Before radiation started last week, I had a practice session or what they call a simulation. This is where I went in, they marked me up so the lasers would aim at the right spots, they made a mold for my body so I won’t get out of line while on the table and they took a CT scan to make sure they were right. These were my thoughts. These were my same thoughts after my first treatment too. Nothing really changed those two days. Both sessions seemed to take forever. My arm fell asleep. My body itched and twitched. Well, just read about it.
Exposed. That’s the one word that describes my radiation therapy so far. Monday as I lay in a cold room on a hard table exposed, I alternated between nervous laughter and deep breathing. There were pictures. Lots of pictures.
There were questions. Lots of questions. Questions in the radiation room are asked while maintaining strict eye contact to ignore the obvious. Technicians switch gears to medical jargon and scientific mumbo jumbo. That is my cue to clench my eyes tight and try to avoid the uncomfortableness that comes from having four men and eight eyes and hands examining my slightly mismatched sisters as I lay there. Exposed.
The doctor explained in medical terms my treatment. Intermediate dose to a fairly large area that will miss my heart and only radiate part of my lungs. High dose electronic beam to the tumor bed. Lasers pinpoint the exact spots that are to receive the healing poison. Permanent markers and waterproof tape mark the boundaries where the lasers are pointed to expose my body to one of the only known causes of sarcoma. Radiation exposure. Except only this will heal it too. Exposed.
In a word, I’ve wrestled with only one fear about radiation. Exposure. The poison that kills this beast also causes it. That’s where my brain’s been in a tiff.
Monday as I entered the hospital, met the staff and visited with Dr. Z one more time, I felt peace. Deep peace. I reminded myself some simple facts that laid the groundwork for peace. These hard facts made the hard choice easy for me. Choose trust.
I fought hard to get to this place, one of the best high volume sarcoma clinics in the nation. I fought hard to get the opinions and treatment these expert doctors give. I’ve chosen to grab hold of the knowledge of these experts and rest in the fact they know sarcoma like no other doctors. I know that all I am exposed to has passed through the hands of my God and I can grab hold of the faith and hope that offers. I have exposed my fears before Him and laid them at His feet just as I laid on that cold, hard table. Exposed.
Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about… then guide me on the road to eternal life. Psalm 139:23-24