Thursday, April 28, 2011

Radiation Is Over - Now What?

For the first time in six weeks, I didn't have to head down to Penrose Cancer Center before the sun was up.  Love those people, but so glad I'm not going to be spending more time with them.

So, what now? I'm still not sure what normal is.  Events over the last 12 months (not just the cancer, but a ton of other drama as well) have made me begin to question who I am.  When I look in the mirror, I'm not always sure who is looking back at me.  Just like I can't deny all the other things that have happened to me, I can't deny the cancer (though trust me - even after all the surgeries and the radiation treatments, I still experience a sense of denial - some idea that it was all some horrible mistake).  What I do know, whomever I turn out to be - it's going to be my definition - on my terms. Stay tuned. I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out.

In the meantime, I  started my morning with a pre-dawn 1.75 mile walk around the neighborhood. Got to get ready for the Rocky Mountain Avon Walk and hiking up Pike's Peak. I'm tired (didn't sleep well again), but it's a good tired - not like the radiation fatigue. The doctor said it could take a month for the radiation fatigue to go away.  Being active - eating right and getting exercise might lessen that recovery time.  I so prefer being tired on my own terms rather than due to the radiation.

Also next up on the to do list is a search for some books on what to do after treatment, as well as joining a support group in May.

Have a terrific Thursday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ringing The Bell - Radiation Day 33

It's official! Radiation is complete.  I hope everyone heard the bell.

So now what? The physical part of treatment (perhaps the hardest part) is now over. I will still have to take tamoxifen for five years, have regular blood tests to make sure the tamoxifen isn't damaging my liver and continue with yearly mammograms.

On Friday, I am having the test to see if I have one of the Breast Cancer Genes (BRCA1 or BRCA2).  When I met with the genetic counselor she said that based on what we know about my family history there's a less than 5% chance I have the gene. I considered not having the test - that fear of needles. But,  I don't know my mother's family history. I'm worried that we really don't know enough. And the fact that I was diagnosed before 50 is what made them suggest genetic counseling in the first place.  I decided that the stress of not knowing, of always wondering is more frightening than the needle.

If the test is positive, then I have a great deal to think about and to discuss with Tony and my doctor - as well as letting other family members know.  If the test is negative, then I can move toward getting back to normal, whatever normal is.  In fact in future posts I will talk about how it will all be a new normal.  But, even if the test is negative, I know myself well enough to know that I will be holding my breath for the next five years.

Even though my nifty certificate presented to me by the wonderful people at Penrose - states I Am A Breast Cancer Survivor - a part of will not begin to believe it until I've been clear for 5 years.  That's not to mean that it can't come back after five years, but once I reach five years without a re-occurance, the stats get better.  I've read lots of survivor stories about women who have gone decades without it coming back. And I've also read stories where women didn't make it five years.  Five years is just my first goal.  Once I reach that I'll just keep raising the bar.

Reaching 5 years doesn't mean I'll let my guard down.  Vigilance is key. Monthly self exams and yearly mammograms combined with diet and exercise are also vital.  My success is due in part to early detection.  Mammograms are no fun, but I hate to think what would have happened if I'd just decided to put it off to this summer. (Being an educator, I generally try to do all my routine health appointments during the summer - that's not a luxury I will continue to have, as my next mammogram is scheduled for six months form now - just before Halloween.  You can bet it's an appointment I won't forget.)

My battle is not over. I don't think it is ever over for anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer.  It's just now I'm moving from an all out offensive to a defense - apologies to Tony as I'm sure I've not used correct military terms.  And I want to be active in the over all war against, not only breast cancer, but cancer in general.  Watch out cancer! You've been targeted by a red-headed, leather wearing, biker librarian.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Radiation Day 29

Today was the first day of the concentrated blast to the area where the tumors were.  Getting set up for this takes a little longer than the normal treatments.  Fortunately, they have everything marked either with tiny tattoos or paint pen Xs so that they are able to get me lined up just right.  Modern medicine is truly wonderful.

Four more days and the radiation treatments are complete.

Today I finished Stand By Her A Breast Cancer Guide for Men by John Anderson. I had started this book some time ago, but put it aside to read the book by Nancy Brinker.  This is a good book that I will review in more detail later. (It's late and as usual I'm tired. I spent an hour standing at book signing for one of my favorite mystery authors. Love listening to her talk, but really wish I had arrived early enough to get a seat.) I wish I had finished this book first. Even though it is written as a guide for men, I found some useful information for me.  It gave me some insight to what the men in my life are feeling as they help me through this battle.

