Thursday, April 11, 2013

scratch an itch

of 30 radiation treatments, the final 5 are what they call boosts.

this means instead of full beam, they target the same dose in the area (now cavity) where the cancer initially resided.

radiation 'kills' (tries to) any potential pesky stray cells that may or may not remain.

you can think of it like a kind of cancer insurance.

the boosts are part of that policy, more coverage, even though the area targeted with dose is smaller, it's more concentrated.

so instead of cancer insurance here, maybe you can think of it as a cancer espresso, rather than a large cancer latte.


the whole set up yesterday was very different, it was a whole new math class.

advanced physics.

i knew it was going to be boost day, i was familiar with dumbo, the bending my knees, raising my arm, turning my head to the left, blah blah blah.

i didn't know that whole set up for targeting was going to take so much longer.

and that i couldn't move.

and that i had to remember how 'very very important' it was that i was perfectly still.

which actually began to hurt after a while, not moving at all in that odd contortionist position on that metal table, under those synthetic lights, breast exposed, gown astray.

i could deal with all of it, bc it was a kind of 'cancer law', but when my skin started to itch, all bets were off.

then it got a little nuts.

you know how when toddlers are learning to use the bathroom by themselves, and they begin to respond to their own prompts, causing you to clue in, and say, do you need to go potty?

and they say yes, how did you know?

and you knew bc you saw certain squirmy type movements, that fine line.

i must have been putting off that physical vibe, bc one of the techs asked me, 

do you have an itch?

i said yes!

she said where?  your nose?

i said no, my breast.

it was an understatement in the extreme, my burned and scaly skin was on fire with itchy fire ants at a poison ivy palooza.

i was hoping she'd give me an itch pass, a kind of poison ivy fire ant furlough, i'd been perfectly still for so long by then.

i was like a prisoner trying to convince a guard, let me out for one second, i promise i'll walk right back in my cell.

i said can i please scratch it?

she said no.

 i'll scratch it for you.

oh now that was a challenge.  she took a kleenex, and brought it over the horribly itchy by now field.

have you ever tried to give direction to anyone on where to scratch your breast?

have you?

it's a challenge, believe me.

here?  she asked.

i said no.

she said here?

i said no.

down toward my rib.  in the center.

that's pretty clear, but not clear enough i suppose.



tell me if i'm getting warmer or cooler.





but was it?


that was almost as frustrating as the itch itself.  

25 down.

4 to go.

that's less than 5.


xx katy

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virginia, United States