So today after another false start yesterday, I began radiation treatment…….
After all the delays I had pretty much taken things in my stride – even yesterday after receiving the phone call to cancel my appointment due to the machine still having some issues – just as I was heading out the door car keys in hand.
However this morning, despite all the positive self talk and the distractions of some shopping, I arrived at the radiation bunker feeling rather sick.
Some paperwork was given to me to complete and I even had my photo taken (apparently this is for the machine’s computer programme – a way of matching the right plan with the right person, just in case they have a patient with the same name – eish good to know!). Boy, if I had been given some warning I would have made more of an effort…. I am quite sure THAT photo was circulated around the office for some Tuesday comic relief!
I barely had a chance to settle down with a magazine before my name was called and I was sheparded into a rather cavernous room to meet the radiation-ray-gun machine….. (I come in peace)…….and to be given some further instructions and advice on post radiation care:
NO RUBBING of the radiated area
NO taking large amounts of Vitamin C or Anti oxidant supplements (adding these naturally in my diet is ok);
NO TIGHT CLOTHING (Darn, there goes my weekend plans);
I MUST keep up all my arm exercises to keep fibrosis issues in check, especially in my right armpit;
Only dribble water over the radiated area (apparently that meant in the shower and not from my mouth:) );
I CAN wear deodorant but nothing with metals (Pete and many, many people will be happy to hear that!)
I was instructed to remove my shirt and lie down on the moulded plastic bed with my arms resting in the holders above my head while two attendants lined things up and moved things around. The lights went off and the room was transformed into something resembling a sci-fi stage: Green laser beams on the ceiling and on my chest.
I had been told the first treatment would be a little longer than the norm as some x-rays would be taken, but that I was not to move a muscle.
The therapists left the room and there we were – just ‘lil old me and the scary radiation-gun-ray machine.
It started coming to life making some odd humming noises as the “arm” started to move. At that point I would really like to say I lay there watching everything with a calm, detached and curious demeanor but honestly I can’t really tell what happened as I closed my eyes tightly, found my safe place and started repeating my radiation mantra over and over again…
It was quick…. I mean really remarkably quick….
The therapist came back in the room, the lights went on and I was given the green light (no pun intended) to lower my arms and to get up and dressed. I then followed her into the office and was officially given my time slots for the remainder of the treatment plan.
I was sent off with a smile and a “see it wasn’t that bad, see you tomorrow” – clearly I had my “deer in the headlights” look when I arrived!
The best part..…validated parking AND only 24 treatments to go!
“Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision.
Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy.
Trust, even when your heart begs you not to.
Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see.
Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring.
Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more.
And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.” Alysha Speer
“When I was 41, I found a lump the size of a grape in my right breast. I ended up bald, sick and exhausted from surgeries, chemo and radiation treatments. Ah, but I got to live” Regina Brett
“Make the best use of what is in your power and take the rest as it happens.” -Epictetus