Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Permanent Marks

I got a tattoo today.

Actually, I got three of them.

Three dots....that's all.

And I will never, ever, ever, ever get another tattoo for as long as I live. "OUCH!"

The dots, which are literally the size of a pen mark, are so that the technicians place the radiation machine in the exact same spot each time they zap me. Wouldn't want them radiating my heart or anything---and they will be close to my heart (a concern).

So anyway, we met with Dr. Vic today, the radiation oncologist. He was very detailed and thorough in his explanation, but whether or not radiation would be beneficial to me comes down to "We don't know." I should have my husband write this blog for an accurate medical explanation, but basically, there's not enough large studies to say for sure if someone in my situation (age, type of cancer, placement of tumor, etc) would benefit or not. But the one thing that he could tell me is that given all my stats, there's a 20% chance of the cancer reoccurring (in the next ten years maybe), another study said a 10% chance. Having the radiation knocks it down to 5%.

Apparently there was some abnormality in one of the intermammary node on one of my scans that was a concern. They can't biopsy it (unless they break my breast bone) to determine if it was cancer, and it could just be nothing...but it could be something malignant. For that main reason (I think), Dr. Vic thinks radiation would be a good option for me (despite the fact that most women who have mastectomies don't need radiation).

I was told it was up to me. Ugh. A choice. I don't like choices, usually. I want someone to tell me what to do and I'll do it. I always fear that I'll make the wrong choice. And if I make the wrong choice...well, it could be fatal actually.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had three goals to guide me through this. 1. Get rid of all the cancer. 2. Do whatever I had to do to stop it from reoccurring. 3. Get myself looking normal again..or better of course!

So I opted to go ahead and have the radiation. I don't want to...I don't want to at all! I just want to have all of this done and move on. But I feel like I have to. Because I will always worry if I didn't, that the cancer will come back. And if it did, oh would I be furious at myself.

Now I just have to pray that the radiation does its job and the side effects are minimal. (More about side effects in a later post).

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At 11:52 PM, Blogger cg said...

Cari please know that we care. I cannot even begin to imagine what you and your family must go through right now but I trust that together with Melvin you will make the best decisions.

When are you due to start with the radiation treatment? (((Hugs)))

At 6:06 AM, Blogger Ann said...

Thinking of my 2 year old's response to all this - 'don't want, no thank you, go home' (he doesn't like going to daycare 2 days a week.)

You are in my thoughts.

At 6:20 AM, Blogger Jaye said...

"Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Phil. 4:6-7

Praying for and with your continually!

Love & hugs!

At 8:28 AM, Blogger wiferhood said...

Unless the Lord had been my help,
My soul would soon have settled in silence.
If I say, "My foot slips,"
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up.
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.
Ps 94:17-19

Finally Cari,
Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virture and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things...and the God of peace will be with you.

Phil 4:8-9b.

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't want to sound overly optimistic, but I trust in God. And I am trusting, right now, today, that in the name of Jesus, you are healed and made whole. I am standing on the Word of God that by His stripes we are healed. I am asking this blessing of healing in the mighty, powerful and blessed name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

Be not dismayed, for God IS with you.

Love you much,
Auntie Nita

At 12:54 PM, Blogger C said...

Not that I am the least bit interested in getting a tatoo, but I will admit that I watch LA Ink and Miami Ink regularly. I think the artistic side of tatooing is fascinating, and the motivation/psychology that inspires people's desire to get a tatoo in the first place is even more interesting. However, I agree with you Cari - it is not worth the pain!! Continue to be strong through this next phase of your journey and know that we are praying for you!

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Undomestic said...

Oh yes, I watched LA Ink last night (girl power!). It took 7 hours for this one guys tattoo. 7 hours! How can one be in such pain for so long? (Apparently it wasn't as painful as his broken heart that led him to the tiger/dragon tattoo!).

I have actually considered getting a little flying foot with 26.2 on my ankle. But not anymore!

At 3:13 PM, Blogger mi said...

As tough a choice as you made, it really sounds like you made the right call. Hang in there. Any discomfort from the radiation is for a limited time only. Know that you have so many people rooting for you.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Caro said...

It sounds like the safest choice but certainly a hard one to make. I don't know how long radiation lasts but I hope you are done soon!


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