|FULL of surprises.|
Radiation. That's where left off about a month ago, right? I was making light of being bare-chested in front of various strangers and bragging about my 4 new tattoos, just as giddy as someone who doesn't know what's about to happen can be.
Kind of like those first two kids who got killed in Friday the 13th. Remember them? Weren't they the couple that was about to go at it in bed when they got run through from below? They for sure didn't know what was coming.
That's pretty much how I was, back at the end of April. No idea.
OK, I make things sound awful, and we'll get to that in a minute, but it's not all that terrible. I mean, I've gotten used to being topless a lot more easily than I thought I would, and can position myself on the treatment table pretty efficiently anymore, and the radiation techs and doc are nice and all. OK, so what does it matter that they've all seen mah bewbs? It doesn't.
Lesson learned. Boobs ain't all that.
Now to the unpleasant 'lesson learned' part, which is: do NOT believe anyone if they try to tell you that radiation isn't so bad. They are LYING, if my my 4 weeks of experience (2 more weeks to go, if you're interested) is any barometer.
I thought things wouldn't be so SO bad in the first week, because there didn't appear to be any noticeable effects at all. Why, this was going to be a breeze! Jason Vorhees lies in wait, not even making the jasonjason noise.
By the start of week 2, lil' gal (my right boob is the smaller one, so this is what she's called) was a tiny bit pink, which is 'normal' according to the doc and techs, so let's just go ahead and treat you more, as planned. It sure feels like we're being watched, doesn't it?
By the end of week 3, it was VERY clear which parts of my chest were being irradiated, as they had turned bright red in a very specific pattern. The bit in my armpit turned a funny color and started to hurt. 'Oh gosh' said the doctor. 'You should do some salt soaks on that and use some steroid creams if it itches and take a pain reliever if you need to.' Jason rises from the corner and lunges across the room, knife raised and ready to strike.
Today is the end of my 4th week of treatment, and here is what's going on: the underboob itches like crazy, it hurts to touch the center of my chest, the whole breast is beet red, the armpit is weirdly colored and painful, the skin is getting rough and feels thick, and every once in a while the nipple sends out a shooting pain with no real provocation. Sis is MAD, y'all. This is for real and happening and I can't stop it and won't someone rescue me?
No, not for at least two more weeks, and guess what? The damage is CUMULATIVE and might even get worse after treatment stops, hun. Jason's going to keep on stabbin', I'm afraid.
Jason is a jerkface.
Two more weeks. Ten more treatments. Keep slathering those moisturizers and don't touch your chest. This too shall pass.
PS - do not GIS 'radiation dermatitis.' Just...don't.