Radiation is a completely different animal than chemotherapy. I have spent countless hours in the chemo chair. I take blankets and books. I take girlfriends to chat with. I’ve gotten to know my wonderful nurses well. They know my preferences. I like the chair across from the bathroom for long sessions and the chair right across from them for the short ones. They know just about the time the chills are going to kick in and often bring me a warm blanket without me even asking.
In contrast to the leisurely pace of chemo, radiation feels like a 100 meter dash. I go in, strip down to my skivies, lay on my special bean bag, get pulled and pushed on until all my markings line up just right, get zapped three times from the front and four times from the back and we are done. It takes all of about 10 minutes. Then it’s out the door until the next morning.
It leaves me feeling a bit bewildered sometimes. Yet, God has placed four more wonderful women in my life to make this experience a good one. My radiation techs are sweet and kind and funny. We get short snippets of each other every day. We’ve talked about music and kids and even our choice of underwear. They make what could easily become a very impersonal experience a deeply meaningful time for me. They are unfailingly cheerful.
They make me feel cared for and about. I do not feel like the lung cancer at 9am. I feel like me. They keep me feeling human.
I am blessed. Again.
- I’m definitely feeling some effects from this last round of chemo. My hands are very numb and tingly and just kind of weak feeling. That makes it a little hard to do fine motor things like put the girls’ earrings in or zip things. Pray that it doesn’t worsen and that it will resolve quickly after chemo is finished.
- There is a weird feeling in my chest when I swallow. It’s not really a choking sensation but more like I’m trying to swallow around a small ball about midway down. That, combined with the taste alterations, makes eating a bit of a challenge and while I’d have been happy any other time to lose weight before swimsuit season, this year not so much.
- It is still a bit odd to be thinking that we are not really treating that node in my abdomen. Pray that it behaves itself.
- Lastly, please remember my friends Mary, Elizabeth, Matt and Kate. All of whom are fighting their own battles.