Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Radiation Therapy 26 of 30

I couldn't see the speckled ceiling tonight.

My radiation treatment is different now. For the last 25 treatments the machine, which has a circular face, would aim for an identified square around my right breast. Now though, the treatment is to focus on the cavity; this is where the cancerous tumour was removed. I'm told, that it's the final "mop up". Should the surgeon not have removed enough tissue, should the chemo not have killed off all cancer then these final burn sessions should do the trick. Attached to the circular face of the machine is an applicator. The applicator stretches from the face of the machine to within centimetres of the cavity. The treatment is only superficial. So there is no risk of the radiation damaging organs, even though it is administered front-on.

While the therapists lined me up (the measurements will be recorded and my last four appointments will be a lot quicker), I noticed my name on a metal plate. At the point closest to my cavity was a small plate. It had an oval-like shape cut out. I questioned the nurse to which she replied that the plate was especially made for my five treatments. It directed the laser to the exact measurements of the cavity. Wow! I felt pretty special. That small plate is very expensive. And then, at the end of it all, it will be melted down and used to create another for a future patient.

Of course, I asked the lady whether this would be painful. It's not. Now, the dark square would heal. It is only the cavity that will continue to burn. Enough about cavities...

As the machine "beeped" (this is what it does when the laser is on) I counted slowly to 25. That was it. I heard footsteps and then I was told to relax my arms. The whole appointment took 15 minutes. It was a good thing too, because I had the husband and the two children waiting for me.

I am still sporting some crazy looking fingernails. And, I am so surprised that I am still having hot flushes. It's really annoying. I still get the night sweats too. I'll have to check with the chemo doctors (next month) to ask how long all this menopause stuff is going to hang around.

I'm feeling pretty good. I'm probably a lot more tired than I'd like to admit though. Even though I'm not having naps, or feeling particularly sleepy, I am definitely not as motivated as I would usually be. That's ok, I suppose.

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