Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Down to the Wire

I cannot believe I have made it this far. Tomorrow is my last day of radiation. My last day! I never thought I would say this, but I will actually miss the people that I have seen every day for the last 6 and 1/2 weeks. I have had the same 3 or 4 techs every day and they are wonderful. They could spend the 10-15 minutes that I am in there just working and ignoring the patient, but they don't. They talk to me every day, remember things that we have discussed and ask questions about my life.

At Valley, they have valet parking for the radiation patients. Every day the same 2 valets wave me in, take my keys and take care of my car. They know me now too. Most of the time they just let me park myself! They know not to send my car very far because I will only be 10-15 minutes. Collectively they have made an experience that could have been really miserable, something that wasn't that bad.

I will miss them, but I will not miss having an appointment every day. I will not miss being reminded every morning that I am STILL fighting cancer. I will not miss driving the extra 25 minutes every day and having to ride a different bus because there is no room at the park and ride at that time. I will not miss the red peeling skin under my arm.

I had heard that people who don't have to do chemo think that radiation is tough to do and people who do chemo think that radiation is easy in comparison. Radiation is not easy. It causes skin redness and itchiness, sometimes blisters and a low-grade fatigue all of the time. That being said, radiation was a walk in the park as compared to chemo. It is a completely different type of fatigue. I still function very normally with the possible exception that I go to bed a little earlier and feel tired by late afternoon. The only other thing for me is that I have Restless Leg Syndrome and have had it since I was young without knowing what it was. It is something that makes you feel like your skin is crawling and you must move your legs to get it to stop. I generally feel this when I am tired so having a low-grade fatigue all the time means for me that my legs are going crazy almost all the time.

I'm lucky. I know I am. Some people have much more intense side effects that I have had. My radiation doctor and the techs tell me all the time that my skin is amazing and resilient. God might have given me cancer, but He also gave me very good health, strength beyond what I thought I had and resiliency. He also gave me love and support from many different directions. We did it! All of us!


Anonymous said...

Yay! I am so happy for you! What a journey so far and you did it! You are amazing. Time to celebrate!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Tracy!! Thanks for your encouragement and 'doses of reality' along the way. You have been a champion of expressing what many of us felt but were (perhaps) not articulate enough to convey. Wishing you continued good health and a never-ending optimistic outlook on life.

All the Best! Rickster