Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Radiation annoyances

Unlike the infusion rooms, there are no volunteers trolling the radiation rooms offering chocolates and massages. The waiting room is fairly stark replete with 5 year old dog-earred magazines. We check ourselves in on a computer, change into our gowns with missing ties, and then wait. I am assigned to Machine 4, which has a lighted scene of the Grand Tetons (named by the French using a slang term for breasts-ha!) on the ceiling for me to stare at. Occasionally I am shuffled to other rooms instead-one that has a scene of the tulip festival or another with no scenery pictures but a CD player that yesterday played Tony Bennett hits. I know the other people assigned to Machine 4 (there may be 6 or 7 machines-hard to tell). I arrived on time yesterday and waited and waited. Two people assigned to my machine who have later appointments were taken before me. WTF! I go up to the front desk to make sure I checked in properly-I did. What's the deal? I've been waiting for an hour? The clerk just shrugs. Finally it's my turn and I go to the Tony Bennett machine instead. I ask about how they determine who goes first as there seems to be no system at all here. They mumbled something about how they were actually going to take me early on another machine but that didn't work out but I was no longer in queue for my original machine and then there were problems with this machine..blah, blah. I said there should be some way of telling the patient what is going on and how little we seem to be respected here. In a week I will be finished. I considered just walking out yesterday as I had completed 10/16 treatments. Who knows the magic number? I have yet to see in numbers how radiation helps when one has had chemo. I see numbers only if you didn't have chemo. My breast is hurting more and more and now I have an open sore because I forgot to slather Aquaphor on before going on the elliptical trainer yesterday (I am careful when I run).

I did get a bill for the 2 hours spent on the simulation day-over $10,000. This does not include the rad onc charges.

It rained all day. It was hard to find a moment to let out poor Spud who refuses to perform in the rain. I wasn't going to run anyway as I had my LiveStrong class plus I was very tired. Naomi came as my guest and worked out for a half hour then wanted to eat. I said that I still have my class plus I drove Marilyn so she would just have to tough it out. Marilyn gave me some special hair stimulator substance that her sister sent her. I guess it can't hurt. My scalp feels like my legs do after 2 days of not shaving. I last shaved my legs on Dec. 1 but they are as smooth as if I had shaved an hour ago. The leg, armpit, and moustache hair can never come back as far as I am concerned but I do want my eyelashes and head hair back. Still no oil glands working anywhere. I need to slather lotion all over me daily. Also I have no ear wax and the poisonous apocrine glands have dried up. I could live without those substances too. I wonder what other substances my body is no longer making? Digestive enzymes? Hormones? Blood cells? Who knows? My finger nails seem to growing quickly. One-third is healthy growth then I have the white streaked brown tinted area. The nailbeds hurt sometimes and it feels like if I am not careful, the nail will just fall off. Marilyn lost another nail this week and she hasn't had any poisons since March 1.

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