one down, twenty seven to go

Ok, so today I finally got my first radiation.  It was really kind of anticlimatic.  I spent all my anxiety energy yesterday on what I thought  was my first radiation.  Radiation is so different from chemotherapy.  Most everyone has told me how much easier it is than chemotherapy.  Well, I’m here to say, it is not necessarily easier, just different.

I think chemotherapy is very tactile, very physical.  When you get chemo, people come and talk to you, they bring you something to drink or eat.  The nurses come and pat your arm or just visit with you for a minute.  It is a very feminine way to interact.  Yea, sure chemo is hard on the body, and can even be painful, but the treatments themselves are made bearable by the many kindnesses shown by the incredible nurses in the oncology practice.  At least that was my experience.

Radiation is different.  While it is seemingly noninvasive, the feeling you get at the point of treatment is quite isolating.  The technicians are so busy, and completely focused on getting the body into the correct position for the treatment, the connection to the human contact with the patient (me!) is seemingly secondary or maybe even third on their list.  Now, not all of the nursing staff is this pressured for time, for space, for….etc.  Some of the nurses on the outside of the immediate radiation bubble are  compassionate and interactive. 

It has been suggested that I wouldn’t feel the tightness of skin for a while, too.  I think that is a little white lie, too.  I think it is definitely tighter in my left chest, the treatment side, than on the right side.  Yea, I know there has only been one treatment, but that is what I feel.

Right now, too tired to go on.  I’ll try to remember to tell you about the “kid” on the Radiation Oncology Ward……………

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