Half way through “Rads”

I know I haven’t posted in quite a while.  I was actually having trouble logging in….figured out it was my laptop settings.  Go figure!

I just re-blogged a post from my friend Stephanie, as I have had so many people ask me about what they could do to help.  Stephanie said it all.  She is quite a remarkable woman, and glad that I’ve met her.  Her blog is amazing.  

Anyway, I am half way through radiation, I’ve done 12 of 25!!  So far so good.  Other than having one very tanned armpit and side of my chest, I’m doing fine.  No burns, or tenderness. I’m tired at the end of the day, but that’s more because it’s a long day.  I go right from work to the hospital and then home.  I chose to do my radiation, or “rads” as “those in treatment” call it, at Sunnybrook as it is literally 10 minutes from my house, and on my way home from work.  I work in Markham, so trying to get downtown to Princess Margaret was going to be challenging everyday for 5 weeks.  Even my Oncologist suggested I do what worked for me.  

The question I get asked the most is…”How often do I go for Radiation”  EVERYDAY!  It’s a grind no doubt.  I do get the weekend and holidays off…yippee!  I will be done Nov 14th.  I am told that the side effects really come after I’m done.

I’m not surprised as most of the side effects I’ve had from Chemo also came after I was done.  I’m now 9 weeks done, and still having issues.  The one thing that is difficult, is that most people assume that because I’m done, that I’m done.  The truth is, that it is just a beginning again.  When you have chemo, your whole body is affected, everything.  Even my tear ducts were messed up for a while.  I’ve been trying to find out more about detoxing but it’s hard to really understand it all.  My friend has been helping me try and navigate what I need, but it’s going to be a long road to recovery.

I had to have a chat, or in this case and email with my boss.  He has been wonderful as has everyone at work.  I make sure I look good everyday when I go to work, and I think that’s actually worked against me….LOL!  Go figure.  Because I look good, everyone assumes, I am good, and the truth is that I’m far from good.  But I will get there.  I’ve been told that I should start to feel “like myself” again around January.  Can’t remember what that feels like, but I suspect, that it will be different from what it was before this all started.   I have worked through all my treatment, and taken off what I have needed to take off.  It was the right decision for me on many levels, and I’ve been fortunate to work for a company that has been very understanding about what is going on.  

Richard, Carly, Hailey, and myself along with Richard’s brother Corey, and his son Matthew, and the girls friends, Meg and Syd walked in the Run for the Cure.  Why is it every walk we’ve done for breast cancer…it has rained!!??




I guess PINK is my colour from now on…good thing I like pink!

I’m still figuring out this blogging thing, and it seems that i am supposed to “tag” the subject, so I’m going to try and start doing that.  Not entirely sure what that does, but we’ll see…

I have now finished 6 of my Herceptin treatments.  I think there is 18 all together.  I can’t remember.  It means going to back to Chemo Daycare every 3 weeks at  Princess Margaret, as this drug is administered through my port.  I also get Mugascans every 3 months at Mt. Sinai to make sure my heart is functioning properly.  Herceptin can affect the heart.  So far I’m good, no issues there.  It does mean lots of hospital visits.

You find out all this stuff, that really you never wanted to know.  Every treatment has side effects. every treatment could lead to other issues, even other cancers, but we’re not going to go there.  I chew so many mints to take away the bitter taste that has lingered from chemo (yes another side effect), that I’m sure I will end up with tooth decay when this is all said and done! One thing at a time!

I did find out that parking costs while in treatment can be written off on your taxes.  (I never knew I could do that). The cost of parking is so crazy at the hospital.  Rarely is it less than $20 a visit.  Sometimes I take the subway down.  I was able to get a weekly price at Sunnybrook while in radiation.  So I’ve gone back and listed every time I’ve had to be at the hospital since this all began, and wow….does it ever add up quickly.

That’s it for now

Hugs everyone, Randy



6 thoughts on “Half way through “Rads”

  1. Randy, I think of you each and every day my dear. Especially every time I go for a run. What courage you are showing by sharing this all with the world. My thoughts and love are with you!
    Cheers, Nicole

  2. Jodi says:

    Randy you truly are inspiring. I always knew that you were courageous and I could see the true fighter in you. But your experience and strength are teaching your daughters how to deal with what life brings there way in the future.

  3. Mary S says:

    Randy, I am so happy to read your blogs (and Steph’s) because I feel less alone in this fight/journey/current life situation (I haven’t found a term I am comfortable with yet) as you both let me know what to expect. I am just waiting to get the call for my first radiation treatment which in my case will last 6 weeks. I can totally relate to making things look good because apparently I too have made things look so good that my daughters sometimes seem to TOTALLY forget that I get tired much quicker these days and that I am still recovering from chemo and a mastectomy. By the way, I am in awe that you can still do the walks because one of my persistent chemo side effects is the stiffness and pain in my hips, knees and feet. I applaud your Determination and Strength! All the best to you for the rest of the “rads”

    • randymellon says:

      My girls too forget that I still am healing and will be for a long time! I hope you have an easier time through rads, and that you will continue to get stronger each day. It’s a tough road, but remember, your record for getting through the bad days is 100%!!
      The radiation process is actually easy, the hardest part I’ve found is the parking 🙂 oh, and the waiting, but I’m guessing, like me, you’re used to that by now.
      Stay strong my friend…you can do this! <<>>

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