Radiation: nothing radiant about it

8 Jul

After breezing through chemotherapy yesterday, I woke up with a ton of energy and took Denali and a brisk 3-mile run to start the day off.  It was my way of proving to myself that chemo treatment was no match for my will power.  The day was off to a great start.

It’s interesting.  Up until this point, everyone has had varying opinions on which part of treatment would be the most difficult. My oncologist and his nurse have told me that radiation treatment would be more difficult to tolerate than the chemotherapy they would be administering.  Conversely, my radiation oncologist and his team have downplayed the effects of their radiation treatments in comparison to chemo.  Well after having experienced both now, I will be the judge of this…radiation sucks.

Today was my very first radiation appointment and I had no idea what to expect.  I was escorted into the room where prior to beginning, the radiation technicians finished taking a few more measurements and scans, a continuation from yesterday.   Part of this process included using markers to draw guidelines all over my back side.  At one point I found myself wondering if this cancer clinic didn’t double as a plastic surgeon’s office that specialized in the newest  Brazilian butt-lift procedures.

Before I knew it, both the measurements and the first dosage of radiation were complete.  Similar to an x-ray, I didn’t feel a thing.  Minutes later we were standing in the front office waiting to schedule the rest of my upcoming appointments when I began to feel different tweaks and twinges.  This is when it becomes difficult deciphering between what is real, and what tricks your mind might be playing on you.  I chalked up these initial sensations to a wandering mind.  But, it only worsened from there.  An hour later, I had been reassured that my mind was not making things up.  I could actually feel the radiated area and it wasn’t pleasant.  It immediately became very sensitive – not on the outside skin, but from the inside out…in a way that is very difficult to describe.  It’s not a piercing pain, rather a persistent aching sensation.  I can’t decide what’s more uncomfortable – the way I feel right now, or the thought of having this done 27 more times.  I keep telling myself that if I can feel the effects of radiation as intensely as I am, that must mean it’s working, right?  Despite my self-brainwashing attempts, I’ve decided I would much rather have chemo every day and this radiation just once a week instead of the other way around.  Something tells me that my behind may not make it through all the beams of radiation that are on the horizon.  I just don’t get it, how can something be so painless when administered, and then create such an uncomfortable feeling afterward?  Ugh.

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5 Responses to “Radiation: nothing radiant about it”

  1. Dustin July 9, 2010 at 5:33 am #

    EM — Once all this is said and done, I think you should pursue a career as a writer! Your blogs are great! I look forward to reading them each and every day. Casie and I are very impressed with your optimism.

    Keep living strong!

    We’ll keep sending our love through thoughts and prayers!!

    -Dustin, Casie, Carson, Bella, Moxie and Gage

  2. Mary (Brozic) Boldischar July 9, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    Emily,

    Your blog was passed on to me and I’ve been reading it every day since. Your strength and positive attitude is incredible. Pat and I are sending good thoughts your way. You will beat this!

    P.S. You are a FABULOUS writer.

    -Mary

  3. Angela Ruzicka July 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    I hope it gets easier for you, Emily. We are thinking about you.

    Love,

    Andrew and Angela

  4. Jill July 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    Emily you are so strong – we can hear your strength coming through your updates, even if you feel like the weight of the world is resting on your shoulders.
    We’re all rooting for you!!
    Love Jill, Patrick & Hank

  5. Pete Thomasson July 13, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Hang in there babe, you got this!!

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