The last three weeks have been mentally and emotionally difficult. I am not sure why. They just were. I obsessed over the amount of lung being radiated. I cried after the radiation simulation. I had to come up with a couple of “Plan B”s for the house renovation. I was talking with a friend and told her that I sometimes just felt like crying and eating Snickers and Cheetos.
On Monday, I had radiation simulation. This is where they position you on the table using the mold that was made a couple of weeks ago. I had to lay in the mold with my arms over my head and not move for about 30 minutes. It was not a pleasant experience. I got another tattoo (this was a surprise as I wasn’t told that it was even a possibility) and the entire area to be radiated was outlined in ink. They really like to draw on you in radiation oncology. X-rays were taken to be sure everything lined up correctly and to double check that the radiation plan was good to go.
After the simulation was finished, I was told to look in the mirror at the outlined area so I would know where to put the aloe vera type gel given help with radiation burns. I stood in the dressing room and the reality of my situation got the best of me. I cried. It seemed like an awfully large area. It is a quarter of my torso. There was ink everywhere.
On Tuesday I had my first radiation treatment. I was able to sit down with the radiation oncologist and discuss my lung obsession. She patiently showed me the cat scan films and we went over each picture. She showed me what was being radiated and the dosage. Yes, a good portion of my lung will be exposed to radiation but only a very small bit will get a large dose of radiation. I am not so much obsessed now. Just mildly concerned. My daughter-in-law, Rachel, was able to go with me. Today I went for the second radiation treatment (only 31 more to go!) My sister, Christine is visiting for a week so she will be my radiation buddy for a while.
The house renovation “Plan B”‘s turned out just fine. Sometimes a “Plan B’ is better then the “Plan A.” We now have a toilet in the master bathroom and the tub is almost ready to be moved from our bedroom into it’s proper place in the bathroom. The tile and paint are finished and the vanity top will be installed tomorrow.
As to the Snickers and Cheetos… While I did have Cheetos at a dinner party some weeks ago, I have not eaten them since. Also, no Snickers have been purchased or consumed. So that brings us to the peach fuzz. Below is a picture of my current hair style and you can see the fuzz for yourself.
Your journey is nearly complete, and hitting these emotional hurdles is so normal. I continue to be amazed by your grace and your strength. I love you!!!
Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I wish it was easier for you and less frightening. You are a woman of courage, humor, vulnerability and inspiration. And you look great in peach fuzz. Also glad Plan B is working out.
Crying is a good thing, it cleanses the soul. I spend everyday with you in my mind. Can’t wait to see you in December. I’m glad you have family and so many good friends to help you through this ordeal.
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO (extra hugs & kisses)
Thanks for sharing this, Loretta. I think a good cry is essential to our mental health. It’s both cleansing and therapeutic. You are in the final stretch here…And we’re all cheering you on. x,o
i love you!
I love you Loretta! You are strong and as we all know, strong people cry. I cry all the time and so does my daughter. It’s worse when we hide it. I’d love to be your radiation buddy if you ever need a stand in.
I eat Snickers and Cheez Doodles. I didn’t know you needed an excuse to do that. I thought everyone did that! It’s a step above beer and pretzels (I think) AND if you like Snickers, have you tried chocolate covered pomegranates. They are at Costco (a really big bag) and Wal Mart (the size for normal people) Hope I haven’t given you a new obsession. My friend went through what you are going through and she is healthy and nothing happened to her lungs. She was also concerned. As always, our prayers and happy thoughts are with you. Love
Crying is sometimes good for the soul and seeking information to sooth you is too. You have met this journey with strength and purpose! You are incredible, strong, and determined. I don’t know how I would react to what you are facing (after all you have dealt with already) with radiation. I would hope I could be as strong as you. If you need any help – trips to the doctor, food, etc- I’m there for you. Love you, Loretta!
Your peach fuzz is amazingly beautiful!!!! How far you’ve come, how far you’ll go once this all done. John had 43 sessions of radiation and I remember them well. As long as Scott behaves himself, you’ll be just fine. : )
Love you – Ruth
Hang in there baby! You’re coming out of the backstretch, headed for the finish line. Lots of thoughts and hugs–xoxo-JR