35 rounds of radiation…I decided to break this block up into 5 groups of 7. So, as of June 8th, I’m 20% done with my radiation treatments!
Each day I drive about 20 minutes to my 9:45 AM appointment at Christiana. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into an earlier time slot unless I wanted a 7:30 AM appointment. I’m back to my morning routine at the gym and 7:30 AM just didn’t work for me. I still get up at about 5:15 AM each day and head to the gym. I’m home by 7 AM or so. Then I make my veggie juice and iced coffee, shower, and get ready for my day. By 8 AM, I’ll start checking work emails at home and get on the road by 9:15 AM. Sometimes they’ll take me in early and sometimes I have to wait. The whole “radiation” process (including changing my clothes) takes about 7 – 8 minutes. Usually, by 10 or 10:15 AM, I’m at the office. I still have so much sick time built up in my inventory, that I just submit for 2 hours of sick time each day to cover the appointment and the time I’m out of the office.
I have not really had any side effects yet. Thankfully, I’m not fatigued and my skin has not burned (yet?). I did have one little incident though that freaked me out…
On day 2 of treatment I saw this woman with her daughter in the waiting room outside the changing room. On day 4 of treatment the woman was there again (by herself this time) and we started chatting. You tend to see the same few people each day. Anyway, at first it was the usual chatting that I’ve become accustomed to when I meet another BC survivor: how/when did you find out, what treatments have you done, how are you feeling, age, stage, type, etc. That was fine. Then she started telling me how horrible her radiation burns were and how she was in so much pain. At this point, I was okay with this information because the doctor and nurses had already warned me of this. But then she proceed to open her gown and show me her burns! Yikes, I wasn’t ready for that and definitely did not ask to see her goods. I’m not sure what I was more freaked out by – her burn or her scar. I just was not prepared to see all of that and I’m definitely the squeamish type. Minutes later, she was called back for her treatment and I was left alone. That incident left me in tears and by the time I got into work, I was even more worked up about everything.
Day 6: I heard the bell ringing. Apparently, when you finish radiation the techs and staff ring a bell for you to celebrate this accomplishment. As I was walking out, I saw that the bell was being rung for the lady who showed me her burns. Her daughter was taking pictures and everyone was happy. I wished her well, but I’m glad that I will not have to see her or her burns again.
Note to self: Do not show others my battle wounds without their approval first!