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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"You look so radiant"

That's Len's suggestion for this post title. Why thank you, my love! I do feel all glowy and lit up right about now.

Today was the big day. I was scheduled for my first radiation treatment at 6-something tonight but got a call to come in at 4:40pm if possible so I did. But let me back up and start in the morning...

Len and Nana took the girls to the pool after breakfast while I went to a Tibetan meditation class to try to prepare mentally for treatment. The class was full of both patients and caregivers from all over the world. One guy was from the Netherlands and had just had surgery on a tumor in his head. Another woman was from S. Korea and another couple was from China. We spent 1/2 of the class in guided meditation and 1/2 in chanting which was actually quite nice. The room seemed to vibrate with our voices. I came away feeling calmer and better able to focus.

Since the media center was right next door I popped in to see what kind of literature they had and found a rather nice size selection of children's books. I found 4 that I thought would give a good explanation of where I was going every day and why and checked them out. When I returned home the girls had just come back from the pool so we sat down to read our new books while Nana fixed lunch.
The books I checked out were:
Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings by Ellen McVicker
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
You are the Best Medicine by Julie Aigner Clark
Mom has Cancer! by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

I self-edited as I read some of it, taking out the parts about losing my hair, chemotherapy, etc since I won't be doing that. Instead I just inserted radiation, talked about what that was, and later this evening I showed them the picture of me in front of the big machine so they would know where I go everyday. They were both pretty quiet and only asked a few questions, mostly about the marks on my body, why I can't swim, and how long I'll be gone every day.

After lunch both girls went down for naps but then Lucy woke up a bit early crying out so I went in to get her before she could wake Kate. Lucy ended up falling asleep on me for another hour while I read a book on my iPad.
4:40 rolled around and I found myself here, sipping my 2 cups of green tea and checking out my new home for the next 6 weeks.
This is my leg mold.
And this is the beast. The two arms on the sides swing around once you are on the table and they take xrays to be sure the lasers are directed correctly. The entire machine rotates all around the table which has lifted several feet off the ground so the top of the machine will clear the floor when it is underneath. After all that has been checked, the side panels swing back and the radiation is delivered by the round dome on the top. It rotates around my body, stopping every now and then to zap me.
I have to confess that my first thought as the machine started firing up was, "I've got to get the hell out of here! What am I about to do to my body?? This is my last chance to put a stop to all of this!" I had to draw on all my reserves not to move (since that is the strongly worded order I received before everyone left the room). So I remembered my meditation class and decided to chant an inner mantra. It went like this:

"BURN, MOTHERFUCKER, BURN!"

And I felt much better!

It was over with fairly shortly and in reality, was pretty anti-climatic. I felt....nothing. The technicians made a few more sketches on my thighs and pubic area and then took more pictures. When Len saw them later he said, "Looks like gang signs." I think it's just a form of hazing or a way to keep things interesting in the radiation chamber frankly.

So I received my schedule with all my dates and times of treatments for the entire 6 weeks. I have weekends and Thanksgiving day off. But I still go in on Black Friday so I guess I won't be rushing any stores that morning for the latest hot toy for 3 year olds.

1 comment:

Nachama said...

Go Baby Go!!!!! You have a whole gaggle of New Yorkers thinking of you and sending healing vibes!!!

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