"It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes." Psalm 119:71

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


(There are pictures below of the effects of radiation. They might make you a bit squeamish. Please know that none of the pictures are of anything innapropriate. Even if I was left with any normal feninine features in the mastectomy area, these pictures would still not be of anything indecent-- just the skin around the area where the tumor was.)

Ok first I'd like to ask for prayer to continue this blog. As my treatment nears its end (only 5 more radiation treatments to go!) I feel more and more like I am ready to leave cancer behind. And much less willing to keep up a blog on it. But it's something I feel called to do. In the beginning I wrote because I wanted an easy way to keep family and friends updated with my progress. Then it became an outlet for my scariest thoughts.
But frankly, it's been really difficult to focus enough on the fears to write it all down. I've learned many lessons, most of them have been recorded, but plenty of them have been too hard to face, much less write down. However, I've continued to feel God urging me to share. I'm constantly reminded by the statistic that 1 out of 8 women will get breast cancer. So maybe I'm in a position to help some of those women just by being transparent in my own journey. But, like I said, it's pretty darn painful to face my fears and allow myself to reflect enough to write about cancer. So I'd appreciate your prayers.
Now on to the "Yowza" part...

Radiation has mostly been a breeze. I've recounted over and over again how lucky I am to be mostly numb in the affected area so that I didn't have pain from the get-go. But now I can REALLY say that I am more grateful than ever because now the pain is creeping up above the numbness and I tremble just thinking about how difficult it would have been to feel this pain since the beginning of treatment 5 weeks ago!

Here's what my skin looked like a few days ago when the pain first started to flare up (up to this point all I'd felt was a soreness and tightening) And no, this is not a picture of any underarm hair. This shot isn't even high enough to include that part of my body, and even if it did, there's still no hair there. If you really want a good look, you can click on the picture and see it upclose where you can tell that you're looking at blisters and peeling skin: (I honestly don't recommend looking any closer though. Although for some reason I imagine Crystal G. and several others of you 'medical types' being interested. = )
Here you can see the variation of color in the skin being treated and my normal skin. The purple line on the side is just one of the lines they use to get me in the same spot every day for radiation.

And here's what that same spot looks like today:

Up until today I've been able to use just aspirin but today I had to move up to the "good stuff!" Being at home where I can wear a loose shirt is much better than being out because my bra moves against the bad areas and the weight of my prosthetic hurts a lot. I'm glad my kids are as young as they are because if they were any older and had more awareness they would be scarred forever by the sight of me reaching into my shirt to yank my prosthetic out to get a little relief!
And speaking of my prosthetic, I'm going to post pics of it. Sorry if it's offensive in any way. To me it's just plastic and I thought some of you might be curious. Prosthetics for breast cancer are known commonly in the bc community as foobies (f for "fake").

Here it is...

And here it is in it's little cover that I can take off and wash. You can see the purple stain on the bottom of it. That's because the marker for radiation rubs off onto it.

I think I mentioned that about two weeks ago (or has it been three now?) that I lost all of my eyebrows and eyelashes. I thought that was so odd considering chemotherapy was well over and the rest of my hair was growing back. Thankfully my lashes and brows started growing back almost as soon as they fell out. I'm so thankful for this because losing these things was worse for me than losing the hair on my head. Here you can see that my lashes are growing back (and you can see the few tiny long hairs I've still got which, yes, I've still been putting mascara on!).

And this is how much hair I've got today. Every morning when I look in the mirror I can see how much it's grown. Terry and I love to rub it because it's coming in so super soft! It's still really thin so I'm not quite ready to go without the wig yet.

So to sum up-- Ouch and Yowza!!-- radiation is a bummer! But my last 8 treatments are just to doobie (the mast. area) so the other skin can start to heal. When I was first diagnosed a lot of survivors reached out to me and I remember one of them saying that radiation was only a big deal to people who hadn't gone through chemotherapy as well. I guess that's true. Chemo was 20 times worse, but radiation's no picnic either!


  1. Man Sarah, as I read your blog each week, I am constantly reminded of how strong you are. I love you guys so much. You have an amazing family and I honestly look up to you.

    Can't wait to see you in 2 short months!

  2. I guess I never realized how fast our hair grows. I had pictured you being bald for a lot longer than you were! I'm still amazed you have that much hair already! Lola's days are numbered.

  3. Did they give you some cream to put on it?

  4. you used a few of my favorite words: Yowza, bummer, and doobie!! LOL You're a tough girl Sarah Domino (even at your weakest) and I am blessed to call you friend!


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