About this blog

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 11, 2010. As a result of my treatment, I have lymphedema in my left arm. I draw my strength from the Lord, as well as my family's Scots-Irish heritage. Our Graham's were a tough and scrappy bunch of fighters on the Scottish/English border. They came to America and continued to fight when necessary: in the American Revolution; the Civil War; and my brother is a Captain in the U.S. Army. My ancestors settled this country against all odds. My great-grandmothers on both sides of the family were pioneer women who settled the West. Along with that heritage, and the full armor of God, I am walking the walk and fighting the good fight.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chasing Mepilex

Taking off a Mepilex pad now is really gross because skin comes off with it.

Yesterday (Monday), I asked for another one. It was bound to happen...they kind of cut me off.  I was told I would need to have a doctor write a prescription so I could go buy more. The doctor who was there (not mine) came in and gave me the scrip. I asked him if this was the sort of thing pharmacies generally carried. He said probably not, that I would have to call around. Okay. I still was going to need one because the one I was wearing was getting gross, and I was on my way to the gym. I knew I would sweat all over it, take it off for the shower and then need a new one. I was given one that seemed to be the last of the "freebies."

My dilemma was this: I was going to need new ones by at least Wedneday or Thursday. I figured I could take Tuesday off from working out-that is my bible study day anyway. Fitting a workout around that and my kid shuttling service in the afternoons is hard. But I would want to be back at it on Wednesday and would very likely need a new pad.

I went to Kasier's pharmacy first. If these things were as expensive as I was told, at least it could chip away at my big deductible for 2011. They gave me the number for Kaiser's medical supply department. I called them on my way home and was given yet another number for their contracted supplier for wound dressings. It was getting way too complicated, and I was beginning to have doubts that I would be able to get it in time.

I called Ralph's pharmacy next. A friend of mine is the head honcho over there and said if they ordered it by 8 p.m., they could get it in the next day. Generally that is true. But as we found out, Mepilex is a new item for their distributor and they were out of stock.  The nice lady at the pharmacy suggested I try some medical supply stores.

I spent the next hour or so online trying to find a local store that I could just go to. "Medical supplies" is a very broad category. I kept finding places that would love to sell me a scooter or adult diapers, but not so much on the Mepilex pads. I found a couple online places that carried them, but to get it delivered in 2 days would cost  $26.  One bright spot was that the pads themselves weren't as expensive as I had been led to believe. It was only about $31 for 5 pads. Much better than $25 each! If I had to spend $26 for shipping, I would. But I still wanted to find a better deal.  Unfortunately, time was not on my side.

I kept praying, "God, please provide a way for me to get what I need when I need it."

In a last ditch effort, I googled "Mepilex." Wouldn't you know it?  Amazon.com carried them!  I ordered 2 boxes (10 pads total) and the 2 day shipping was only $10.88!  I'll get them by Wednesday-Amazon has already e-mailed me today that they had shipped!  How is that for a direct answer to prayer? God is really good!

This is how my burns looked yesterday under my arm.  That peel is just going to continue, I think. My impression of it was that it actually looked better to me.  I put a Mepilex on shortly after this picture was taken and haven't taken it off yet to see how its doing today. The texture of all of my radiated skin is different as well. Its like fine sandpaper. I continue to have infrequent shooting pains in the area. Luckily, it only lasts for a few seconds. The skin doesn't like to be stretched very much. I'm having to baby it at the gym.  This morning, I raised my arms above my head at the radiation office too quickly and paid the price with a few seconds of pain. I've got to be careful until this heals.

I have only 2 more days of radiation left. It is strange to think that it is all coming to an end. It is kind of scary, actually. Up until now, I've had a "plan" to fight this cancer. There was some security in knowing there were more things to "do." I guess I still do have ways to fight, but its through lifestyle methods of clean eating, lots of exercise and trying to eliminate toxins from my home.  I do have the tamoxifen as well. I have to trust that the bad cells have been taken care of and not let it drive me crazy. I definitely need prayer that I don't suffer from anxiety about a recurrence. I will go see Dr. P in early April. I'm going to ask him to order a PET Scan so I can have some peace of mind that there is no evidence of disease.


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  2. Hey, I came across your site while looking for bandages myself. Just so you know you can also order Mepilex bandages directly from here. Hope this helps!