Chaos at the radiation oncologist

Radiation day one was supposed to be yesterday only that didn’t happen. When I got there they realized they needed to adjust my “plan” which meant that things weren’t lining up right. So today I show up and everything is ready to go only they also need to get some films first only they can’t because technical issues. This wouldn’t be a big deal except their computer took a crap after I’m in position and I found myself trying not to cry when my arms started going numb and then burning after 45 minutes of holding them over my head. Plus, I will tell you that as soon as you are in position and can’t move, that signals all the little itches to break loose like on the side of your nose and your eyebrow (or the place wear an eyebrow used to be). The technicians were very apologetic and swore it wouldn’t be like that for my other visits which I hope is true since I have 32 more visits. The actual treatment part was pretty uneventful and the techs really are super nice.  Although I have a bunch of black drawings on my skin I need to scrub off.

On Monday I had the first of 3 epidural injections for my pinched sciatic nerve and it already feels awesome. I just didn’t know that it’s not just a quick shot, but rather a process where I’m actually in a gown, laying on my stomach with my face pressed into that donut thingy like a massage table but sadly there’s no massage.


Radiation and My New Tattoos

So it’s been a couple weeks and I’m still feeling pretty beat up. Like I’ve run a marathon, no actually more like I’ve run a marathon followed by several hours of Christmas shopping where I had to stand in really long lines with slow-witted cashiers. Wednesday I did some cleaning on my day off and by the afternoon I was ready to drop dead. Same thing yesterday, I had radiation simulation at 9 then worked from 10 until 3. By the time I got home I could barely move. When I stopped at Safeway on my way home I was seriously giving the electric scooter-baskets the side eyes. But then I pictured George Costanza tooling around in a scooter that time he was faking being handicapped and I started laughing at myself.

Speaking of radiation, the simulation was pretty uneventful although I don’t think I was actually radiated yet – they just put two tiny tattoos where the laser beams are to be aimed. They are only doing the cancer side. Supposedly there are not really any bad side effects of radiation except perhaps some mild skin irritation like a light sunburn but I have to do it every week day for 6 and a half weeks. Doctor said I will likely get progressively fatigued and be worn out by half way through. Really? MORE fatigue? I already feel like I have chronic fatigue syndrome and narcolepsy. But I digress. So I’m laying on this giant CT scan bed type thing (it’s not a another tube thank God, if I had to be in a tube every day they would need to knock me out or give me some serious happy pills) with my arms above my head holding these handles. Then I can see this red laser beam out of the corner of my eye. It wasn’t painful except for a second during the tattooing. I asked for a rose but that is not what it looks like which is more like a freckle or a blackhead. It was all over pretty fast. Parts of my head hair are growing back and Tomas said it looks like a baby chick. Aw how cute. Not.