This blog was originally written quite some time ago (as you can see by the date below) It's the first of two parts that describes the set up and treatment for my radiation on the right breast. I know I've been promising it for... pretty much ever, so today is my day to get it up :) Hope you enjoy!!
May 26th, 2009 10:00am
Ok... So the good news is that I don't remember all the details about the simulation, so you won't be boring you to tears with facts and junk for the next... oh 10 minutes.
The bad news is that I am going to try to write about everything I do remember. That being said, it is entirely possible that some of the info could have just been imagined in this pretty little head of mine...or I might actually be adding in stuff to make it more interesting for you, the reader (which, now that I think about it, is also good news for you).
Where to begin...
I arrived to my appointment a little late, as traffic in London was horrific and they were just starting construction on the main road. Overall a good start to my day, however, I was going to be heading straight up to the cottage after the simulation, so I didn't much care. (those of you know know how anal I am about being on time know that the previous statement wasn't true).
Anyway, I arrived in one piece, checked in and was guided to a changing room by a very nice woman, we will call Francis. After changing into my gown, I was lead into a room where I came face to face with this-
As you can probably tell, I was to lie on my back, with my right arm up over my head in those little blue and grey cuff like things. The blue foam thing at the bottom of the "bed" was where my legs were to go. Overall, I'd give it a 6 out of 10 on the comfort scale. Not too shabby.
Well, not too shabby until you had been stuck in that position for 30 minutes. That was about the time my hand started to get cold, as the blood was finding the journey to my fingertips rather arduous and it apparently gave up.
After 45 minutes, pretty much my entire right arm was asleep.
The whole time the life was slowly draining out of my fingertips, the techs would come in, measure, move me, measure, move me, measure and walk into the other room only to come back a few minutes later to do it all again. When I was finally in the correct position, I was told not to move. Then the machine started up and made some really loud, funky noises.
When it was finally over, Francis came back in to inform me that now, the tattooing would begin. These would be necessary in order to set me up in the exact same position every time I came in for radiation.
One might think that at a large hospital, they would have a rather sophisticated method of tattooing the radiation dots on the patient. I'm sure you are envisioning the beautiful tattoo gun, shiny and new.
Now, picture a big-ass needle and a container of ink.
Yup, the delicate procedure for my prison tattoo went something like this- 1) Place ink on skin 2) jab skin with needle 3) twist needle, just for fun 4) remove and wipe.
The results look something like this-
Okay, so it wasn't THAT painful. Honestly, my grandmother made it though at 85 years old, it's not that bad.
After the tattooing, I was allowed to leave.
Feeling rather bold, I decided that I wasn't going to wear my head scarf the entire drive up to my cottage. This might not seem like a big deal to most people, but being a 27 year old bald woman, it was a big deal to me.
The reaction was pretty much what I had anticipated, some stared, other acted as if nothing out of the ordinary was occurring. Interesting.