Radiation works by using high-energy beams to kill cancer cells and destroy their ability to reproduce. The blessing of radiation is that healthy tissues are generally spared long-term effects of radiation because after treatment is over, they can repair the DNA changes, unlike the cancer cells.
I'm under going external beam. It uses high-energy beams to damage and destroy breast cancer cells. My course of radiation so far has been 15 sessions, which means getting zapped at the cancer center in Turlock- Monday - Friday. Very thankful for family and Sandi who have driven me to these appointments...
I call it Driving miss Daisy- I may need to come up with a different name.
The thing about Radiation is that it is everyday, everyday, everyday. (cancer cells will continue to die for weeks and months after treatment ends.)
Days before I got in this bad boy....I was fitted with a mold of my upper chest/back and my head. (the head mask...reminds me of something like a iron mask but made of rubber that you can breath through.)
The first few appointments...before they even started radiation were long! Laying in embarrassing positions...being poked and of course your picture taken...oh joy!
Most all my treatments on this table with my arms above my hand holding on to...those white bars at the head of the table. The room is ice cold....to keep the machinery happy. They always offered me a warm blanket....thank you....best thing ever!
At every treatment since it is pretty much the same....lay on the table while they poke and move you into the right position....and no, I can't help them....these are generally the words I hear at each treatment.
- lay like a bag of potatoes
- don't move, we will move you
- breath normally, but not too deeply..(right)
- then they like to praise themselves a lot- saying- beautiful, awesome, couldn't get better, on my mark, perfect (smile)
When I first when in to prepare for radiation....they told me I would be getting tattoos. Yes, tattoos. The technicians use it as a "road map" to show the technicians where the radiation needs to be delivered.
And the thought of getting a tattoo was weighing heavy on my mind...crazy I know...The fact that I had always been a good little Mormon girl and would never ever think about the ideas of a tattoo, and now thanks to this I need a tattoo!
The blessing in this- The Doctor used the semi-permanent on me. (smile) so no permanent tattoo for his gal. (smile)
It can take 15- 20 minutes to get me in just the right position....but once that happens....the treatments are really only 2-3 minutes long.
With very little noise....just me and the machine...everyone else behind glass walls.
Side effects- I think I have been somewhat blessed in this department. Fatigue has taken up residence in my body....trying to fight through that. They say the more you move the better it will be in the long run...but man what a fight! I have only been sick to my stomach one day...which was yesterday....and yikes....crazy! (and that was because of a medication they thought would help me...not taking that anymore!)
My skin has not burned like most...blessing.
Despite the fact that I'm so tried I can't think straight....hence fog! I'm just so happy that I wasn't hit hard with nausea from the radiation! Happy Day!
I still have one week left of radiation.
The last 10 days have been a mighty journey! Full of everything bad....but oh so much good too.
I know Heavenly Father hears my prayers and His timing is perfect. Last week when things were piling high....at just the right moment....love entered by life from dear family and friends.