Friday, January 14, 2011

My First Week of Radiation

I am having external radiation treatments Monday through Friday at the Coastal Cancer Treatment Center in Bath.  This machine is a linear accelerator.

The table gets adjusted to fit me as I lie face down with my head closest to the machine.  There are pillows and cloths and an open space in the table between my waist and my neck. I'm moved around until the tattoos (tiny dots on my back and right side) line up with the red laser beams and the table is raised to the correct height.  Then they cover me with a warmed sheet.  Mmmmm.  The machine itself moves down and around me and the radiation comes from the black square that you can see on the top of the machine as it tilts and comes down around my left side.  The entire procedure, from getting on the table to getting off, takes only a very few minutes.  The three women who are in charge of the whole show are Jess, Dawn, and Heather.  They are the best!!!  I also see the nurse Cyndi and one of the doctors, usually Dr. Pryzant or Dr. Godin, every Monday.  I will have thirty-three treatments.  Four down and twenty-nine to go!!!

This is an aloe plant.  I bought two of them, both larger than this one.  I have to treat my skin and keep it moisturized several times a day after a treatment.  My two aloe plants have been blessed and dedicated to this purpose.

I also use a nourishing cream from Elumus.  All of this is to prevent my skin from breaking down, become reddened or tanned.  I guess it's sort of like treating a sunburn before it starts or it gets too bad.

Today was the first day in a long time that I taught a class at Your Maine Stamper.  Seven people came to make valentines--cards and little gift pouches.  Below are my samples:

Sorry the image isn't clearer--problems tonight with my camera, memory cards, and battery power.  The cards they came up with were really lovely.  Many of them used different colored inks or rearranged their card fronts or used different papers for backgrounds.  Many of the layers are pop-dotted up to be more three-dimensional.

 These are the little valentine gift pouches made from recycled toilet paper tubes!  Again, the people in class used these as models and went off on their own using a variety of papers, stamps and inks, ribbons, and embellishments to create their own.  They decorated manila tags to tuck inside each one, too.  Fun!!!
Everybody tells me that radiation makes you tired, not sleepy tired but not wanting to do anything tired.  Right now I feel great and have had lots of energy this week and I think I've accomplished a lot.  We'll see how I do as the treatments progress.  I have another class planned for next Friday and then nothing else scheduled until March just in case I'm overwhelmed by the tireds.  There are no other side effects with this treatment, so it feels like a piece of cake compared to chemo.


Anonymous said...

Yesterday's class was so special and it felt wonderful to have the group back together with you, our fearless leader, at the helm. We love you Anne! -K

Robyn said...

Looks like everyone had fun....