Part one of my radiation treatment is complete! Today was my 18th day of radiation – and so ended the regular front-and-back radiation sessions.
By: Robin Harry
Radiation has been a breeze so far compared to chemotherapy. Apart from a bit of trouble swallowing, throat irritation/burning and a cough, I haven’t had any serious side effects, no more than what I’ve reported previously. The fatigue with radiation is nowhere near the level of chemo. The skin on my chest is more sensitive (I definitely can’t scratch it or rub too hard), and I have a lovely circular radiation tan line! All in all, a much better experience.
Every day I feel a little more like a normal human being. My hair is growing back, but slowly and unevenly. It’s different from what my hair was like before. Right now it’s thinner, and it seems to be much straighter, and a little spiky in some places (I’m still hoping for natural highlights). My fingernails are slowly growing back in their normal colour. They got completely black during chemo, but now you can see the white half-moons again (or lunulae for us biology nerds). I’m still 20 lbs heavier than when I started treatment, but I don’t feel as bloated and puffy as I did when I was on prednisone. I feel good, really. I don’t feel very much like a sick person any more.
The only thing that makes me feel sick these days is the mere mention or thought of chemotherapy (and don’t get me started on the sound of an infusion pump!). I don’t think I realized how bad of an experience it was, or maybe it seems worse in retrospect. I’m honestly not sure. I think maybe when I was actually going through it, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, took it one day at a time, and just thought of it as something that needed to be done. Now that it’s over, I’m actually surprised at the memory of how sick I was feeling compared to how well I feel now.
Anyway, that’s over, and I have to make a conscious effort not to dwell on it. Right now, I have Christmas dinner to worry about!