Nurse Robin provided a tour of the facility and guided us through what to expect once treatment begins. I got the usual height, weight and blood pressure junk out of the way and then she took my picture. I’m always the one behind the lens, so this took me by surprise. Was this a “before” and “after” to gauge how radiation treatment is going to change my appearance? Robin said it was to help identify patients …. Okay, I can live with that.
Another new and cool idea is a swipe card. Instead of registering at the front desk each day, just come in, swipe the card, and someone will be right with you. Now ….not to lose the card.
I’m getting a tattoo! I know, can you believe it? After all these years, my first tat! Actually, I get 3 ~ They will put small marks on my skin to mark the treatment area. Okay, so the tattoos are about the size of a freckle but will remain on my skin for the rest of my life. That counts, right?
I get to make a body mold! Well, at least of my back. They explained that it is very important to lay still for the local radiation to be concentrated on the exact area to be treated. Once I’m tatted up, I will lie on the radiation table and a plaster form will mold my back. Then, I will lay on the mold so everything lines up each time. Note to self: I wonder if I get to store it there or do I have to bring it with me each time?
After I put on my ball gown, I will sit in a waiting room with other patients until my turn comes. No jewelry, band-aids, powder, lotion, or deodorant. Soon, I should be able to French braid my one unshaven armpit.
There will be side effects such as fatigue, red, tender, itchy sunburned skin. They will provide Aqua4 and other petrol based creams to help. After it is all done, I will be susceptible to sunburns all over, so I’ll need to wear a sunblock.
Important: Keep hydrated and keep the humor.