Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 1 & 2 ~

I wanted to keep a journal of what my radiation is like so I can compare the pictures and also see how I'm feeling from day to day. I promise I will write about other stuff too, this is more for me.
So this is how it goes. There are separate dressing/waiting rooms for men and women. The routine is that you go in, pick out a hospital gown, change into it, throw your stuff in a locker, and then go wait with all the other women who are having treatments too. When your turn comes up, the tech calls you back and you verify that it's really you by looking at a picture of yourself on the computer screen. I'm still a little confused about that part...
But anyways, once you get in there, you just lay down on the table and they strap a mask over your face. I don't have a picture of my own mask but here is the closest thing I could find to show you. All the other pictures I saw were of masks that had big net-like holes. As you can see, this one has small holes. I don't know why we didn't get as lucky. The one I wear is white and has no eye holes and no mouth hole. It has a hole the size of a nickel right around the tip of my nose. Gotta breathe somehow! It looks to be flexible but in reality, it is hard plastic. Once you get it on, it's on. They fasten it down like a seat belt in a car all around the head and shoulders. One of these days you'll get to see what mine looks like.

I have no idea what happens after that mask goes on. I can feel the table moving around but I don't feel anything. On my first treatment, I saw flashes of light and the tech said that the machine didn't make any light flashes. When the radiation touches my brain, the brain responds by creating flashes of light. I swear, the human body is so amazing!!
I am not usually claustrophobic but the mask is so tight that I have to struggle to not panic. In my head I say a mantra for that 10 minutes and it gets me through, no problem. It goes like this: "God is good all the time, all the time God is good."
After my first treatment I was fine until I got home. The doctor said I probably wouldn't notice anything until the 3rd week. So maybe it was because I had gone to the dentist that morning but my jaw swelled up so I looked like a chipmunk. It was really painful and I couldn't close my mouth all the way. Therefore, I couldn't eat either. I didn't do anything but lay on the couch and then get up and get in the bed. The next morning I felt much better and could shut my mouth. Imagine that. My jaw was still a little puffy and a bit sore. Here's what I looked like. Wow, my eyes look big! But anyways, I look so crazy in that picture. I had my hair in a ponytail but you can see on the right side (which is actually my left side) how my jaw juts out a bit. I have a chubby face but it's even chubbier in this picture. Why am I looking so scared?! It's hard to take good self-portraits. 

So anyways, I felt better all day. I went for my second treatment and went through with flying colors. I am not posting another picture yet because I look exactly the same!  I will post one tomorrow, day 3.
Good Night.

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