There was also an interesting chapter about radiation - warning husbands not to be surprised that the radiation will make their loved one tired and progressively so.  It even warns that the fatigue can last up to a year after the radiation treatments are completed.  One of the last chapters touches briefly on the emotions and fears that plague a woman once the treatment is over.  That has given me something else to stew on (yeah, I know with so much stewing going on, maybe I better open a Soup Shop.)  I think I need to look for some books dealing with what happens after treatment.

There was one other benefit to finishing today's book.  I've been feeling a little anxious about how open (or whiny, depending on your viewpoint) I've been about what I've been feeling.  There have been a few things I haven't discussed here, but for the most part I've used this blog as an open window to my mind and heart over the past months.  Sometimes, I've wondered if I was too open.

As I was finishing the book I found myself thinking how great it was to read about someone else's experiences and know that I'm not alone in some of the crazy things I think or feel.  Then I remembered that was one of the reasons I started this blog - in hopes that my sharing my journey would give someone else that feeling I've had when reading about others struggles with the same issues.

Besides I've bared my breast enough since October, baring my soul shouldn't be that hard.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Radiation Day 28 - Take Two

In previous posts I talked about how many times I have been stuck or poked with a needle during all this.  Today I realized there's another activity I can count when I can't sleep or need something to distract me.

How many times someone has drawn on my breast? This morning they did a dry run for the boost treatments that will start tomorrow.  They also wanted to make a template so they drew on my breast and then took pictures. (Oh, yeah, let's hope Penrose never gets hacked and I never run for political office - those are NOT pictures we want publicized.)  I realized that they have had to draw on my breast with a sharpie or paint pen quite a few times.

For the surgeries, they wrote in black sharpie YES on the left breast and NO on the right one.  Got to be sure the surgeon didn't get distracted and operate on the wrong one.  To set everything up for the radiation treatments they drew dots, then gave me small tattoos.  And they drew a big box around my left breast. I don't think I ever understood why they drew the box.  Then last week when they did the MRI to create the plan they drew some Xs with paint pens and covered them with clear tape so the marks wouldn't come off in the shower.

Today, they removed one X and then drew some more.  Covered them with tape and drew some other lines for their template.  I never thought my chest would end up as big drawing board.  But trust me, we're not talking a great work of art.

Oh, well - we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Radiation Day 28

This morning is  my last regular radiation treatment. Tomorrow the treatments will move from treating the whole breast to just concentrating on the area where they preformed the lumpectomy.  After today just five more treatments.

You'd think I'd be more upbeat. Instead I'm having serious self esteem issues.  I was no super model before the surgery/radiation and while I know my treatment has been kind to me in terms of not losing my hair and I've not suffered from lymphedema, I also know I haven't come out of this without any physical changes.

I was smart enough to have finally got healthy just before I was diagnosed. I think that losing so much weight is one of the things that made the early detection possible.  But when you are a woman of a certain age and you lose 80 lbs, your skin isn't young enough to snap back.  So, in edition to wrinkles and gray hair, I'm blessed with stretch marks, circles under my eyes and a  couple of hideous scars. Radiation also causes swelling, so I'm back to being lopsided. (Though not quite to the cantaloupe/grapefruit ratio that I had going on right after the two surgeries. ) Oh and did I mention that lopsided French Riviera tan I have going on?  Add to that the fact that I seem to have lost all sense of rationality makes me no prize these days.

As I was getting dressed this morning, I happened to look in the mirror and I frightened myself.  It's a good thing we don't have students today or they would really think their librarian was from The Black Lagoon.

I'm not even sure what I'm rambling about this morning.  More of that radiation/lack of sleep mood thing going on.  I'm sure another cup of coffee and a nice long walk after school will do wonders for me.  But first things first - time to head off for another laser blast.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Radiation Day 27

Just six more treatments and I'm done.  There's a light at the end of the tunnel and it's getting closer. I'll be glad for it to be over - and not just because my skin is getting very uncomfortable and not just because I'm still not sleeping well. (Truth be told, the sleep problems have been around for much longer than the cancer diagnoses.)  No, I'll be glad for it to be over because it's getting harder to handle the mood swings.  This medical emotional roller coaster makes it hard for me to deal with the other road bumps in life.

