I said I would never have tattoos: I have tattoos. Miniscule dots that no one else will notice. Five of them, marking me like a 3D grid for the laser light to line-up and make sure the radiation goes where it needs to starting next Monday morning, March 1st, at 7:30 a.m. On Thursday the 4th my daily appointments move to 11 a.m., every weekday for six weeks. I “set-up” well in the planning appointment. During our first meeting the doctor told me that a bit of my lung may have some scarring from radiation; however, after being set-up for radiation, he said there is a thin layer of tissue between the plane of radiation and my lung. My lung shouldn't be affected. A block will protect my heart from the radiation. I don’t know the details but trust the doctor to make that work. He’s the Harvard grad. I’m not.
My lifeboat of pill bottles is transforming. After a ceremonial Royal Flush, I’ve replaced the prescriptions with over-the-counter pure aloe and My Girl’s Radiation Cream. A little hefty at $25 a jar but said to be well worth the expense in treating sensitive skin after radiation. I’m getting a cotton bra for least amount of skin irritation during treatment.
I’m booking flights to Iowa then on to Florida for our family for spring break in April. I asked my radiation doctor to work it so I’m done by April 15th. He gave me the OK to travel, actually he said, “Of course, you can travel!” I have a list of what to avoid and how to protect the radiated area. Sun cream and clothing to protect against the sun. Aquaphor to protect against the chlorine in pools. Avoid massages in the radiated area.
If I lose weight, I may need to be re-tattooed. Decisions, decisions.
Aunt Charlotte, Mom’s sister and a breast cancer survivor, just emailed to let me know I’m now done with the most painful part of radiation treatments: the tattoos.