Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yo...rads!!, before I tell you about the start of my radiation treatments, I need to mention the article that appeared in this past Sunday's Austin American Statesman:

Marques Harper called me a few weeks ago to talk about my fight with breast cancer and how it affected my family, my work, my life. He turned it into an amazing article that both overwhelmed and humbled me. I hope that you are able to cut and paste in order to read it because I don't know how else to get there.
The article ran along with an almost full page portrait taken by Laura Skelding as well as photos of the women in my family, Evan with me & the twins and a pre-cancer photo of us as a couple.

In addition, I have had calls for an interview from a national magazine (sshh!) and yesterday I had an audition for a national TV commercial. I doubt very seriously that I'll get the latter but it was fun to be considered and also ironic that the woman auditioning before me was tall, thin and bald...oh, I am soooo not unique!

But life goes on in the cancer treatment world. I started with the first of my 33 treatments of radiation this morning. I will go every Mon-Fri (except holidays!) for a little over 6 weeks - so to be finished around July 8th!!! The first 28 of the rads will be aimed at the whole breast; photons or x-rays shot at the area in a rectangular shape. The final 5 will be electrons shot straight in and focused on the tumor site. Major side effects can include fatigue and skin changes - burning or tenderness of the radiation area. I am already exhausted so we'll see about the fatigue.

Years ago, my dear friend Seth brought me 24 black bangle bracelets from India. I have added to them another 9 and put them on my right arm symbolizing my 33 days of radiation. After each treatment, I remove one and pass it on to someone in my life...I'm off to give away the first one right now...


Laura Lee said...

You are truly awesome - you know that RIGHT????

Kathy said...

Saw the Statesman article -- wonderful piece that captured what an inspiration you are. I've been thinking of you and your family often and am amazed at your strength. Sending good vibes your way as you tackle radiation.
--Kathy C (Marshall's Mom :)

Shinta said...

Hello, Gail, I read the article about you in the Statesman. You don't know me, but you and I have something in common. We both had breast cancer. Mine was diagnosed Feb 08. Triple Negative. Stage I. BRCA1 Positive. My last treatment was Sept 08. My sister was diagnosed 13 years ago. She is still battling it, now metastasized to her lung and brain.

I want to drop you a note that you are doing awesome. As someone who has gone through it, I know it is hard. But keep positive thoughts. And soon you'll be done with the treatments and you'll be able to slowly get back to normal.

My thoughts are with you and I wish you the best outcome possible.


deborah d. lattimore said...

you are amazing! i love the article, and i'm so happy that your story is going to be shared with the rest of the world. you inspire all of us. xoxox

Anonymous said... kicking you forward, Gail.

It is an honor to have you share your journey with us. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was so inspired by the Statesman profile... it truly has changed my outlook/attitude/plans for what I'm doing with my own life. So please let me say it again -- thank you.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful portrait of a beautiful woman.