This has not been the best of days and it started out with my getting aggravated with myself on the way to radiation.  A while back I decided that if I could fight cancer I could handle almost anything. And I was going to stop not doing certain things because I was afraid. Case in point - my future tattoo. After I finally came around to the idea that a small tasteful tattoo might not be a bad thing - I kept resisting because I'm afraid of needles (and ok, I didn't want to be referred to as having a "tramp stamp", but who could have a problem with a tiny little book? It's rather literary don't you think?)

So, as I revealed in a previous post, I came up with a to do list.  (It's not a bucket list - I'm not dying.) It's a get off my butt and do the things I've been too afraid or too lacking in confidence to do.

One of the things on my list is getting a photograph published.  In order to do that I've got to take some really good photos.  This morning on the way to radiation, the moon over Pikes Peak was gorgeous and I had the camera.  But I was too hesitant about pulling over to the side of the road with all the traffic to try to get the picture. I did eventually pull over but by that time I had lost the great view.

I don't know what I was afraid of - not getting hit - I should have been able to pull over far enough out of traffic.  Did I think I would look stupid? So what! It wouldn't be the first time and certainly not the last time.  The point is I hesitated and I lost the shot.  So I was angry at myself.

Then I read a chapter that bothered me - that thing I've been stewing about - yeah, I've been stewing about it so long - you'd think it would have all dried up by now, but it hasn't and I'm still not ready to talk about it.  And the doctor I saw today didn't do a thing about the fact that I can't sleep past midnight or 1:00 a.m.  I've been feeling an anxiety attack coming on for a few days now and finally on the way to school - it hit full blast.  That combined with the fact that I've been fighting a cold or the flu since Saturday pretty much tanked the day for me.

Truthfully, I don't know if the radiation has anything to do with my mood swings.  I do know it's easy to blame them on the radiation.

Life is too precious to avoid things out of fear, whether it's fear of pain (tattoo) or fear of looking stupid (stoping on the side of the road to get that perfect photo.)  I know better and maybe someday I'll act on that knowledge.

In the meantime here are three photos I did get, which look a little better after I did some editing.

The Moon


Reading Statue at Penrose

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Radiation Day 23

Day 23 - Just two more weeks and I'm done with radiation. Any ideas on how to celebrate (besides the tatt?)

Still very tired and having trouble sleeping, but I'm going to try the Ambien again tonight.

Today I finished Promise Me by Nancy Brinker.  This is more of an inspirational book about a sister's love than it is about various breast cancer treatments, though it does include information about the history of breast cancer treatment.  However, if you are looking for a "how to" book, this is not it.

I found it to be a great read. You can see my review here.

If you would like more information on the Susan G. Komen For the Cure click here

Not much of a post today, but it is several hours past 5:00 p.m. and we all know I turn into a pumpkin these days around 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Radiations Day 21 and 22

Yesterday was not a very good day. It seems that Mondays are bad days for me. Maybe we should outlaw Mondays.

Yesterday, after radiation I ran home to pick up Clementine, my pet hedgehog to share with my First Grade students.  Only, when I went to get her out of the cage, I discovered she had died. She was over 3 years old. Pet hedgehogs often don't live much longer than 2.5. I just couldn't tell the students she had died, so I just told them she was not feeling well.

It was a horrible way to start the day/week.  However, since I've been rather irritated with myself for whining so much lately, I decided that instead of counting my miseries, I would count my blessings.

It is really something we should all do more often. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a negative to make us appreciate the positive.

My blessings are many and won't all fit here. (Maybe when I can't sleep, instead of counting book titles, I should just count blessings.)

1.  My husband - he is a true saint to put up with me on a good day - much less when I'm feeling sorry for myself. I am thankful every morning I wake up and he's there next to me.
2.  My sons - Patrick is my true battle buddy. He helped me through the worst deployment I've ever been through and he's been one of my biggest supporters through all of this. Ryan is one of the most talented writers I have ever run across. I'm in awe of being related to someone with so much talent.
3. Clark and Sue - my parents by choice. I'm so lucky that they have adopted me.
4. Friends and co-workers. I hang out with a very cool group of people.
5. My job - how many people get paid for being a total bookworm?
6. My health care team - they have been fabulous.
7. Having an "innocent" cancer. I've been reading Promise Me by Nancy Brinker. If I hadn't already known how mild things are fore me, after reading this book, I certainly know it now.
8. Nancy Brinker and the Susan G. Koman Foundation. I've never met Mrs. Brinker, but I owe her a great deal.  Before she kept her promise to her sister, Susan, breast cancer was something kept hidden in the dark. Information and awareness are power.  Without all of her efforts, treatments for breast cancer might still be stuck in the dark ages.

