Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Radiation is underway and so far so good. Today was my fourth radiation treatment. I will have six weeks total which is approximately 31 rounds with the last four to five rounds being more localized. I am lucky to have Dr. Rosemary Altemus as my radiation oncologist. She is absolutely amazing. Full of energy and a serious wealth of knowledge. I absolutely adore her and the staff. Prior to my first treatment, I had to be scanned, so they can "map" the area.  After it was all said and done with it, I looked like a treasure map. They had to take measurements and align the machines. Honestly, this machine is something out of a movie. I feel like an experiement while this robot hovers over me clicking and shooting a laser at me. A typical day consists of the following:

I scan my id and wait until I am called back. I undress from the top up and then go to another area. I scan my id and tell the technician my name and birthdate. I go into a room (It's more like an enormous vault)which only consists of this gigantic machine. I lay down on a steel bed and adjust my head on the personal mold which helps the technicians align my body to the machine. One technician yells out some numbers while another confirms and provides more data via a speaker. The other technician comes in and they adjust my body, accordingly. Sometimes they mark me up some more and sometimes they don't.  After about 5 minutes, I am ready. They exit the "vault" and a huge steel door is automatically closed. My friend, the radiation robot (RR), goes to work. I really can't describe it, but RR reminds me of a huge face looking down and scrutinizing me. RR appears to have teeth which are obviously not teeth, but adjusts depending on the area it's radiating, so it looks like he is talking to me. When it's time for radiation, RR begins to hover over me and move to the side. Honestly, I don't watch. As soon as they close the vault door, I close my eyes, breathe, and pray. I pray to God and Blessed Mary asking they continue to heal me. Let me live, so I can see my daughter grow and grow old with Christian. Sometimes, I just repeat a word over and over again to help me maintain calmness. Words like HEAL, LIGHT. In approximately 2 minutes, it's over. I told the technician, it is amazing how something that literally takes only 2 minutes helps me in such a remarkable way, but at the same token is so bad for me.

So far, the skin in the area looks normal. I am not expected to get soreness until about week 3. Dr. Altemus speaks to me every Tuesday to take a look at the area and to talk. She states this will be cake walk compared to chemo and surgery (Under normal circumstances), but we both know, chemo and surgery thankfully was not a horrid experience, so I am crossing my fingers radiation proves to be the same. I have a little bit of a swollen area from surgery and that should go away soon. It's in the same area as my tumor and I hate the feeling of it because it's a reminder. She continually assures me it's fine and not a cancerous tumor. It is getting better with time. She mentioned that sometimes when there is a large area that it can be poked with a needle (kinda like a blister) to allow draingage. I suppose she saw my mind racing and quickly said not to try it because it can risk infection. Fine.

On another note, I already have a full head of hair! My hair is growing like wild fire. I already had to get my eyebrows waxed.  The hair is very dark, but my grey did return. Also, my cowlick returned but I am not bitching. I am happy to have hair, again :)

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