If you’re looking for previous episodes –
And now….. Episode 3. Let’s hit play on this sucker.
Will I glow in the dark?
Before I dive in to this, is it just me or does anyone else read Gamma Knife and shudder? No? Just me. Okay then, on with the show.
I mentioned last week I avoided chemo due to the very early stage of my breast cancer and I was diving straight into radiation. Five days of it with a ‘practice’ day the week before. I wasn’t sure what to expect (obviously) and even after the practice day in what they call the ‘simulation room’ I was unprepared for the bunker.
And yes, they call the treatment room the radiation bunker.
It was a pleasant surprise to find a huge screen in the ceiling playing some kind of nature footage (which changed every day) although there was no sound it was kind of soothing to watch. But don’t get me wrong, it in no way made up for the fact the bed thingy was super hard and the position I was in was awkward and uncomfortable due to some mild pain I’m still experiencing and that the room was FREEZING!!!
And I’m NAKED from the waist up!
AND I’m not supposed to move!
Try not moving while holding your breath and shivering.
Or don’t. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.
But honestly, aside for all that, which is really minor discomfort, the whole radiation thing didn’t hurt. In fact after day 1 I was wondering if they’d actually done anything or maybe they just said they had and took my money. I saw no difference in the area they zapped at all once I was home and showered. I did apply the cream they gave me to help with the skin irritation I was expecting even though I didn’t have any and I wore the compression sleeve as suggested by the physio because, well they said I should. (I’ve been doing a lot of things because they say I should.) Day 2 was less traumatic because they didn’t need to do an x-ray. (WTF?! No one said they were doing an x-ray the day before!) Although this time after my shower I did see a slight redness in my breast. Day 3 was more of the same except now I really noticed the redness and at one point in the afternoon I felt a slight burning-stinging sensation but only for a few minutes and then it was gone. Day 4 was a repeat of 3.
So by day 5 I was in a weird headspace. I’ve had thousands of dollars worth of treatment and I barely feel anything. This ties in with the whole operation to remove something I don’t feel, that hasn’t made me sick, and yet will kill me.
It’s a mind-f*ck.
I’m still struggling with it. I think.
That’s another thing. I don’t know what I’m thinking or feeling about this whole thing but I know I should be feeling something, right? Except I really don’t feel any different than I did before the doctor said the words – you have stage 1 breast cancer.
Why is that?
Is it normal?
Well cancer isn’t normal but is my…..’nothing-ness’ normal? Is there a way I should feel or think about it? I don’t know. And I think that’s the biggest mind-f*ck of all.
I don’t know!
I’ve reached out to a friend who’s been where I am and talking with her helped. A lot. She’s pointed me to someone who’s recently gone through this who I’ll be reaching out to this week because as I said, mind-f*cked. I need to know if I’m handling this or not. I’ve dealt with depression before due to a major illness so I’m a little nervous about whether or not I’m going to end up there again. I know the signs though, and I’m more aware of my own mental health than I’ve ever been but I’m worried I’m obsessing over it now. It’s a razor-edged line and either side seems to be full of jagged rocks.
Then again maybe I’m making it worse. Who knows. I sure as hell don’t. Hopefully I will soon.
But now that radiation is complete what’s next? Hormone therapy.
I don’t go back to my surgeon until the end of the month and I need to have a bone density scan done before that. Luckily there are no needles involved in that.
Until next week, stay safe and getting those boobs checked!!