I could go on, but I think I'll save my other blessings for another one of those Mondays when I'm feeling sorry for myself.

This morning's radiation appointment took longer than normal. There are only 11 treatments left and they needed to do a CAT scan to get ready for the super-blast treatments the last week of treatments. So far they have been treating the whole breast, but the last week will be a concentrated radiation blast to the area where the tumors were.  There's certainly a light at the end of the tunnel.

As for the Ambien and my inability to sleep through the night - well, I actually saw my radiologist today.  Tuesdays are doctor day. You see whomever is on duty.  I was beginning to think my doctor had run off.  I like him and really trust him, so felt better seeing him.  He said that the Ambien is supposed to keep me asleep. He asked me to give it another week - try taking a whole one (without the alarm clock going off at the wrong time) and see what happens. I trust him, so I'll give it another week.

After school we'll have Zumba today.  Tonight, I should be able to sleep without having to count sheep, books or blessings. Monday may not have been such a great day, but Tuesday is shaping up to be a much better day.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

4th Annual Cowgirls & Cocktails

If you are in the Colorado Springs area in June, here's a fun event to help support local Breast Cancer and Military Charities.

For a list of vendors click here.  It looks like a lot of fun - but it is for women only - Sorry Guys!

I'd love to get together a group to attend.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In a Fog

OMG! Where's the coffee pot? Forget a cup - just give me a coffee IV (yes the needle phobic would gladly get poked this morning if it meant the fog would go away).

Earlier this week the doctor prescribed Ambien to help me sleep.  I seldom sleep past 2:00 a.m. and frequently wake up shortly after midnight.  Most of the night is spent waking up every hour or so.  Since starting the tamoxifen and radiation it seems to be even worse.  I didn't want to take the Ambien on a school night, so I took it last night for the first time.  It got me to sleep all right (but then getting to sleep is not my problem, it's staying asleep), but I was awake at 2:00 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. and so on.  I was awake, but felt as though I was in a deep murky pool trying to swim up to the surface. (Since drowning in murky water is one of my nightmares, this was not a good feeling.)  Still felt that way when I finally got up at 5:45 this morning. Hey, that is sleeping late for me, since I frequently get up at 4:30 or 4:45 on weekends.

Maybe Ambien just takes some getting used to - or maybe I need a different type of sleep aid. Most over the counter sleep aids don't work for me as they usually knock me out for about three hours and then I wake up and feel like climbing the walls.

Yesterday was Radiation Day 20 - only two and half more weeks of radiation.  The extra fatigue brought on by radiation will soon be going away.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

After four weeks of radiation I am beginning to get a little bit of a sunburn. It doesn't really hurt (as a pale freckled Texan of Irish ancestry, I'm very familiar with different levels of sunburn). It's just a different feeling.  When I was first diagnosed, Tony and I joked around with Patrick and told him that my breast would eventually start glowing from the radiation. (Sick, joke, I know - but you take your laughs where you can get them.)  It doesn't glow - not so that you can see through my clothes, but it sure feels warm enough to do so.

I'm off for a coffee refill - the fog is beginning to lift.  Maybe a late afternoon nap with help with the fatigue.

Here's hoping you all have a restful weekend.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Radiation Day 18 or How Funky Socks to Battle Cancer

Ok. So funky socks are not really a treatment for cancer - not a medical one anyway.

Battling a disease takes a lot of energy. Even if you don't lose your hair or have a severe change in your weight, your self esteem can still take a beating.  For me, so long as I keep my shirt on, there is no outward sign that I'm fighting cancer.  Unless you count the tired haggard face that often stares back at me from the mirror. But truth be told that face was looking back at me long before the cancer diagnoses.

Sometimes you just need a little pick up to make you feel better. It can be a mani/pedi with really cool colors, a new lipstick, a new hairstyle OR a new pair of funky socks.

It's a small thing, perhaps a little silly. But these days I'll take anything that makes me smile and puts a spring in my step.  Besides they are so bright, just looking at them chases away the grogginess/fatigue.

Everyone should treat themselves to a pair of funky socks once in a while. (Want a pair just like these - check the $1 Easter supplies at Target.)

What puts a spring in your step when you are feeling low?

