Last week was a whirlwind, on the heels of Sawyer's 5th birthday party, I started radiation on Monday. Jason went with me for my first visit, and the countdown has begun. 20 more!
We have a rockstar parking pass, right outside the radiation oncology entrance and wait for it....it's FREE! Are you amazed?!?!? Parking and free in the same sentence! ;-)
I scan my card, and as long as the screen doesn't look like the picture, I walk to the women's dressing room, change my top half into a gown and then wait in a smaller waiting area. If I am accompanied by another lady, they may wait back there with me, but the gents have to wait in the main lobby.
The machine I use is called the 'artiste,' which is run by three sweet ladies. I get a warm blanket and a pillow under my knees, but my head has to be turned to the left and rests on a pretty hard surface. With arms over my head, I assume my position! They mark the area with paint markers, so the green and pink marks have made for interesting conversation with 3rd graders at school. I can't blame them because it looks like I have drawn all over myself! I explained that it was like a map for the doctors to use during my radiation and they were satisfied! Once I am set, they walk out, closing the door that looks like it should be on a vault! There I am, just me, a huge machine that makes lots of funny sounds and the big guy up above!
The machine doesn't run for long periods of time, one day I could see the screen and it would run for 2 seconds, then 3 seconds and then 6. There is one spot where it seems to run a good 20 or 30 seconds. It moves all around me, but from start to finish (me walking in the room, getting situated on the table, drawn on and then shut behind the huge door) it only takes about 20 minutes.
I never know what to expect until I get there! The machine may be on time, running late, or like Wednesday, it was completely out of commission! Friday's include a "status check" with Dr. Zagar.
All in all, it's not so bad! You sweet folks have been asking what you can do and you know us, we had to live it for a week to see what we might need help with. We always covet your prayers for safe travels, successful treatments, and energy to do it again the next day! Lori's been wanting a "Driving Miss Suzanne" calendar and I think it would be great! I drove myself two days this week and I can do it, but by Friday, I was wiped out and thankful to be a passenger! I will work on updating the care calendar with that info tomorrow. My appointments are at 2pm in Chapel Hill, so we try to leave the house by 1pm to give us plenty of time.
You all continue to bless us by covering us in prayer and supporting us every step of the way! We are forever grateful!
Now it's time to get ready to rinse and repeat for week 2!