I know, I know. An update on how radiation is going is long overdue. I think the dullness of the routine has kept me from even knowing what to write. There’s not a whole lot to share about going to the cancer center every day, lying on a table and letting them burn me from the inside out. I know all the staff by name, and we joke about weird things like Bob Ross, the afro-headed artist on PBS, with his “happy little green and happy little trees.” The techs all love my fun socks that I wear, and I have many of you to thank for that. I received so many pairs of socks as gifts, and I love them all!
As of today I have 23 down and 7 to go! I am in the single digits. All in all, I have done much better than my doctors had anticipated. 4 1/2 weeks into treatment, and I have only barely begun to burn. The techs are amazed at how well my skin is doing, and they ask me every day what my secret is. Praise God with me! He has heard and answered our prayers. I am so humbled by His mercy to me in this. While it is certainly not easy, the radiation is not as burdensome as I thought it would be.
This portion of treatment has been much easier than the chemo, although it has been highly emotional. I remember reading a biography about a woman with breast cancer undergoing radiation. She talked about how she would break down every day over little things, and she was naturally an unemotional woman. Heh. You can imagine how the emotional impact has been on a drama queen like me. (Yes, you may all feel sorry for Brian now.) The fatigue can be overwhelming at times, and it will hit me when I least expect it. I am learning my limits and trying to abide by them.
I am suffering some other minor side effects. I have a dry cough that comes from the radiation to the part of my lung they can’t protect. My right arm is still not completely healed from the lymph nodes that were removed back in August, and the treatments are constricting the muscles in my arm. Every now and then I’ll try to do something, and my arm will flail like a limp fish. It makes it hard to care for my sweet little Mommy’s girl when my arm doesn’t always work. I also have some minor inflammation where my rib joints meet the breastbone. There is fluid building up in those joints, and it causes pain when I move and breathe. The good thing is that simply keeping ibuprofin in my system makes the pain manageable.
Wednesday will be the last of the treatments to my chest wall. Then they will begin a targeted radiation called a “boost”. This will treat only the area where the tumor was, and it’s a highly intense radiation of the site. It takes less time and is only 5 treatments. One week from Wednesday will be my last treatment, and I plan to wear my pink, fuzzy hat to celebrate with all the techs.
I know this isn’t the most exciting post to read, and I hope I haven’t bored you to death. Just know how much I appreciate y’all praying and caring enough to read.