I just haven’t felt like blogging.
I started radiation therapy this week. It’s very weird. The technicians are nice. One guy tells corny jokes. Everyone seems nice.
I hate it.
That machine is a big monster.
Tuesday I left treatment feeling nauseated. Wednesday morning I threw up.
“Oh no!” they all exclaimed, “It couldn’t be from the radiation. That’s not a side effect. You must have a stomach bug.”
Yeah, I call BS, I don’t have a bug. I did some research and apparently, nausea can in fact be a side effect. It’s just not a common side effect.
I was nauseated all week. And now it’s Saturday and I am slowly feeling better. And hmmm… no radiation today.
Sometimes I feel like every doctor I meet is trying to pee on my leg while telling me it’s raining.
Let’s see how I feel tomorrow and compare it to how I feel on Monday after my next treatment and see if this is just a bug. Hmph!
When I went for the simulation, they made me this cool moulded pillow for my head and arm. So that was cool. It has my name on it.
I got a couple of dot tattoos and many people have written on me in extremely permanent marker and I have bullseye stickers on my torso that will not come off no matter how much I shower. It’s all to keep me lined up so the beams hit me in the right places. It makes me feel like a piece of meat but whatevs. I’m a big girl. I know who I am. I’ve been through worse.
I come in and lay on the table and put my head and my arm where they are supposed to go and then the techs move me around until I am in the right spot. My arm goes over my head every time. The arm that lost most of it’s lymph nodes and a big chunk of armpit in April. That arm. Over my head. It’s not the most pleasant way to be. The first two sessions, I had to be in that position for an hour. I started whimpering at one point my arm hurt so bad. But I stuck it out. You know what trained me?
I kid you not.
Bikram taught me to withstand extreme heat and extreme pain. Just breathe into it and you get by. Thank goodness for Bikram. Bikram taught me never to give up and to find peace within discomfort.
And yes, I am still upset that I may never get to do it again. Angry face. Angry face. Angry face.
People at risk for lymphedema should avoid extreme heat changes. Bikram is done in a very hot room.
Screw it! I will do it again. I will, I will. Someday.
But back to radiation. In and of itself , it’s not terrible. I made it through week one. The nurse recommended using clear aloe vera gel on the areas because I AM going to get burned. It seems to be doing the trick for now. Many people recommend Emu Oil which is rendered fat from Emu birds. I feel guilty using it…but it’s very soothing.
I keep telling myself that this radiation thing is something I need to do. I’m not happy about it one bit but I’m not happy about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 either.
But it’s like I was saying to my son earlier, the worst part of all of this is that even after my diagnosis, I FELT FINE. It’s the treatment that is really grueling and painful and horrid. It’s the treatment that made my hair fall out and has kept me home bound and often bedridden.
And there are no guarantees, no promise of a cure. Just hope.
And now I drive my butt to the doctor’s office every weekday to lay in this stupid Darth Vader looking machine that buzzes at me and radiates my body and gives me nightmares.
All I can think is, this had better work.
This had better work alright.