On Being Radiated

I wonder,  if you hooked a radiation oncologist to a lie detector and then asked him these questions, and got these answers, would the machine go nuts?:

  1.  How does radiation affect people?
    1. Oh, you might get a little tired by the end, but it’s way easier than chemo.
  2. Do people have to take time of work?
    1. Most people just sail on through.

I swear the doctor was a liar!  (Or was that just a well-honed marketing pitch?).  Each time they checked my skin to make sure I wasn’t overcooked, he said, “Everything was fine.  You’re right on schedule.  This is how it’s supposed to look…”  There was one day on week five (5 days per week for 33 treatments), where I called in and said, “You say I’m fine, but I’m not fine and I’m not coming today.  I can’t do this.”  That was the one day mental break down I allowed myself to stay home, take pain medication and sleep so I could ignore the fried areas of my well-radiated chest.  Of course, that day I missed was tacked onto the end of the process.  I missed one other day on week 6 because he agreed I would be overcooked, so I got a three day weekend to heal.  It helped.

At the end of the process, final skin check, his nurse said, “I want you to know, Dr. L. is not mean, he was just really scared of your kind of cancer and we want to win.”  Ok.  He’s forgiven.  Big picture.

A week and a half after radiation ended, still applying silvadene cream to open burns the size of a dollar bill, but it has gone WAY down and is starting to hurt way less.

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