2/28/16

Radiation Begins

Hey everyone!  Some of my friends have been asking about how I'm doing, so I thought I would share a bit of an update.  The final phase of my treatment began last Tuesday.....Radiation Therapy.  The week prior, I had a Radiation Simulation, where "mapping and marking" were done to come up with a "Radiation Plan" that was fitted to my body.  No kidding, my upper right chest, from just below my neck to my waist, looks like "varicose veins".....red, black and purple markings covered with water-risistent tape.  I have to be careful when I shower, no scrubbing.

All of that bright light on my face is from the glorious Arizona sun shining in through the wall of windows in the Radiation waiting area.

This boxy little number on my boxy little body is the latest in radiation attire.  Velcro tabs all the way down the front, make it easy for my radiation therapists, Kaleb & Justin, to expose my "lady bits."  Early on, this might have been embarrassing, but so many "professionals" have viewed my lady bits at this point, I truly don't care.

This is the radiation room and machine that I have each time.  The therapists remain the same as well.  The always have a little step-stool for me to get on the table....I'm short!

The machine is pretty awesome.  The table and machine both move and rotate to get me all lined up with the mapping on my body.  Total time that radiation is actually coursing through my body is less than a minute total, and that's from 3 different locations.

I've become quite good at napping just about anywhere, but I'm not gonna fall asleep on this!  Part of my simulation involved this large gray bag-type thing, that once I was in position, was filled with air that formed a mold of my body.  It's rigid and is covered by the sheet above.  The form is a major part of getting me in the exact right position each time.  It has a label with all of my pertinent ID, & hangs with many others across the back wall of this room.


Four treatments down and 16 to go!  Then I will follow many, many others who have taken this journey.  The ringing of this bell is a tradition, and I am really looking forward to my day.


I truly wish all of you who have been such great cheerleaders for me from my first chemo, through my surgery, and now on to this final phase, could be with me when it's my turn to ring the bell.  I would love to hug you all!

I expect March 21st to be a very emotional day.

I hope this is a wonderful week for everyone!

18 comments:

Debby said...

Thanks for sharing. I never knew what the room would look like. I didn't know the session were that short. I'm sure it seems like hours. I hope the time flies til you are ringing that bell. Hugs and prayers.

Consider It All Joy said...

Carol, the moment I saw the photo of the bell, my eyes Filled with tears of great joy for you and the many thousands who have rung that bell. Please allow me the honor of coming with you on the 21st of March. I would absolutely LOVE to hug your neck! I am going to put it on my calendar and get the information from you in the days ahead! Praising God for His promises and your future! Blessings, Cindy xo

Blondie's Journal said...

You are a trooper, Carol, and you write this with such candidness, never a tiny bit of pity. It's also very informative and makes me feel like I would be a bit more comfortable if I ever had to go through this. Much love and prayers going to you.

I had to laugh about the napping anywhere. I fell asleep in a CT scan...they seriously had to shake me! And I'm a pro at sleeping sitting up in a waiting room. Funny but essential when we are stressed or have a looooong wait!

Jane

Vicki said...

Carol,
Congratulations for surviving this long journey. In November I completed my second journey (the first was almost 23 years ago) fighting colon cancer. I applaud your openness to share with others what you have been and are going through.
I had to laugh about the napping on the radiation table because my first go around I had radiation and would always fall asleep on the table.
Wishing and praying the best for you!

Kim said...

Carol, it has been a long journey and you have been an inspiration the entire way though. I hope you have a bell ringing party when all is said and done. You truly deserve it! xoxo

Maria Elena said...

Well, I can NOT wait until you ring that bell! It will all be said and done before you know it. You are such a strong person and I know you will finish these radiation treatments like a trooper. I can NOT wait for all this to be over for you! xoxo Maria

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I'm so excited for you to ring that bell!!! You will be done with all this before you know it! Still praying and sending lots of virtual hugs to you, sweet lady!

Traci said...

I can't wait to see pics of you ringing that bell!!! As always - lots of hugs & prayers coming your way!

jean story said...

You go girly girl! You're such an inspiration to all of us and such a trooper! Keep up the good work!
Hugs and prayers

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Carol, you are an inspiration and very courageous. I am excited for you to ring that bell. I pray the time goes quickly. My SIL has lung cancer and finds out Friday the steps and how long for her radiation.
Many prayers for you in the days ahead. Blessings and love. xo

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Carol, you are an inspiration and very courageous. I am excited for you to ring that bell. I pray the time goes quickly. My SIL has lung cancer and finds out Friday the steps and how long for her radiation.
Many prayers for you in the days ahead. Blessings and love. xo

Lady of the Manor said...

Thanks for the update! You're in my prayers, lady. I know you'll be ready to ring that bell in a couple of weeks!

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Carol, what an inspiration you are. I can totally relate, as I fought my battle for ovarian cancer twice and thyroid cancer. I did share the machine as well. You are a trooper and I appreciate your honesty and tough road you have traveled. Ring that bell soon! hugs.

Debby Ray said...

Wow...thanks for tour of the radiation suite. I never dreamed so much went into that treatment! Modern medicine is truly remarkable, isn't it? If I ever get sick, I want your attitude...you are truly an inspiration, Carol!

Ramblings of a Southern Girl ~ Rhonda G said...

So glad you are on your last leg of this journey, and the sound of that bell is so near! :) You have been an inspiration to all! ~Rhonda

Feral Turtle said...

Yay for March 21 Carol. Hoping that these treatments fly by with no discomfort! Cheers to one of the most positive people I know! Big hugs to you Carol.

Poppy @ With a Dash of Color said...

Thanks for keeping us posted, Carol! I can't wait to see you ringing that bell! You are a true inspiration:) Keeping you in my prayers ~ warm hugs, Poppy

Neil Black said...

Happy for you to have rung the bell! We all here essaykings.co.uk consider you to be a courageous woman. Therefore, we wish you to come through this transient period successfully. You are going to be alright)))

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