I am writing this some time after the whole arduous treatment of radiation is behind me.
When I decided to go through the radiation treatment I bought a shea butter cream and I started to prepare my breast. It felt like a preparation for a battle. I was ready, I guess?
I read articles about secondary cancer risks and I read forums of women who refused to undergo this procedure. I read all this and I read the other side and then I didn’t read at all. I didn’t write. I didn’t look on the internet. I went through it.
I went through twenty consecutive sessions of radiation. I had two days to recover during the weekends and I had one day off for the celebration of July 4th. What a great celebration that was.
Everyday I was driven by mother-in-law to the hospital and sixteen times I was greeted by the nicest man who learned my name on my first day. “I try to make people feel that they matter. And learning their name is a great beginning so that they won’t feel like they are alone and with strangers.” What an idea that amazing guy had!
Sixteen times I was greeted by the machine that had child stickers on it. One of the stickers was a picture of a happy 8 year old girl. These stickers were put there by the children from the pediatric part of the hospital. These invisible children were there, too, lying on the same bed and facing the same machine as me.
Sixteen times I was asked what music I would like to listen during the tretment. Sixteen times I lied there looking at the weird ceiling painted like a kind of a castle.
Sixteen times I was sitting in the waiting room. Waiting and watching all the other patients and I felt that, until then, I was slightly sheltered in my breast center building.
The worst was seeing all the other patients, the sick and the more sick, the invisible children and the two visible ones. I was down. I felt this will never end.
And than came the seventeenth time and I was in a different room with a different machine. I went for a radiation boost when the whole breast is targeted. It went fast, only four times I was looking up at that machine, and then it was over.
It was over and I had burns, but nothing even close to the ones I saw on internet. I was tired, the exhaustion came in waves that made me feel like I need to sit or lie down immediately. And I learned to just let it pass, to go through me like a wave through the ocean. I learned that the exhaustion passes if I just let it.
I bicycled and I tried my best to gain energy. I felt down and then I slowly climbed up. Radiation was tough and it was yet another part of the treatment that seems never ending, but I made it through and I know that everybody is different, just as every mind is different. We all do our best and just push through.