Plot Twist: Radiation, a Hurricane, and a Broken Foot

The past month has been a steady pace of radiation treatments. Nothing exciting, just going in everyday at 9:20 am, spend 20 or so minutes getting the radiation treatment (lovingly called getting zapped). I had 17 total treatments and the dose for each treatment was 180 centiGrays (a unit of measurement of radiation absorbed dose).

Radiation treatments were much, much easier on me than the chemo, at least in the short term I have had very minor side effects. I had a little fatigue, but just a little. I have had a bit of a sore throat and minor cough. And I have been having some heartburn. The radiation oncologist says these should all be gone in 7-10 days after my last treatment. My regular oncologist says it might be more like 4 months.

Everything was going along just fine with the radiation treatments. Then Hurricane Dorian started to get ugly. The predictions were pretty dire and my husband I set about preparing our sailboat (which is also our home) for a Category 4 or 5 hurricane. We had decided to leave the boat in the marina and go to a hotel outside the evacuation zone. This was primarily because I needed to be in Florida for my next radiation treatment.

And then I slipped and landed wrong on my ankle. My first thought was it was a terrible time to have a sprained ankle. I sat down, put my foot up, put ice on it and took it easy for a couple of hours. The hurricane prep still had to be done. I put on my sturdiest shoes and went on helping with the preparations – taking down sails and moving the dingy onto the bow where we could strap it down. I made dinner, walked the dog, and limped around thinking it was just a sprain. The next morning my foot (not ankle) was still very swollen.

After my radiation treatment my husband took me to the ER where x-rays confirmed that it was not a sprained ankle. It was broken – a fracture of the fifth metatarsal. I was put in a splint, given crutches and told to stay off it.

My oncologist thinks that I broke my foot largely because of the chemo, particularly the prednisone. I have added be especially careful to my list of being especially careful.

Hurricane Dorian left us alone in Florida, but I still ended up in a boot, on crutches for 5 weeks, with a broken foot.

But it is not all bad.

I completed my radiation treatments a week ago. I was declared officially done with cancer treatment on Wednesday September 18, 264 days after my first day of treatment.

I have a PET scan scheduled for the middle of January and a couple of follow up appointments between now and then. I will continue to have regular monitoring.

I has been a rough year. But….I am DONE!