Saturday, March 28, 2009

Radiation Week 1

Cory's spring break coincided with my first week of radiation and he volunteered to drive me to my appointments, so I was anxiously waiting to hear when he was getting to my house on Friday. When he got there it was so nice to see him and get hugs and kisses from him. It always amazes me how we can go weeks with out seeing one another and yet all the love is still there when we meet up again. That is one of the most special things about him, no matter how long its been since we've seen each other or talked, out love is just as strong. He calms me and relaxes me when I am with him. He keeps my head in check and makes sure I know that just cause I have cancer does not put on a pedestal above everyone else. Which sounds mean, but I honestly need to be reminded that I am still a normal person who is fighting something and other people could be fighting something too. Somehow Cory is the person that I look to when I am in need and is able to help me through anything. He arrived Friday night and spent his break between my place and his parents.
I went to work on Monday to distract myself from my first radiation appointment on Tuesday. My nerves were so worked up that I needed a distraction. On the way to work Cynthia reminded me of the plans we had made to eat dinner at this orange restaurant that had been opened months ago and caught my attention with its bright orange paint and ice cream sign. It turned out to be a hamburger place and we never stopped and had talked about doing so the day before I started radiation. So Cory, Cynthia, Gary, and I went out to dinner at this cute 50s style diner all decorated orange. They actually had good greasy food and Gary wanted to be dropped off there to eat breakfast during the week, the mans a sucker for greasy foods. Cory and I spent the rest of the night cuddling and watching a movie.
My first radiation appointment was on Tuesday, March 10th, and my schedule is to have radiation 5 days a week for 6 weeks, meaning I will get my last treatment on a Monday. Cory and I went out to breakfast before my first treatment and then drove over to Ann Arbor, about 30 minutes, pretty much in silence since I was nervous about what was to come. I had no clue what to talk about besides the fact that I was scared about all this stuff going on inside my head.
Walking into the radiation waiting room is odd, since most patients there either older or appear sick. And I walk in as this healthy young girl with her healthy young boyfriend which makes me feel out of place. I went on back to the patient waiting room and sat waiting to be called in. I was nervous the whole time. I ended up helping another patients husband figure out her cell phone and told him if I couldn't help my boyfriend could, but he was out in the waiting room. When I came out Cory told me the guy had told him that I helped him fix his cell phone. I asked Cory how he knew which person in the waiting room was my boyfriend and he said we stand out in there. What a shock, we stand out that much in there!
The first treatment was the longest of them all, since they had to mark the set up points, take x-rays and confirm the points locations. Then I received my first dose of radiation and ended up receiving 4 spots where radiation is delivered. During the entire treatment my eyes are closed so I won't freak out about being locked down. Since my eyes were shut and the lights were dim I could see light in my head while the radiation was being delivered. I texted my friend Rettke about them and he dubbed them fireworks, from the neurons being fired in my head, and I liked it so much that I started considering my radiation treatments firework shows.
After my first treatment I meet with the scheduler and picked out times for the rest of my appointments. The first week the times fluctuated due to openings and the other 5 weeks my appointments were scheduled for the morning. Lastly I was to visit with the doctor and was told to wait in the waiting area for a room to open up. I patiently waited for a half hour then checked back with them and they said to try again on Thursday, since my oncologist was so backed up. So we went home and I worked the rest of the afternoon.
My appointments went well the rest of the week and I noticed that my morning appointment was closer to on time than either of my afternoon appointments. I also got to see my oncologist on Thursday and all was fine only had mild headaches in the evenings thus far and ibuprofen took care of those. I was even capable of going into work on Thursday. I didn't really even start to feel exhausted from the radiation.
The one thing that I did notice during this week is just how irritable and frustrated I am getting from worrying about my cancer and also from my medication. I am such a planner these days that when I plan something and it doesn't turn out how I planned it I don't know how to express my emotions and they just come out as angry or upset. Which is not what I am feeling, but rather disappointment in myself for not being able to make things go according to my plans. I have never been one to be so stuck to plans and am trying to teach myself to relax about planning things and just let them happen as they do. This is damn near impossible though when you are confronting cancer.

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