Just realized I haven’t shared here pretty much anything on radiation. Jason and I meet with my radiation oncologist before I had my surgery for the first time. When we went to Duke, the radiation oncologist there said if we stayed in town, this is who she’d recommend. We didn’t even request her, she was just who we were matched with (and who my medical oncologist partners with normally). She also happens to be a friend of a friend of mine. Needless to say, I really like her. Shes explains then really well and is very personable. When we meet with her for the first time, she mentioned to us how she is always talking to her friend at Duke (the very doctor we meet with) about what they are using for radiation, so whatever new thing they use there, she knows about it and is using.

Today I went to meet with her to get my radiation treatments on my calendar. She was also impressed on how well and quickly I have healed from surgery (which she reminded me was only 2 1/2 weeks ago, seems further away). This is when I of course asked does that mean I can start treatment sooner. She said the soonest it would more likely the Thursday after Labor Day (which works for me since Im already going to be at the cancer center for infusion that day). I gonna try and hold her to that. Next Thursday (they call this simulation day) I go in and get my tattoos (one in the middle of my chest, other under my armpit) and mold made. This way they radiate me in the same spots every day, for 33 times. At this appointment I will get my schedule (finally!) and how to care for myself during radiation, including cream for when my skin starts to turn into a sunburn from being zapped everyday. The tattoos, as my doctor describes them, are the size of a period. One of her nurses has one on her hand, its between a blue and black color. So I think it will look like a freckle unless you look really close. Side effects of radiation is really just skin irritation (which I have no doubt my sensitive skin will do) and fatigue. My skin irritation will go up the left side of my neck and my left breast of course. Not really thrilled my skin irritation will be on my neck, that was new information to me today, but nothing I can do about it. At least Fall weather will be on its way, so if it makes me hot, the cooler weather will off set it – right? And Ive been told by my doctors that my reading is correct, studies have been done that if radiation patients walk for 20-30 minutes a day, you’ll feel less fatigue. Even just a good walk for that amount of time should help me not feel so tired, so once I start radiation, I will figure out when walking works the best. I plan to get a morning appointment (hopefully around 8 or 8:30) so I can go in before work and not have to have it hanging over my head all day. It works out to be about 6 and 1/2 weeks straight of treatment. May have to make myself some sort of a countdown or something like an advent calendar to countdown the treatments.

This song was on when I was waiting in the cancer center this afternoon. Found it rather fitting. And I listened to James Taylor’s Greatest hits as I wrote this post.

“Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus
You’ve got to help me make a stand
You’ve just got to see me through another day
My body’s aching and my time is at hand
And I won’t make it any other way

Oh, I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again.

James Taylor, Fire and Rain”

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Thank you for the words to your song James Taylor

August 25, 2013 7:52 pm

So you get a for real tattoo? I just read up on that. Interesting! Welcome to the club 😉

I am so glad you are sharing your experience. I didn’t know just how awful cancer (and fighting it) really was until my Graddaddy went through treatment. Now I have an even better picture of what it’s like and how to better pray for friends and family who may fight it in the future.

Love you and am glad things are going so smoothly! 🙂

August 28, 2013 3:17 pm

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