Fun in the Sun
The radiatin treatments began yesterday at 6:00 am. I was woken at 5:15 to take my pre-meds. I didn’t fall asleep until 1:00 the night before and I was also awake for meds at 3:00. So far I have had 3 treatments with three more to go. I am halfway through my prepaid tanning appointments. I slept all morning after my treatment and people were starting to get worried but I just needed the rest.
So, what does it feel like to lay under a minor nuclear reaction? Radiation takes 2 hours because they used a block to shield my lungs. Little metal replica of my lungs were made from x-rays. These were hung on a clear screen halfway between the light and me. Placement and size needs to be precise. A physicist was there to ensure accuracy. He looked exactly like what a university physicist would look like. Tallish, neat beard, bow tie, sweater vest, nice herringbone slacks that are an unfortunate 1 inch too short. I wore my shorts and nothing else while I froze on the table during treatment. I am connected by wires and diodes running everywhere and it takes quite some time to get them . I don’t feel anything during other than discomfort from holding the same position for so long.
Back In my room I was starting to feel queasy and headachy but was able to eat and take a shower before collapsing in bed with a massive vomiting migraine. The nurse reminded me that after showers I have to use Sage cloths to wipe down my whole body. I know they sound herbal and soothing and natural but they are not!
They are SAGE brand thick paper cloths soaked in chlorhexidine
You use these after you shower to remove any remaining bacteria or fungus. These burn! Even after they dried I felt like I needed to claw my skin off. The transplant doctor was in and said that I can probably skip them because my skin is already so irritated from the Kepivance and radiation. My skin is red like a sunburn and swollen and puffy in some areas and tender to the touch. We are doing a patch test in the morning on my inner arm to see if it’s an allergic reaction to the chlorhexidine. I have prescription Eucerin cream which is calming to my skin and a nice male nurse rubbed it on my back for me. Jeffrey hates lotion so I knew better than to ask him to do it. Cool washcloths and Eucerin cream seems like enough although I have to get up early to wash it off before my radiation treatments in the morning. I was told greasy lotions on my skin during treatment would be like wearing Cisco to lay out in the sun. That would be a good description of how I feel after treatments. I feel like I passed out on the beach in Mexico after drinking too much tequila.
I have been successfully completing my one goal of 4 times daily oral care. I know the bathroom is right next to me and I have nothing better to do but it takes a lot of effort to get up and go through the process. I have to use sterile water from a bottle sort of camping style for brushing and rinsing my mouth and toothbrush. My platelets are too low to use floss but we use Biotene mouthwash after brushing. I’m doing what I’m told in order to prevent mouth sores.
Yesterday I ate: 1 serving honey nut Cheerios, Gatorade, a cherry Popsicle, Wild Berry boost and Pirate’s Booty for a snack. The red popsicle and boost juice freaked out the nurse when it came up bright red. It looked like blood was a possibility so she was relieved when I showed her all that I had eaten.
Today so far I’ve eaten one hard boiled egg, 1/4 of a bagel, apple juice, 1/2 piece of bread with peanut butter and a Gatorade. I’m trying for more protein for healing ability.
Exercises yesterday: 15 minutes exercise bike, walks around the halls, a few leg stretches in bed.
Exercise today: walking to kitchen to get my own food, 15 minutes exercise bike and elastic strap for arm exercises.
X marks the spot for radiation. My body is covered in sharpie X’s and graffiti. I also got a new central line that had 3 lumens. It’s an upgrade from my old one.