Pinky Pie

Radiation & Me

Posted on: February 2, 2010

The view over radiation is this - panels of flowers.

This is the art at the entryway to radiation.

I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty healthy imagination – especially for the unknown.

I had no idea before I began radiation what it would be like or even what the room in which the treatment is given would be like.

I imagined the bomb shelters that cropped up when we believed the Russians were coming to get us. Another possibility in my mind was off the iron lung machine of the 1940s that treated patients with polio in the 1940s and 1950s. And I also wondered whether I would hear a Geiger counter ticking away in response to the radiation.

None of these things happened. A machine does go around me and it makes a humming sound when it is radiating me, but it’s really not scary. And the sound is short lived. I am given radiation from four directions to make sure every angle is covered.

Radiation  ensures that whatever cancer may have survived surgery and chemotherapy (but hopefully not) gets what it deserves.

The folks who work in cancer care, whether it is chemotherapy or radiation, are absolutely wonderful people. They are upbeat and caring. And they are willing to laugh at my comments.

I have a picture of me on the radiation table because I wanted to show my family. Also, while I hope no one ever needs this service, I want it to give you confidence about the treatment ahead.

I thought today of the Debby Boone song, “You Light Up My life,” which I tweaked it a bit for this latest treatment. I hope Debby – who had breast cancer some years back – doesn’t mind.

You radiate up my life

You give me hope

To carry on

You radiate up my days

and fill my nights with song

And here is a picture.

A random patient in the linear accelerator. Perhaps she can be identified by her shoes.

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