Holy cow what a day…
In anticipation for radiation I couldn’t get myself to sleep last night even though I had enough medication in my body to knock out an elephant! My brain just wouldn’t settle down. I’m told that radiation is a cinch compared to everything else I’ve been through but the thoughts of the unknown were lingering. I didn’t get to sleep until the wee hours of the morning and the second that Kirk left for work and I was alone my mind started up again with the what ifs. I bet everyone’s mind does this every now and then but there are some of us that have had this “what if” question twirling around in our heads since Kindergarten. Consider yourself blessed if you are a low key, go with the flow person because being passionate and willful about everything can be draining at times…a lot of times.
When I finally gave up on trying to fall back asleep this morning, I turned to a book in hopes of occupying my thoughts…it worked…only for a short time but still, I had a break! Next I turned to my stretches. I hate my stretches. All these exercises do is remind me that I have poor mobility in my arms and I just get frustrated and end up pushing myself too hard and being sore for days. I know, it’s my own fault and I can’t seem to get it in my head that the road to recovery isn’t a race track and it takes time. Kirk luckily came home from work just in time to save me from over doing it. We were on the road soon thereafter to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Kirk checked me in, we sat down in the waiting area, and I closed my eyes and imagined my Maui beach in all its tranquility. I was just enjoying burying my toes in the hot sand when I heard “Mrs. Lien?” My beach will just have to wait. I was led to the back rooms where I changed into the ‘one size fits none’ gown and then I entered the radiation room. The walls and door on this room are thick so no radiation escapes and hits anyone…but what about me? What is this radiation stuff really doing to my body? The “what ifs” started up again. First the technicians did X-rays then they drew all over my neck to my waist and numbered each section 1-5. They are radiating 5 sections so it took what felt like forever to even start the first session. The whole time I was getting prepped, X-rayed, and then radiated, my arms had to be over my head. Holding my arms above my head was pretty difficult due to the surgeries and scar tissue, so it was pretty much agony at the last half. Thankfully normal days will only take 10-15 minutes. After my session Kirk joined me in one of the back offices and we were educated on how to care for my skin during the process; special aloe 3 times a day, no deodorant on my right side, fragrance-free soaps and lotions, no sun exposure, no shaving with a regular razor and no wearing underwire bras. That last one I’ve got covered because bras went out the window months ago! I’ll never go back! We left a little overloaded with information and 27 pre-scheduled radiation days and times, but overall it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was told that I won’t start feeling the effects of the radiation for at least 2 weeks so I’m grateful for that. Please keep Kirk and me in your prayers as the rest of this year will be crazy busy with radiation, physical therapy, infusion trips and of course the holidays.
Thank you to those who sent me comments and texts about prayer during my appointment today. I feel loved by so many and it truly makes a difference.