The third week is meant to be when the skin starts to turn red. For me, this has not happened. While I have felt that the area under my arm is sensitive, it's not red. Funnily enough, I have noticed a dark square around my right breast. The square's corners actually each meet at a tattoo. It's a credit to the accuracy of the machine. I am going to make the assumption that the later I begin to turn red, the less likely I am going to experience a severe burn.
I wasn't nervous this last week, at all. I have not been questioning whether I am doing the right thing. I'm not even scared about the machine malfunctioning, and burning a hole through my chest. What does worry me though, is my body odour.
When I receive the radiation, I hold onto bars above my head. This means that my undeodorised arm is exposed. While I can deodorise under one arm, I can't do the other. It's not good. Even a shower before treatment, is just not enough. It's a concern. When I took child number two to a trial Spanish lesson, I kept my arms at my side for fear of becoming the stinky parent. I'm not convinced that that tactic worked. Next time I go to that lesson, I am going to put on loads of perfume and hopefully I will be able to redeem myself.
This last week, I met with my physio. I was so excited when she measured my arm (at various points) to discover that all my figures had improved. This strange looking glove was doing its job. In fact, my hand (where the majority of the swelling was occurring) had reduced by one centimetre after wearing the glove for one week! The lovely physio is unable to explain why I am experiencing such swelling. She went onto explain that perhaps it is simply how my body has reacted to the surgery and chemo. Should I not have exercised, it is her assumption that, the swelling may have been worse. So, I have been wearing the glove happily, knowing that it certainly produces results. I am regularly able to see my bones and veins in my hand now. That pleases me. What a bizarre achievement...
As I enter the fourth week of treatment, I am beginning to think about my follow up appointment. This is booked for four weeks after radiation. It is when I meet with the surgeon for him to check for the presence of cancer. His response, I'm sure, will not be to provide me with a guarantee of being cancer-free. It is more likely to be about statistics. But, I think I am likely to get more nervous about that day, as it approaches.
My food choices are going very well. I am starting to feel as though I am getting on top of the fatigue. Maybe, I am getting used to living with the fatigue? Imagine being normal? I'm going to feel indestructible!
Anyway, I am feeling confident that this is going to be a good week.