Radiation Day 17

Yesterday was see the doctor and weigh-in day.  It was a better experience than last week.  First I lost two of the three pounds I had gained.  Yeah!  And the doctor gave me a prescription for Ambien to help me sleep.  He seemed a little irritated that I'm not sleeping - but he might have just been having a bad morning.

I'm worried about how I will react to the Ambien so I'll wait until Friday night before I take one. That way I can tell how it impacts my mornings. It's not going to do me much good if it works too well and I over sleep - missing my radiation appointments.

Didn't get to walk yesterday, but a parent at my school is now offering a Zumba class on Tuesdays.  I was exhausted afterwards, but it felt good. I'm not very coordinated and so I look like a crazed chicken whenever I try to do the routines. It's a testament to how much I want to get exercise and how much I trust my co-workers for me to actually do this class in front of them.

Last night, Patrick's middle school held an 8th Grade Learning Fair to highlight things the students had learned during the year.  Each student got to pick two or three projects to showcase.  Parents were given a brochure with signature lines. If they talked to a total of 10 students and got their signature, then their child would get an extra 10 points to be used for any class.  It was very interesting.  Three or four of the students I talked with had done a project on photography.  (Patrick researched Kevlar.)  I learned that the 5 second rule for dropped food is really not a good idea.  I saw an awesome project on the Bay of Pigs - the display board was as tall as the student.  And I met a very nice young woman who had moved to Colorado Springs from Canada. She was very proud of her first report on American History - it was about George Washington.

Of course my favorite display was Patrick's.  He showed off his research on Kevlar, his project on the U.S. Constitution (making sure to tell everyone that it was his dad who had burned the hole in the paper when trying to make the paper look old) and the pink ribbon he painted for me in art class.

It was very crowded, which was a little overwhelming for a woman experiencing random hot flashes and fatigue. But, I was prepared.  Once I had talked with ten students and taken Patrick's picture, I snagged a semi-quiet corner near the door and a cool breeze and pulled out my ever present book. (One of the girls that talked to me about her display, told me she was reading the same book. I'm such a book geek, I get really excited when kids want to talk books. )

Even though I'm out of energy by 5:00 p.m. every day,  I'm glad I went to the Learning Fair and didn't play the the fatigue card and stay home.  Of course, I was asleep before 10 last night - too bad I was awake again by midnight and several times after that.  Not to worry - Friday is not that far away.
Patrick with the beautiful ribbon he painted for me and wearing Dad's Tigger  tie, which he tied himself.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Radiation Day 16

Three weeks down. Three and half to go.  At least this morning there were no computer glitches.  Still it's a Monday. Sometimes I really don't like Mondays.  I hope someone has some Brie handy, because I'm in a whiny mood tonight for sure.  I'm tired. For some reason, sleep is getting harder.  I'll have to mention it to the doctor tomorrow. But since it's not keeping me from functioning, I doubt they will be too concerned about it.

Those of you who know me, know I'm a complete book geek. I'm always reading something. I'm most comfortable in room full of books, whether it is a school library, a public library, a book store, or my bedroom which has books stacked everywhere.  I don't just read. I multi-read - multi-tasking at it's best.  And of course when I need information on something, I read up on that topic.  Mixed in with the stacks of young adult novels and mysteries, I have several books on breast cancer in my every growing to read pile.

I mentioned on Saturday that the book I was reading on Friday, rather put me in a funk - I'm still stewing on it.  So I set it aside for a while and I've been reading Nancy Brinker's  Promise Me: How A Sister's Love Launched a Global Movement to End Breast Cancer.  It's a fabulous book. But it's not an easy read.  Yesterday I was feeling under the weather, so I spent most of the afternoon on the sofa reading. Anyone who has ever heard of the Susan G. Komen For The Cure, knows how this book is going to turn out.  It's not as though there will be a surprise ending.   I knew this would be an emotional read. I thought I was prepared for it.  Obviously not. Thankfully, it was just me, the two dogs and the hedgehog so I could read and cry and read some more.  I'm only halfway through the book and I think I'm over the truly rough part - Susan's battle with the cancer.  Still that battle is resonating with me.   I am in complete awe of a woman who was in agonizing pain and still her thought was for others.  The promise referred to in the title is the one Susan made Nancy give her - the promise that they would do something to help the women fighting breast cancer  - something to make it better.

