Tuesday, October 1, 2013

THIS IS HOW WE DO IT


My Family - Christmas 2007
You may or may not know how radiation happens but I thought I might explain it a little bit.  At least this is what I experienced.

When I arrived at the cancer centre each day the first thing I did was drive around for an eternity looking for a parking spot.  Believe me this is really exhausting when you have to do it every day for five weeks.  So when I finally actually entered the building, I scanned my pre-assigned card in the computer and that tells the technicians that I was there and in the waiting room.

Once I would get into the radiation room, I would lie on my back with my left arm over my head.  I always got my marks on my body "touched up", the technicians would make sure I was lined up and adjusted to the exact right position, and then the technicians (usually 3 of them) left the room and started up the machine.  It took about 10 minutes to zap me and I never really felt anything at all.  Except most times I was cold.  So just had to stay still and wait for it to finish.

Apparently it doesn't happen often that the radiation machine breaks down but twice in five treatments I had to wait in position while they rebooted the computer to try again.  Hmmmm, maybe it's me?!?  Perhaps I was crashing the computer system with some kind of strange virus because it happens to me at home on our computer all the time!

My Family - Summer 2013
I was anticipating the side effects from the radiation and they include fatigue and very badly damaged skin in the radiation area only.  It is supposed to be like an extremely bad sunburn complete with blistering, etc...Sounds lovely.  I was told that these things might start anytime or might not hit me until the end or even after I'm done.  The one good thing was that I didn’t need to take any sort of medications at this point so I was feeling pretty good.  My plan was to park about 2 kms away from the cancer centre and run/walk to my treatments and then run/walk back to the car afterwards just to get some exercise.  I think I actually only did that twice due to rain and other circumstances like the fact that it was really hard to keep up with it.

The neuropathy was getting a bit worse.  I still had it happening in my hands and feet and soon it started on my legs as well.  If I stopped moving for a while and then tried to walk it was like I was 100 years old.  The first four or five steps were very slow, mechanical and painful but then once I was moving it would be okay again.  It didn’t stop me from walking and riding my bike a little bit though.

This Is How We Do It - Montell Jordan

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