Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Breast Cancer Journey - Radiation Therapy

So after a few days off, I am back in the saddle.

Last Wednesday was a test drive of what will be my treatment scenario at the Rohnert Park Cancer Center. My radiation therapist and nurses checked and rechecked all settings and finalized positioning for safety and efficacy of treatment. It took about half an hour and I was done. I'm now familiar with the layout and very comfortable with the crew who will see me through each session.

I received a scan card so I can check myself in each day and head to the changing room. Once changed you come out to a pleasant little cove of chairs until called. My appointments are all at 10am, so I cross paths with the same dedicated warriors every day. We share stories, bits of our lives, and find laughter in our little corner of reality.

Sun's rays via a raindrop
on the tip of an apple blossom bud

My team double checks all the parameters to make sure all is in proper alignment before we start. The treatments take less than 5 minutes and I don't feel a thing. So far I'm not experiencing any side effects, but radiation therapy is cumulative so I've been told that the treated area may appear to get a sunburn and I may experience fatigue a few weeks in. There are creams and potions for the skin, but my friend El says good old aloe vera works the best. Fortunately I have a large plant that has gone feral under our pear tree.

I've always been a visual person so I decided to track the days until end of my treatments like I did when my friend Trisha and I retired. All you need are two vases or jars ~ one with the number of marbles for each day until you're done and one empty. Transfer a marble everyday after you return from your treatment session and feel the glee of seeing the balance change!

Deep Space Phenomenon

Speaking of marbles, check out this beauty from Sean Clayton. Suggestion for a daily plan after your session: take a time out, put on some music and loose yourself in a universe of your choosing. They're playing "Dance to the Music" on the radio right now, how perfect!