And that is why I get irritated with myself. I'm tired.   I'm a complete mess. I'm feeling under the weather (is it possible to feel over the weather?) I'm tired and I have a horrible urge to dig out the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that I have hidden in a place only I know about.  I'm not sure I can make any sense. (Perhaps a little chocolate would make me coherent.)  But I'm not in agonizing pain. My hair is not falling out.  My appetite is just fine, perhaps too fine.  Some might say I should cut myself a little slack.   I'm sure Susan Koman had some bad days where she felt sorry for herself and her sister might have left that part of the story out of the book.  Or maybe I glossed over it in my reading because I was so in awe.

But despite being whiny tonight. I don't want to cut myself any slack. I want to fight back.  I want to help Nancy Brinker keep that promise to her sister.  I want to find a way to make a difference.

I recently read a fiction book about Army wives: You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobahn Fallon.  One of the wives in the book was battling breast cancer.  A few days after finishing the book, I saw something on TV about a real life Army wife who is breast cancer survivor and has started an organization Cindy's Hope Chest to help women fighting breast cancer.  I believe I mentioned this in a  previous post. This got me to wondering about the number of military wives that might be battling breast cancer.  So far my super ninja librarian skills have failed me in my efforts to find any information.  If you google Army wives and breast cancer you get the TV show and their wonderful efforts to support breast cancer awareness.  Battling breast cancer is not easy. Being an Army wife has it's challenges, too.  Combine the two and the challenges multiply greatly.  My husband is nearing retirement, so the challenges for me are not as great as they could be.  But that may not be the case for others.  I want to make a difference for everyone fighting breast cancer, but I especially want to make a difference for my fellow Army wives.

Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. I promise to consider them when I'm feeling "over the weather."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Catching Up or Saturday Ramblings

It's been a long week.  I think maybe the radiation is really beginning to catching up with me. I seem to be even more tired more often.  I'm usually good until 5 p.m. and I can go longer so long as I keep moving. But once I sit down, that's it. All energy goes out the door. And without going into too much graphic detail I am noticing some visual changes.  Carrying books close to my chest on the left side is not  as easy as it was last week.

The week started off rough with going back to school after spring break to the loss of a student in a car crash.  Then on Tuesday, my weight was up.  Wednesday and Thursday I was just tired and Friday, ended the week with technology problems.

Friday's radiation appointment was delayed for two hours due to a computer problem. Yes, my treatments rely heavily on technology.  The computer people had done an upgrade the night before, assured the radiation techs all would be well and disappeared.  Best laid plans.  It was two hours before they had everything fixed. Still they did manage to get the computer back up and running and the staff was very pleasant and helpful.  I had a book to read (I almost always have a book on hand), but unfortunately, the chapter I was reading in the book (a guide for men with loved ones with breast cancer) touched on some fears I didn't want to think about, but ended up stewing on anyway - truth is I'm still stewing on them. I'm just not ready to air them - at least not here. It's a good thing I have my little pink journal I mentioned in a previous post.

Because of the delay with my radiation treatment, I was late to school, where my technology/computer challenges continued. It's hard to teach 20 children how to use a citation website, when you only have one computer and it doesn't want to work.

The rest of the day was a little better. I won an autographed copy of a new mystery book by one of my favorite authors. And I booked several photography related activities for this weekend. (Yes, I'm sure that will make me tired, especially since I couldn't sleep last night - but at least I'll be tired on my own terms.) Perhaps it's silly of me to make such a big deal about why I feel tired. Tired is tired. I guess it's just a struggle for a little bit of control.

Cover from GoodReads

Earlier in the week I received an ARC of Promise Me: How A Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer by Nancy G. Brinker.  The book was published in September 2010 and has been on my to read list.  So when I received an uncorrected proof of the book earlier this week, I moved it up my list.  Now I'm reading two breast cancer related books - nothing like multi-tasking.  Even though I've just started Promise Me, I'm already learning a lot and once again, I realize how lucky I am.  Brinker includes information about the history of  breast cancer treatment over the centuries.  Not only am I lucky to have had such an innocent version of breast cancer, but I am being treated with modern medicine.  I'll take being tired and feeling like someone put a hot roll in my bra over having my breast hacked off without anesthesia any day.  I should have this book finished with the next week.  I'm very impressed with the book so far - it's very well written and it's very informative.  Part of me wishes I had not moved Promise Me up on my reading list, as I think it would be an excellent book for my book club to read.  I just couldn't wait until it was my turn to pick the book we would read.

I'm going to try to get in a walk before breakfast, then off to do some photos and maybe end the day with grocery shopping. Not bad for a Saturday.