five days post radiation

So, who were the fools who told me radiation is easier than chemo?  That has not been my experience. 

Unless I have some kind of selective memory or something….radiation has definitely been much more difficult than chemo for me.  Having more than a square foot of your chest seared to a crisp is a constant,  “24/7”  painful reminder that “all is not well”. 

Having studied Anatomy and Physiology in college, I knew that human skin is an amazing organ with great flexibility, or at least I thought I knew what that meant.  Like most things, the addition of experience to the knowledge base adds a depth of understanding that cannot be underestimated.  I now know that something as simple as lifting my chin to look up, really does move all the other skin on my chest (and now causes discomfort).  Something as simple as walking, needs to be reconsidered.  I have learned to do what I think of as the “beauty queen glide” where my feet don’t actually HIT the floor, but rather gently connect with the floor in a smooth manner which reduces impact, and thus the jarring to the skin on the lower edge of the burnt field.  And laughing…I never knew just how much laughing moves the skin on your torso….  All the normal things in life, getting a gallon of milk out of the fridge, setting your left elbow up on the window ledge of the car as you are driving, putting your arms back to get into your coat….you can do all of these things because the skin on your body is normally quite pliable and elastic.  It stretches to accomodate the normal movements of life.  Except when you are burned.

And today, according to Dr. R, I “look pretty good”.  I’m glad it all looks good to him, because it feels awful to me.  Before you tell me to take more medication, know that I am on 600 mg Motrin during the day….can’t do much more than that and still be able to drive and function.  I have finally caved in to the bigger/better/stronger pain medication as soon as I get home and again before bedtime…..thanks again to Dr. R for insisting that I fill the prescription.

Boy, I can’t wait for my skin to get over the radiation.  Maybe by Christmas I’ll be able to move again without pain.

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