Well, the first almost-week of radiation therapy is finished. I didn’t go Monday because I was still trying to heal a tiny pinhole-size area on the incision that wasn’t healing. After a week of Neosporintm it seems to have closed up. If it’s not completely healed they’re never going to hear it from me!
Then began the daily task of getting myself ready, never easy, and making the trek to the radiology department where the main hospital has an off-site clinic. If there’s anything else to be grateful for, it’s that I don’t have to make the 40-mile one-way trip to the big hospital get irradiated for five minutes.
Still, it’s stressful for me. I’ve mentioned the getting ready. Taking a shower and such is not easy, but somewhat necessary. I’m not allowed to wear deodorant, after all. Still, I can utilize what my mom used to call a “birdy bath,” i.e., judicious use of a washcloth on relevant parts. But when my hair gets oily, and I do have oily hair, there’s no other option but a shower.
Then there’s getting me out to the truck and getting on the way. I’m slow but I get it done.
It’s only about ten miles to the clinic but it takes a half hour, traffic can be so bad. Plus, I have to make sure SO is available to get the wheelchair out of the truck and such. It’s been relatively easy in some ways since his college had spring break this past week but he had to be on call. It was his first time and that had him stressed out. Thank goodness he wasn’t called. The next three weeks will require him to take some time off work every day, though.
Then, after all that, the irradiation. It takes them longer to get me set up and positioned properly than it does for the actual treatment. The worst part for me, though, is having to keep my arms up over my head. I can get them there, no problem; keeping them there for even five minutes or a few more guarantees me pain in my shoulders. Well, more pain. Yesterday was the last treatment for last week. My shoulders still hurt.
And I keep having this feeling that I should be writing about all this. I mean, isn’t cancer one of those awful, dreadful things that bring up so many chaotic emotions? And yet, I don’t find anything to write about except the mechanics of it all.
There are all the usual things to be said about denial and suppression and such but I’m fairly used to going inside and finding out, feeling out, how I feel. And all I seem to feel is, “Let’s get it done.” I don’t worry about dying or being mangled by radiation or anything like that. The closest I come to any kind of feeling about that is, “Well, wait and see. Then we’ll do what comes next.”
And so we go on. I’m not going through this by myself, of course, and I often feel that SO is more stressed about it than I am. I think I’m better at handling all of it than he is but then again, he’s helping me so maybe he’s the one taking the load.
In any case, the saga is ongoing.