I’ve been doing radiation for a week. So far so good.
I got a little tour of the radiation clinic before we started. They set me up with a paper bag that had a gown/robe and I wrote my name on the bag. This way they don’t have to wash my stuff every day and it saves on water/enviro etc etc.
One of the nurses went through what my radiation will be like. What I can and can’t use on my skin. Can’t use anything that contains oil (or I’ll burn) and I have to be VERY careful to keep my skin hydrated and irritation free.
She told me the two major symptoms I’ll feel are skin irritation/possible burning (eeek) and fatigue. Great … more fatigue.
I’ve done my first 7 of 28 daily radiations. The hardest part right now is that it’s like Ground Hog Day. Every day feels the same… it’s weird.
When’s the last time you had your arms above your head for more then a few seconds?
While I have good range of motion after my mastectomy – my chest wall is still a little tight – so having to lay in a weird position is making things uncomfortable.
And all the things I normally do when I have tight shoulders (hot bath, hot shower, hot tub, heating pad, muscle ointment, massage) are all off the table for now because I have to treat my radiation skin very gently.
My first radiation took a little longer than normal because they had to line up my radiation tattoos with the machine. When it started whirling around me I felt motion sick – so I closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. Thankfully it was over before I knew it.
On the way home I started to feel REALLY sick. Nausea. Dizzy. Like I was going to pass out. Gerry got me home as quick as he could and I crawled into bed and felt like I was going to die. WHY?? The nurse didn’t mention anything like this?
Gerry suggested it was PTSD. My body is so used to going to the Cancer Center – getting chemo – and then coming home and feeling horrible. I told the nurse the next day how ill I was after radiation and she said “not from what we’re doing to you…” When I told her what Gerry suggested, she agreed that it could be PTSD.
Sometimes just talking about my chemotherapy experience makes me gag. I walked by the chemo clinic the other day and the sound of the chemo machines made my stomach lurch.
During my 2nd radiation it dawned on me that I had been so focused on getting through the physical/mental hurdle of chemo – that I hadn’t even thought about what I would do for myself to get through radiation.
So my second radiation I went in with the intention of having no side-effects.
As the machine did it’s thing I hummed the song “This little light of mine…” and I closed my eyes and thought about ET’s body when he comes back to life and he’s chest wall is glowing with love.
It sounds silly … but all this week it’s got me through the monotony and shoulder pain and makes me smile every time I lay down and start humming.
Best of all … I haven’t felt sick. Gerry was right. It was PTSD. My body was freaking out that I was back in that building again. Poor thing.
I have been going to the Therapeutic Touch Clinics the Cancer Center offers twice a month. It makes me feel SO much better and my shoulders/spirit/body feel so good after I go. Unfortunately it’s only offered twice a month. I wrote to the Cancer Agency to encourage them to offer it once a week. I can’t even explain how wonderful it is …
Had a little mini garage sale on Instagram and unloaded a bunch of stuff.
I also FINALLY fixed something that’s been bugging me for the whole 7 years we’ve lived here. My cutting boards always fall over in the cupboard… so I nailed down a paint stir-stick and now they stay in place. I can’t tell you how much pleasure this simple fix gives me.
22 more radiations to go …