Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is the Suspense Killing You?

***I had to edit this post again because I just realized that this is my 500th post. Yay me!***

Have I kept you in suspense about my first few radiation  treatments long enough?

Well, I'll tell ya, I could have watched the DVD they gave me at the hospital about what would happen so I'd be prepared but I didn't. Truth is, even if I had watched it, nothing prepares you for lying under a giant machine that buzzes and whines and moves around you completely still surrounded by lasers.

I am somewhat normal in the sense that anything new causes me a lot of anxiety. And over the last 6 months there has been a lot of new. I get especially anxious with new things that involve my body - and machines - and medicine. I've been violated in many ways over the past 6 months with surgery, drugs, scans, IV's, contrasts, all sorts of radiations.

Anyhow, I went in knowing what would happen but anxious nonetheless. I lied down in the radiation bed and shifted me and pulled me and pushed me and measured me until my tattoos all lined up with whatever it is they were supposed to line up with.

And then they left (two techs and a student) and I got to lay on the bed with the big machine (I'd post a picture of it but blogger is being a temperamental bitch today) and be ABSOLUTELY STILL.  Thankfully the whole radiation process only takes like 10 minutes.

Booyah! Blogger is cooperating. He's the beastly machine I lay in.

So the first day I kept my eyes closed. I was cold, stressed and anxious so it was better for me to keep my eyes closed. Plus  those lasers freak me out a bit and I didn't want my eyes to get zapped. (I know that won't happen but I still think that way.

Yesterday wasn't as bad. I opened my eyes and watched the machine work a bit. It's actually kind of nifty. It's got a window in it - I'm assuming the part where the radiation comes out. Again, this is all assumption but there are what appear to be lead plates inside of it - lots of them and they all move. The slide open and closed to allow more or less radiation out and to direct it.

So really, there's nothing to it, the most challenging part is being completely still for 10 minutes. I'm getting good at being totally still, after all my CT scans, MRI's and now this.

I'll be seeing my radiation oncologist today for a weekly review. I'll talk to him about my lymphedema (which, ironically, today is not too bad)

I had more interesting things to tell you but until blogger lets me upload pictures there is no point. So I'll try again tonight. For now, I've got to get ready to get zapped.

See ya


  1. Found you by way of "People I want to Punch." Thanks for sharing. I really wish you the best through your treatement.

  2. It's scary and cool all at the same time-It's amazing what we can do these days...what a big machine!! That's not cool! Thanks for sharing!!
    Now, let's count down to the last treatment-are you planning anything special for that day??

    1. I was hoping to go away with Sean somewhere for a weekend but I don't think it will be in the financial cards. So, perhaps just a nice night out for dinner.
      Either way - I'm having champagne!

  3. I also found you through the "People I Want to Punch" blog. My son just started chemo this week, so reading through your posts was very insightful. I am so glad you are coming closer to the end. I hope it passes quickly and painlessly-ish.

    1. I read your blog. I was struck in particular by 'The Post Where Everything Has Changed' I had the very same post with my diagnosis; the whole tone of my blog changed.
      It's hard enough going through this myself, I can't even begin to fathom what it's like as parent to watch your child go through it. Many prayers that your son stays strong!