15 completed out of 30
These will be my radiation statistics starting this Friday. I'm half done. Radiation destroys any wandering "C Bomb Cells" that may be lurking in my breast tissue.
Monday through Friday I drive or bike to the cancer center, scan my 'radiation card', undress, robe up (sometimes I shed a tear in the dressing room) and sit in the waiting room until I am called. Usually there are other women there. We both know what the other's robe means and we sometimes have a short chat.
"How far are you?"
"Any side effects?"
One of us is called out and the short conversation is over...I always send a silent blessing to them.
I walk down a short hallway past monitors labeled "Linear Accelerator" that measure and align before approaching a large alien machine that looms over a metal table. I nestle into my custom headrest and raise my arms over my head...and breathe. On the ceiling is a scene that looks like Holland....an attempt at peacefulness with a myriad of tulips surrounding a quiet pond. Above that is a cross, (or perhaps a plus sign), with 2 green lights that come out of it. I am gently moved by the technician so the radiation beams will line up with my 4 tattoos (one on each of my sides, one at my incision and one in the middle of my sternum). The radiation tech leaves the room and the "alien arm" sends out a buzz for perhaps 30 seconds. The "alien" then moves around my body in order to zap the other side. I watch the reflection in the moving alien as sharp edged green lines move across my body. There is another buzz accompanied by a sound that is stronger and more intense like waves are being shoved out of the "alien". There is no physical pain, although I usually shed another tear during my stillness.
The tech returns from the safety of her room , lowers the table and I am able to leave...having been 'zapped' one more time.