Thursday, March 25, 2010

Radiation Day 4

I meant to be asleep right now, but clearly I'm not... Internet addict, that's me.

Radiation was difficult again today, and that's because it was Day 5 of my treatment being questioned/doubted/debated by the staff, and no one has explained to me what's going on and they brush off the direct questions that I ask.
Day 1 - simulation, they took films of my chest but didn't radiate me.
Day 2 - They took more films, because I was "so tense" on simulation day that those films weren't valid. (?!) Then they radiate me.
Day 3 - The techs called the physicist into the room "to check the field." The three of them stood there staring at/poking at my chest, in a "hmmm" kind of way, saying things like, "I think it's okay. Yeah, it's okay." Then they radiate me.
Day 4 - The techs called in the radiation oncologist to check the field, and again, the three of them stood there staring, poking, debating. "Should we use the wire?" rad. onc. asked. "No! It's only her third day!" a tech replies in surprise. Then they radiate me.
Day 5 (today) - The techs again seem uncertain about my set-up and again take MORE FILMS, and again call the rad. onc. into the room. He stares again, says to a tech, "Yeah, I see what you mean," and leaves. Then they radiate me.

At the end of today's treatment, I asked the tech, what's going on? Why have I had films 3 times in 5 days, and is that normal? Why does my treatment seem to be under question every single day? She smiled, told me I'd have to ask the rad. onc. those questions, but assured me that everything's fine - he just "modified the field," and they're "just trying to get everything 'just right,'" and once it is "just right," I'll only need films once every 6 treatments. Now I'm wondering, WHY have I been radiated FOUR TIMES if things are NOT "just right" yet??

I'm not getting on the table tomorrow until the rad. onc. gives me some answers and explanations. I'm nervous, because it's difficult for me to be assertive. But I have to do this! It's MY BODY, and it's the only one I've got, and radiation is freakin SERIOUS!! Today, when I was getting onto the table, one of the techs cheerfully asked me, "So, are you a college student?" UM, NO, I'm 31 years old and graduated 9 years ago! Is that why they've all been talking over me, about me, amongst themselves, without ever explaining things TO me?? They think I'm just some teenager?? Oh Hell no. This is NOT going to work for me.

Tomorrow, rad. onc. needs to tell me WHY and HOW the field has been modified, and what it all means, and why he and the techs and the physicist have needed to spend so much time conferencing about my treatment every day. Or I QUIT RADIATION.


  1. Hey hun, just wanted to pass along a piece of advice given to me by someone who has been through the process... make sure they give you a hydrating cream to apply to the area they are radiating, and it should help with long term discomfort. I was told that a good radiologist should have one to suggest if they haven't given you one already, but that if they couldn't, my friend would get me the name of the one she used because it worked very well...

  2. Sending fierce battle goddess-type energy your way, darlin'. You deserve answers, and you can get them!

    Also, wanted to reiterate - LOVE YOU!