I have three radiation treatments under my belt now and I can honestly say that after today (Friday) I will be ready for the weekend "break." It's not that the treatments are all that bad, it's just the grind of going every single day. There's no pain involved (thank goodness) but all in all the whole experience is a little odd.
When I was "mapped out" last week they made something called a cradle for me. Basically, it's a mat that I lie on every day that is molded to the upper half of my body with both of my arms extended up over my head. I use my right hand to hold onto my left wrist. That was a definite OUCH when they did this the first time as my left arm doesn't extend very much due to the surgery. But I've been doing stretching exercises at home and now, even after the third treatment, it goes into position much easier. Anyway, this cradle is waiting for me on the flat bed of the scanner when I get there and it's covered with a sheet. I lower myself into "position" and lie still. The room is freezing, but at least I can wear my pants! (use your imagination for the rest of me! lol) Yesterday I remembered to bring slipper socks and at least my feet were warm and toasty as well.
The techs then make sure I'm in the right position and line up my TATOOS (three tiny ones but permanent thank you very much) with a laser level (inquiring minds wanted to know how they knew I was in position...so I asked) and I'm ready to go in. The flat bed moves me into the unit (like an MRI machine for those that have had one) and scans me for several minutes to make sure everything is in the right position. Then I move back out of the machine, still lying in the cradle on my back, freezing, and wait. and wait. and wait. Finally a tech comes back into the room, pushes the button and I move back into the tunnel of the machine and the radiation begins. No, it's not like a laser light show, although that would be cool! Basically there is only a very loud noise from the machine which is constantly circling my body. I will be able to replicate that noise on demand (for anyone that would like to hear it) for the rest of my life. After about 15 minutes I come back out and that is the end of that.
I finally asked yesterday if I could wear an ipod while getting my treatment because nobody even mentioned that to me. I was told,"Yes, LOTS of patients do that." Well thanks for letting me know. Today I will have my ipod charged and ready to go. I'm taking suggestions for what to listen to.
As of today, the only side effect I've had is being tired. So what else is new?! I keep looking at the skin in that area to see if I'm glowing (kidding) but it looks the same to me. I'll keep you posted.
Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for checking in on me.