radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks. A total of 32 sessions, I am about a 1/3 of the way through. Radiation takes about 5 minutes on the table, 5 minutes to get set-up and about 30 minutes total from arriving to leaving on most days as long as there is no wait. I went in for a simulation and they gave me a few small tattoos to mark where the machine should hit me. It is a TruBeam machine which is an accurate machine that only radiates to the target area. The major short side effects are fatigue and skin irritations. So far both are minimal but they say they could get worse in weeks 3-4. I am hoping I can avoid the skin irritations. Hoping this is the last leg of the journey, the final step is hormonal treatment which is Tamoxifen, a drug I will be on for 5-10 years.

I have ideas for more stories so I will write soon!

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Comments (7)

  • Sharyn O'Hare
    Sharyn O'Hare

    Kristen. Thanks for the update. I didn't know about your allergic reaction to the chemo. I am so sorry. Remember, when you are done with this (or if you need a break) you have a place to stay at the beach and you can bring a friend too. I have the room and would welcome you with open arms! Love you, Sharyn

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Suzanne Brannan
    Suzanne Brannan

    That is so great to hear Kristin! You are still in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong (as I know you will)!

    3 years ago · Reply

    I was glad to hear of your progress. It must be so agrivating being tired and in pain so much from the drugs. I'm glad the worst part is over. I will miss seeing you at Academy next week but am happy that you will have the time to heal.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Pamela Rocke
    Pamela Rocke

    Thanks for the update, cousin! Sorry to hear about your reaction to tamoxifen. The women I know who did the radiation did have some irritation, but they got through it. I think it is easier for some, and not so much for others. I love seeing your Facebook posts of all the fun things you are up to!

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Michelle Jaeger
    Michelle Jaeger

    Your strength is inspiring! Thank you for the updates!! Xo

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Mary Cosentino
    Mary Cosentino

    Kristin, Thanks for updating us. You are still in John and my thoughts and prayers. Your optimism and strength are an inspiration to all of us. We send our love and wish you the best.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Lisa Tomaszewski
    Lisa Tomaszewski

    My dear Kristin, Thank you so much for taking the time to give us an update. I am so sorry for all of the obstacle you have been facing over the past few weeks, but your strength never ceases to amaze me. I love you so much and you are in my thoughts everyday.

    3 years ago · Reply