A zap in a zip & Me
Posted February 16, 2010on:
I wish I could take credit for the expression, a zap in a zip, but I did not coin that term for speedy radiation.
How fast is radiation? I was done with treatment on Friday before my appointment was scheduled to begin – and yes I did not feel rushed. We chat and they make sure everything is lined up and, of course, they check my name and birthdate each time to make sure I’m not getting radiation for prostate cancer instead of breast cancer. (I don’t even have a prostate.)
We are asked to arrive 15 minutes early. As I walk into the cancer center waiting area, a receptionist hands off a beeper almost like a baton in a relay.
I hang up my coat, sit down, open my book and within a page I am beeped to go back and change into a gown for the treatment. Sometimes the therapist is there ready to take me in the radiation room as soon as I walk out, gown flapping in the back. The thrills are not so cheap though, I’m allowed to keep on my jeans.
Other times I’m able to finish that page I started in the previous waiting room, but not much more.
It takes longer to adjust my body making sure that laser lights are matched to my tiny tattooed dots than the actual treatment. I commented yesterday that they didn’t give me much time to read. “That’s better than having too much time to read,” a therapist responded. True.
With treatment five days a week, I have wondered about what to wear. When you love fashion as much of me, it can be troubling whether to wear the black jeans or the blue.
My outfit today was so Monday. I mean the therapists see Monday’s gown on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Now about that zippy zap: It was a fellow Amtrak passenger-turned friend and Facebook Scrabble player who dubbed the term zap in a zip after I described how fast radiation is.
It takes far longer to find a parking space than it does to get treated. When I said that to a cancer center volunteer, she asked if I had a special parking pass available for radiation patients.
I didn’t. I had heard rumors of such a pass existing, but had not been offered one. Anyway, considering I walked 3.8 miles on Monday and 3.3 miles today, I am not in need at this point of a close parking spot. Others would have greater needs than me.
If radiation wears me out as it goes on, I’ll reconsider.
In the meantime, I’ll zip in and out for my daily zap.