Today was radiation day 1. It was supposed to be yesterday, but life happens. Nate and I went to my appointment yesterday, I changed into the shapely gown with 2 ties in the back that no one with normal arms can really reach and sat down to wait. I was called back into the room, down a dark hallway, which I think is odd, and laid down on the very uncomfortable table. I had one therapist on each side, moving my torso around, drawing on me with a sharpie (I left with a nice trapezoid shape around the area which was clearly visible above my t-shirt) and getting me set up. Then I had to do some practice breathing. Take a breath in, let it out, take a breath in and hold. Hold. Hold. The longest was for about 30 seconds, but when all you are focused on doing is holding your breath, it seems like an eternity. They took measurements, films, actual photos of the area and told me that I “set up perfectly,” whatever that means. Then they went to find the doctor to read the films and give the approval to treat. Dr. Dr. Where is the Dr.???? And no Dr. to be found. Due to a scheduling snafu, he had left the building and they could not start my radiation without his approval. Well hell. Day 1 was a frustrating bust other than I got to spend some time in the middle of the day with my husband.
Day 2 went much better and I did actually receive the radiation today. They had to do some set up again and take films, breathe, etc. but it went smooth, the Dr. approved everything and I spoke to him. I will see him weekly, along with his nurse in case I have any questions.
So far so good. The radiation itself is painless and they did 4 blasts (for lack of a better term) for about 20 seconds each. I only know that because I was told to him my breath and the red light went on and a noise.
The hardest part so far has been lying down (laying down? – I should know this) on the table. It is skinny and hard and irritates my sciatic issue so I have a very hard time getting up. My therapists offer their hands to pull me up, but they are both about 5 feet nothing tall and I am afraid that I will pull them over on top of me. I am going to start taking some precautionary Advil.
I am going to try to head off the sunburn and skin irritation right away with a special lotion and aloe. Hopefully this will help prevent the bad irritation symptoms as much as possible.
Day 1 down, 33 more treatments to go. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Oh and I forgot to mention, they draw on my torso with a sharpie daily. Just a boring line though. I wish they would be a little more artistic.