radioactive

 - by Beth

Are you singing the Imagine Dragons song now, too?  There’s nothing quite like driving to cancer treatment and hearing a song with lyrics about glowing with radioactivity. Because, these days? That’s me.  Today I began phase three of cancer eradication: radiation treatment.  Because if the surgery didn’t cut it out, and the chemo didn’t kill it, well gosh darn it let’s hit it again.  It seems like some kinds of cancer have simpler treatments while mine, in its general bad assedness, involves treatments like killing Michael Myers.  You shoot and bludgeon and behead and then, what the hey, burn that corpse.

The radiation phase of treatment, I have to say, seems like the easiest phase by far.  Its short term side effects are skin irritation and fatigue and the treatment itself only takes about 20 minutes.  Its key negative is that it must be done 5 days a week–Monday through Friday–for about seven weeks.  Feel like driving to the hospital 33 times in two months? Well, this is the treatment for you!  Other interesting radiation tidbits: in preparation for treatment, I was given four small tattoos that look like blue moles on my chest and underarm that are used to position the radiation, so I can now say with some authority that tattoos on bone do hurt more; people in treatment are advised to only wear one layer of clothing so we can strip quickly upon arrival; and, best of all, a long term side effect of radiation in a very small number of patients is…. cancer.

Snark aside, I’m doing fine.  Treatment one was easy as can be.  What isn’t after chemo? We’re doing our best to fit all of the appointments into our daily routine and I do my best not to think too much about this process.  Instead, I stare at my scarfless head and wait to see hair sprout, which I think has started, albeit unevenly and certainly not in any way that I would broadcast on the interwebs.  Hair chronicles forthcoming.