When I finished radiation almost two weeks ago, I had no idea that one of the most uncomfortable stretches of treatment was still ahead. My skin was red from the radiation, and my arm felt a little tight, but I wasn't experiencing any pain. The radiation oncologist commented that my skin had held up remarkably well during this process, but warned that it would get worse for the next ten days or so before it began getting better.
I'm glad she warned me or I would have been very worried. By the following Tuesday my skin was blistering, peeling, and very painful. The pain spread to my muscles and deep inside the tissues. I've taken more Advil over the past ten days than I did after either the mastectomy or the c-section. Of course, I haven't been in bed recovering from the radiation like I was after the surgeries, and I'm sure my constant activity has only aggravated the radiated area. Just yesterday, I finally began to experience some relief.
Less than a week after the radiation was finished, I found another enlarged lymph node just below my collar bone. The oncologist had me come in right away, but she didn't have any definite answers. She hopes I am just reacting to the radiation, but can't promise that's the case. My next appointment is near the end of September, and we'll be making some decisions about more biopsies and tests.
I've been struggling with fear that the cancer is making a come-back already. But it's been strengthening to constantly remind myself that life on earth is temporary even in the best of health, and that God has already proven Himself loving and trustworthy.