Today I had my final radiation simulation – tomorrow we go live.
This appointment went much better than Monday’s session. We literally walked through exactly what would happen at each appointment. The process is pretty streamlined. There is a small waiting area for the radiation patients, and it has a computer where you can do self-check-in. Next you can go ahead and find a dressing room to put on a gown. I am lucky in that I only have to undress my top half. So I can show off all kinds of great footwear during my radiation.
Today, the technicians did some calibration (i.e., table height, centering, alignment, etc.) as well as documentation, which translates to writing all over my neck and chest with black marker. Luckily I can wash off all but one marking which is luckily normally covered by a shirt. They did give me a butterfly sticker to help preserve the marking.
As I was lying there in my mask, they also gave me some fabulous news. They are giving me the 7:30 AM timeslot for the duration of my treatment. This has relieved quite a bit of stress for me – I was very worried about trying to leave work each day at 2:15 to make an afternoon appointment. This makes me sound like a workaholic. I’m not really, I just long for normalcy and to be able to really contribute at work again.
I feel pretty calm about radiation. From my understanding, side effects won’t really start until around the second week. And even then, they are primarily localized to the neck and chest. My biggest concern is fatigue. I am hoping to just truck right through this without a bunch of down time. I will listen to my body and do what I need to do, but in my opinion positive thinking can go a long ways in how you feel.
The 18 day countdown to the end of treatment begins. Geez, that’s shorter than one cycle of chemotherapy. I can do this!