Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I am nearly finished with radiation and finally my skin has revolted. I made it through 5 solid weeks of radiation without any negative side effects. Over the last couple of days my skin has turned a very angry red under my arm and hurts when it is stretched in any way. I was hoping that I could make it through the entire 33 days but I actually made it through about 24. I only have one more day of whole breast radiation and then begin a series of 5 boosts. The 5 boosts are concentrated doses of radiation at the incision site. The good thing about the boosts is that they will not focus on my underarm at all which is where I am having the most amount of redness and pain.

On the day after the election, there are many discussions about skin and skin color. A black man will be the president of the United States. What I was struck by last night when listening to McCain's concession speech and Obama's acceptance speech is that they are both very comfortable in their skin. I thought both speakers showed grace, courage and strength on an evening in which history was being made.

I can't possibly compare myself to two extremely competent individuals, but I will say over the course of treatment and being diagnosed with cancer, I have found that I am more comfortable in my own skin than I was before. I have spent plenty of time worrying about my looks, or my weight or whatever it was I thought was wrong with me. I have found that with scars, a bald head, a lopsided chest, thinning eyebrows and eyelashes I am very proud to be me. I realize that many people go through all of this thinking they are imperfect. I don't think I am perfect, but I am confident. Hair doesn't make the person. Neither do clothes or a perfect body. Certainly not skin.

1 comment:

Annie Searle said...

Great blog, Tracy! It's very clear to me that you are very comfortable in your unique skin!