Anyway, the radiation continues. Today as they were finishing up my session, they told me I was to see the doctor. Ah yes. It must be Wednesday, then.
The nurse took me into an exam room and pulled my record up on the computer screen. She asked how I was doing and looked at my burns. The patch under my arm is the worst, and she definitely looked concerned. She asked if I was allergic to anything. Well, yes....sulfa drugs and cipro. As it turns out, they treat the burns on most people with....sulfa drugs. So that is out of the question for me. She looked at my upcoming treatments and shook her head. Apparently, that area has more "treatment" coming its way.
The doctor came in and basically said the same thing. He mentioned some kind of medicated "pad" they could use, but Kaiser doesn't cover them. In my mind, it didn't matter. I'm willing to pay out of pocket for something if I need it. The doctor said we'd keep any eye on it and deal with it later. It really isn't bothering me that much. It does annoy at night, especially when my arm is bandaged. The top of the bandage rubs against my armpit and it reminds me that I'm burned. It's getting a little harder to get comfortable to sleep, too. But I'm not in serious pain, so I let it go.
The good news was that my blood counts are all good. So no worries there.
After the doctor left, the nurse told me to wait a minute. She turned around and started to shuffle through a drawer. She came back opening a package of something. It was the medicated pad thing that the doctor was talking about. Bless her heart! She stuck it on my underarm and told me that I could wear it for several days, taking it off only to shower. It's about 1/4 inch thick. She said when the skin starts to peel (and apparently, all of my skin is going to be peeling off at some point), the patch under the arm can get really bad. So she wanted to treat it before it got bad. Hopefully it will keep it from deteriorating to the point of too much pain. Each pad is about $25, so they are "golden" as she put it.
So I guess I have some more burning and then peeling skin to look forward to. I don't mind if it looks ugly and freakish. Heck, it looked freakish enough when I started. I just would rather not have too much pain. I also want to be able to keep active. The pad helps cushion the area as my upper arm moves around as well as treating the area. Today was treatment number 22. I have 6 more treatments to the area, and then 5 that are coded differently on my schedule. I'm assuming that is the "scar boost" that I've heard of at the end. 11 more days total.
My prayer requests:
- That my skin hang in there through the end of the treatment. That this pad thing work to help it from getting out of control. That I not be in too much pain from it all.
- That I continue to feel good and fit enough to exercise.
- That at the end of all of this the doctors declare that there is "No Evidence of Disease." (NED) I may have to push for a PET scan, but I'll talk about that more later.