Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cancer #20 - Radiated...

I had to do radiation Monday through Friday, with weekends off.  I'd sit in the waiting room for a few minutes until they called my name over the intercom, then I'd go to the dressing room and change into a hospital gown. 

I'd then wait outside the Radiation room until they called me in.  They had us booked back to back, so usually someone was walking out as I was walking in and when I was leaving, someone would be sitting in the chair waiting to go in also. 

In the room, there was that metal bed, but the techs would dress it with a clean/warm sheet and then they'd put another warm blanket on top of me once I was on the table (it was always freezing in that room).  They'd ask for my birthday (to make sure I was THE right Melissa Aaron :-)  ) and then I'd lay there while they pulled and shifted my body into the right position for the laser radiation beams. 

They always had music on and the techs would usually be singing along to Madonna, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, or some other 80s/90s pop singer.  

I'd just lay there and about 3 minutes later, after the machine with the beam moved around me to the 3 different positions and gave me my three blasts, they'd say, Ok, Mrs. Aaron, you're all done...and off I went...until the next day.  

I'd see the Dr. every Monday and he'd say, "How ya doing?" and I'd say, Great!  I was feeling SO much better now that I was off that "crappy chemo".   The every 3 week Herceptin wasn't causing that many problems...although my toes and fingers were still a bit numb. 

I'd JUST seen the doctor the 3rd week of radiation - about day 26 and was bragging about how great my skin was doing.  Unfortunately for me, I was only looking at the skin on my chest, which WAS doing great...just a bad sunburn...what I wasn't considering, or TREATING for that matter (I had some cream to put on the burns, but I was only treating my chest, not my UNDERARM, which I should have been treating) underarm was BADLY burned and the top layer of skin was completely burned off.  It looked really ugly.  

Thankfully, my nerve endings hadn't quite healed from my surgery yet so it wasn't particularly painful.  

I went to see my Radiologist and he took a look and said, "Oh, it's not so bad...I've seen MUCH worse." which didn't really make me feel that much better. 

He said he wanted to give me a break from treatment...which made me cry a little, because I was SO close to being DONE - I only had 7 more treatments to go and I felt like I was taking a set back...

He assured me that I was NOT taking a set back...that I'd take 2 days off, then do the 5 electron treatments directly to my chest ONLY then do the final 2 full treatments by which time my armpit should be healed and what do you know...He was armpit healed in what seemed like amazing speed!  and before I knew it, the Radiation techs were presenting me with a MEDAL for completing my radiation treatment!

I felt like Gabby Douglas and proudly wore my medal the rest of the day!  I got smiles from all the people as I walked through the hospital to the car.  

I go back to see the Radiologist for a check up on September 11th which coincides with my next Herceptin and my next meeting with the Rockstar.

AND....September 21st, I get to meet with ...the Plastic Surgeon!  Woot Woot!  I am definitely moving toward the light at the end of the tunnel!

Praise God! 

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