Monday, August 16, 2010

Radiation Stories

I've been threatening to tell you about radiation, but now I'm going to do it!  First, let me say, it's a PILL!  Going up & back 5 days a week gets old by Wednesday.  Thursday, you're annoyed.  Friday, well, you just really, really look forward to Friday.

They have the check in process automated, so you don't have to stand around & wait to check in.  That's really cool.  Then, you go into 'THE ROOM".  There's a bed in the middle of it, & a massive machine that looks like this:
The girls, or guys (but in my case it's always girls), get you on the slab.  Oops, I mean, table.  You're raised up & then they begin to call out a series of numbers that only make sense to them.  They move you about, getting you lined up, while you lay there looking up at the big "eye".  Well, that's what I call it.  As you can see in the picture, it's a large round something or another & a series of plates appear inside it.  They slide around, disappear, rotate & slide again.  It's kind of hard to explain.

They position you, & you have to be totally still as they leave the room & you're left there to watch as this massive machine rotates, arms come out & things come down with red beams that I can only think are doing more measuring.  Sorry, I don't know the techno speak.  Of course, as soon as I'm told I have to be still, my nose itches, a muscle cramps, my nose starts running or one of my wig hairs gets in my eye.  Yup, sounds about right for me.

Last week, my head was in the headrest all wonky.  I laid there with this plastic bar jabbing into the side of my neck, & it was killing me.  So, when the girls came in to reposition me, I moved.  A lot.  And that's how I found out that if you move a lot, you can't continue treatment.  They had to stop since the measurements were now all wrong.  I added another trip up to complete my series of treatments.  I tell you what, though, I've turned into a statue since then.  A big itchy, twitchy statue!

Back to the procedure, though.  After they position you, mark you, measure, & whatever else they do, they leave the room.  The big steel doors close & you're left alone in the room with the machine & the roving eye. The time drags while you're in there.  You lay there looking up at a drab ceiling, if you open your eyes.  You wait until you hear the loud buzzing that can last up to 10 – 15 seconds, & the sound reverberates through the room.  And you can do nothing but lay there exposed, waiting until the girls come in & re-position you.  It's pretty creepy.

BUT, that feeling only lasts for a little while.  Soon, it becomes rote & you get over that lonely feeling.  Especially when you realize that the people that are lining you up, being ever so careful not to do any further damage to you, are taking care of you.  They have your best interests at heart, & this behemoth of a machine exists only to prevent cancer from spreading.

Good news, though, I have no radiation burns at all, but I'm a little red.  I know I still have time left, but a lot of women have all kinds of skin problems at this stage of the game.  I had bought all kinds of lotions & potions to slap on, to protect my skin.

Then, I spotted my big ol' aloe vera plant sitting there, minding its own business.  I had one of those Homer Simpson moments – "Doh"!  Why didn't I think of it earlier?   Still, Maya (from radiation) gave me samples of something called Aquafor.  I'll include that in my constant regimen, but aloe is going to continue to be what I reach for the most.

There's even MORE good news, though, happy campers!  I saw Dr. Cardiges on Thursday, & all the x-rays are CANCER FREE!!  There's nothing in my heart, lungs or bones.  I only have 2 ½ weeks left for radiation, then I'm done with that chapter.  I'll have to take something called "Tamoxifen" for the next 5 years, but, ooh, how awful is taking a pill once a day? 

I'll write more soon; I've been working on a few different projects.  Soon, the Brunette Lucy will be roaming the streets, unbridled by daily doctor visits.  Don't worry; I'll let you know when that day comes.  You can decide if you want to be out in my area of the world with me unleashed upon it!  Giggle.

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