E.T. phone home…

I’ve been doing radiation for a week. So far so good.

52d1d8e052e511e3ae6912675798295f_8I 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.

aba288e84d5411e38e4b12aefc3e92de_8The physical aspect of having my arms above my head for 10+ minutes while the machine does it’s thing is also taxing. My shoulders are SO sore. I think part of it is unused muscles.

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.

et-expanded2As 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 …

cfb49ce24f2711e39c9b0e29b2d17a82_8I’ve been doing a lot of puttering around the house. Still cleaning… organizing. Emptying drawers. I have three GIANT garbage bags to take to the thrift store.

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 …

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3 Responses to E.T. phone home…

  1. Endeavor Longmire says:

    I had cancer twice. People think the diagnosis is the worst part. And it is..until chemo and radiation. Because the process is seemingly eternal. I have such tremendous admiration for you and your unbeatable spirit. Thank you for sharing this important part of your life. I am praying for you..that is a positive thing. Rhrough your blog you reach beyond the vegan community and there are people going through this or about to and I wiah I had had something like this.
    ET is ingenious by the way.
    Thank you for letting us share, as much as we can, in your journey.

  2. Sarah says:

    Thank you for your prayers. 🙂

  3. Angie says:

    This is brilliant! I’m totally going to do this. Thanks!

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