Radiation roulette

Last radio session
Last radio session

I am currently rat-wheeled into my radiation regime, 25 sessions in all. There is no pain during the procedure.There is the usual discomfort of disrobing when everyone else is clothed. I’m not however, advocating that we all ‘get natural’. It is just yet another humiliation along this road to recovery, that defines you as a patient, before all else.

The radiation technicians are focused and kind, and I bless all of those that resonate to the rhythm of numerical intelligence. Radiation treatment, is mainly a mathematical calculation. Prior to radiation, three small tattoos in the form of blue dots were inked, on either side of my breast and one in the middle.

The radiation process involves aligning the beam within the parameters of these tattooed markers. The objective is to maximise coverage of the rays, to the targeted site and spare vital organs that don’t need to be radiated. This is not fail proof and some portion of heart and/ or lungs are hit, though measures are taken to do the least damage possible. Reassured yet?

The room is large, white and cold. A steel metal bench, with padded arm cuffs and moulded leg support awaits. Unlike an MRI donut, you are not encased. The beam rotates around you, in sync with the computer program and in small precise movements it delivers, the dose of radiation, like an award winning technique of colouring in. It is over quickly after four separate firing adjustments, that is until tomorrow.

My stamina which was shattered by my recent chemotherapy regime, was slowly being restored through regular exercise, solid nutrition and adequate rest. Three months later, post chemo, after only 5 radiation sessions I have an increased aching under my arm and tiredness has again begun to haunt me. I no longer resist the reality that it will take at least 7 weeks post radiation to recover base line stamina, and chase fatigue from my shadow.


2 Replies to “Radiation roulette”

  1. Hi Te,
    It’s Lyn Pitts here, I met you whilst we were both waiting for our radiation.
    Your blog is fantastic, and what you write about resonates with me. When I spoke with you the other day, I left feeling “thank goodness someone else thinks as I do!”
    I’ve signed up to follow your blog, it’s the first time I’ve ever done anything like this and I await your next blog with excitement!!!
    Many thanks for making me feel better in myself and also for making other people feel better too from reading about your “journey”
    No doubt we will see each other again in the waiting room with our capes on!
    With kind regards


    1. Hi Lyn,

      Thank you very much for your wonderful feedback. I often post to my Facebook account and friends comment here instead of on my blog. Always good to meet a kindred spirit. Hope to see you at Dot’s Place soon and if not wrapped in an attractive blue and white striped robe. Kind regards.


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