I went for my CT scan on Friday to “map” the area they will radiate or is it irradiate for my therapy. The radiation therapist was terrific, efficient and supportive. Instead of giving me one of those blue and white faded gowns, ties askew, nasty things, saying–take off everything from the waist up, open in the front… she took me over to a rack. She explained there is a group of women who make these special velcro tops/shirts for radiation patients. They look like a scrubs top but there are two velcro strips in the front, top to bottom, you simply strip off when you need to have your radiation. They went from size XS up in lots of bright colorful cotton materials. She said “choose one and it is your personal top, bring it home and bring it back with you each day for radiation. Instead of the awful gowns, you’ll have your own shirt.”
What a pleasant change. I put it on and she did her thing which consisted: on my back under the “machine”, settling my head into a scrunchy pillow, my head turned left, my right arm up over my head grabbing a handle, and then inflating the pillow around my head and neck. This impression is how I will lay each time I come in for radiation. She then measured and marked my chest with lines, arrows and dots in different colors. These marks will be replaced by five tiny dot permanent tattoos exact placement which will be calculated by a group of physicists as to the exact spot to aim the rays. Geez, if I ever wanted to get a tattoo it wouldn’t be five tiny blue dots, it would be something cool and awesome, maybe a burst of peonies, or a picture of Isabel, or me helping to cut up the elk in Jackson. But what do I get– five tiny blue dots. Maybe I can get them to do red…
I get my CT scan and figure in 10 days I’ll start radiation, 6 weeks and I’ll be done with it. Then I can go visit Marge in Florida, and or Revi in Wyoming.
I run a few errands and come home to three messages on my phone. I figure they are from: Josh driving to a meeting (he always calls when he is driving somewhere), an automated voice telling me to switch electric companies (I get at least two a day of those) and the third would be a toss-up between an automated reminder of another doctors appointment for me or Toms reorder of his meds. Oddly enough the automated voice that calls to remind him its time to reorder his meds is this lovely female sing-song voice that says…hellooo this is Curascript, its time to reorder your medicine… That is the sum total of phone calls we get on the house phone. Reason to consider getting rid of that phone, but I like our phone number. I am sure no one realizes, the phone number is 363-KLEY. When we moved here the operator who set it up was a funny guy, tried to get 412-KLE-YMAN, couldn’t but said how about 363-KLEY!!
To my surprise and alarm there were two messages from the radiologists office saying he needed to talk to me asap, not a good thing. I panicked and played the third call. It was my breast surgeon, not her assistant, but she herself letting me know when they looked at the CT scan they saw…at this moment I held my breath and thought more cancer someplace else…and she continued, they saw the titanium clip marker in the lymph node under my arm. It was apparently not one of the sentinel nodes they removed (they MISSED it) and they really should remove it before radiation.
Long story short, after discussions with both docs I need to go in to have this one node removed before radiation. She said they would do it under heavy local sedation and just “pluck it out.” After this minor surgery, I will need to let the scar heal and then go back for another CT scan and marking and then start radiation which looks like it won’t start until mid March.
How time flies when you are having fun, or breast cancer treatment!