So, the long awaited radiotherapy did start on Monday. I had a tomography before, for my doctor to plan stuff like seeing me in 3D (must have been very exciting) and deciding which areas are to be shot. Or radiated. On Monday I was also marked with a board marker. They put little adhesive tapes over the marks and told me it's okay to take a shower, only don't rub the area. Well, this is day 2, and one of them already came off. I will ask for the tattooing option. On the funnier side, I now have a huge cross on my upper chest, which is very visible. The cleaning lady at the gym asked me if I was a member of some cult. Really.
The radiation part doesn't feel like anything, pretty much like having your x-ray taken and the machine is really cool, reminds of the Space Odyssey. That said, radiotherapy is not the most innocent treatment around; the problems (mostly other cancers) show up years later. I'll think about that years later. Compared to chemotherapy, this one's like a day in the park.
All those said, I am rather hoping for some super hero(ine) powers. I wouldn't like to take all this radiation for nothing. I did consider taking a cat in with me, resulting, hopefully, in me turning to cat woman but the security is rather tight at the hospital. Maybe I'll still get some extraordinary trait. Or have green babies in the future.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Now unto the unknown realms of radiotherapy, which is expected to start sometime by the end of April. Although the whole treatment is not over yet, I am grateful the chemo part is, as it was, to say the least, a bitch.
- Chemo sessions take really, really long. At least they did for me except one, and that one resulted in a blocked vein. We're talking about sitting in a chair for 4 hours receiving toxic chemicals through IV.
- The nausea. Really. The first few times I didn't even get it, but after the 6th session or so, the nausea was so bad I had to go for cortisone, which is a two sided blade.
- Mouth sores. They take about 3 to 7 days to go away and in the meantime one can enjoy wonderful meals in the guise of baby food mixed with protein powder. Mmm yummy. Having to actually do the rather complicated oral hygiene routine during this time is also a thrill.
- I am now a rather yellow-skinned individual. Doctors say the discoloration goes away after a while. Probably. In most people anyway.
- I always had problems with the veins on the arm I received the treatment, sometimes so bad that I almost overdosed on painkillers (and still the pain would not go away.) It's really hard to describe it, it's like rheumatoid pain multiplied by 10. I won't miss it.
- Fatigue. I remember days when going to the bathroom seemed like a hike through the mountains.
- Say goodbye to your veins: they get really hard and thin, you get multiple thromboses, and are impossible to find. As a result of this, getting a simple blood test sample takes 20 minutes, the nurses (yes, multiple) try to locate a vein that is not blocked or is soft and/or thick enough. They do say that working with weights is the only way to remedy this. I tried.