Sunday, June 13, 2010

Radiation 101

Well I figure its time I update everyone on the next step I'm taking in my journey. I started radiation about a week and a half ago. The doctor let a few weeks go by between my last chemo and radiation because he wanted me to have some time to recuperate. I went in for my first pre-op day, which is where they situate you on a table in the same position you'll be in every time you come and they begin to "draw"...LITERALLY!!! The "drawings" are so they will know where exactly the radiation will hit you, they said they dont' wanna hit my lung.....yea that would be great if you could avoid that!! lol. However, they have told me there is no way to totally avoid hitting my lung completely and that if I ever have any scans done a part of my lung will look different and that's "normal". So here I am laying on this table and they begin drawing all over me. Next thing I know they got a camera in my face....and its my time to shine lol. Upon seeing the camera I say "You guys gonna send these pictures to playboy" lol.....of course I was kidding but it broke the ice and made everyone laugh. Next thing I know they tell me some therapist man is coming in to check the "drawings". "Hello" I say, of course let me put in here I'm unable to move at this point and I've never met this guy until now. So I"m like "Guess we're on more than speaking terms now" I mean I feel like if I can't laugh I'll never get through it. I call my port "Annie the Alien" and now that I have all these marking on my chest my friend Miranda told me its Annie trying to communicate with her home planet lol.
So after drawing up a plan for me that includes physics and a whole bunch of other stuff I dont' understand I started the real radiation about a week and a half ago. Besides the fact that my chest looks like a kid has drawn on me everything seems to be going well.  Below is a pic I took of myself after my 1st "drawing".

Just like my hair being gone I am adjusting to the looks from the red markings on my chest because they are almost impossible to hide in most of my clothing. It's so crazy how much I realize how much I care about what other people think or how they are looking at me. I've gotten better and to the point now that I wear a tank top if its hot and if people look then they do, it doesn't mean I'm a freak its just not something you see everyday and if I were them heck I might look too....I might not STARE but I'd probably's just human nature.  I had a lady at work ask me what happened to my chest one day, to which I replied....."I had open heart surgery yesterday"........"Gasp".....I told her I was kidding but they look on her face was priceless LOL.  Heck I'd rather someone just ask almost helps me to deal better with it sometimes if I can just openly talk about it. I expect the exhaustion to come but I"m enjoying the time I have of feeling "normal" again....if there really is a true "normal". It was weird not having to go to chemo last week.....I almost felt like something was missing but they I'm not gonna beg for more if you know what I mean. I thank God for my good days and for all the friends and support I still have. I find I love God more and more everyday and I'm so thankful for things I used to take for granted.  I'm looking forward now hand in hand with a God who has held me through it all. :)


Linda said...

wow, Sarah, my experience was SO different: i had surgery to implant a balloon, had two daily treatments with high-dose radiation for 5 days, and was tired and exhausted easily for two months. About the 6-8 week from starting radiation, my skin finally reddened, tanned, and peeled--just like the 'regular' radiation! Are you using Aquaphor? i slathered in on for weeks. i think it helped. This should be so much better than Chemo! Get enough rest--you won't believe how easily you'll tire out! <3

Lana said...

Thank you so much for your writing your story online. My mom sees Dr Brig and started chemo on 5/19. It has been so comforting and calming to read about your journey as she is following in your footsteps. When I read your posts I know she can make it through. Again, thank you!

Leasa said...

Hey Sarah. Congrats on finishing your chemo. Keep up the good work. I am very proud of you. You are an amazing inspiration to so many people. I can't wait to see you next time you come in for your mammogram.