Whoa, oh, oh, oh, I’m…Radioactive, Radioactive

Two treatments down, 26 to go. So far, it’s been a non-event, and I feel the same now as I did before it started.

Monday, I went for photographs and angle measurements. They put marker all over me, almost up to my neck. This is so they know exactly how to line up the rays/machines so I only receive radiation to the intended area.

The marks are requiring me to seriously adapt my wardrobe for work, lest I choose to reveal what looks like a child drew all over my chest. These markings will stay with me throughout radiation (they repaint over them daily) and, I imagine, several weeks after based on how they appear to stain the skin.

Tuesday was my first zap. I didn’t feel anything, nor do I now. I met with the radiation onc after the first treatment, and he said it will be 2-3 weeks before I start seeing or feeling anything. The only expected effects should be fatigue and redness/irritated skin.

It’s all a little weird. A fellow survivor who is a few weeks ahead of me described it this way to me. She’s right. It is weird. I’m grateful I don’t feel anything, but that’s kind of what makes it weird. You just lay there on a table. This noisy machine beeps and clicks and rotates around your body. The therapists come in the room halfway through and lay what feels like a ziplock bag of flour on the area they are radiating. It apparently assists in getting the radiation closer onto the skin’s surface (or something like that). They are in and out in between zaps, shifting/adjusting the bolus. And then suddenly you are done. 12ish minutes.

And then you come back the next morning to do it all over again. 26 more times.

By my calculations I’ll be done on August 1. By then, I will be glowing in the dark!

Speaking of glowing, if you’re now mad that you’re going to be singing Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive in your head all day, I considered these alternate titles: Turn Off The Lights, And I’ll Glow…. or Light ‘Em Up, Up, Up.

Pick your poison.

You’re welcome!


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