I have returned to work full time after my surgery. It is great to be among the living again. I craved the feeling of being normal so desperately. And really for the most part I feel great. The incisions are starting to fade to scars, and I can go for hours sometimes without thinking about this whole ordeal. When I get home at night though, I am exhausted. The kind of tired where your whole body aches. And I watch the clock and can't wait for 9 PM to roll around so I can head to bed without feeling like a toddler. It has only been six weeks since my surgery so this is not unexpected.
But several times over the last week I get to bed and sleep doesn't come which defies all logic. I watch Netflix or cruise the Internet in an effort to distract myself from trying to fall asleep. Most nights I eventually do get to sleep. Tonight is not one of those nights. It could have something to do with today not being the best of days.
Today was my first day of radiation simulation. It is the set-up process to prepare you for radiation. Because my radiation will be on my pelvic area, it requires some awkward nakedness. I basically take my pants down to mid-thigh and lay on a table while various technicians position me, draw on me with markers, and put stickers on me. Sounds like a frat party gone wrong. To add to the good times, a probe was also inserted while I was being X-rayed to ensure alignment within my vagina. Once they felt I was perfectly aligned, a mold of my legs and their position was created so that each day when I lay on the table I will lay the exact same way. I also had a CT scan to confirm alignment. I go back next week for one more dry run before we go live.
A public service announcement for all you ladies out there - have your pap smears. You may hate it, but waiting too long to get a gynecological issue diagnosed can land you where I am now. More people have seen my lady parts over the last two months than I care to count. I would give anything to turn back time and be able to schedule a papsmear for about a year ago. There may have been a chance for early diagnosis and treatment that would not have required radiation and would not require daily nakedness in front of strangers.
Part of me wants to just not do the radiation. I don't currently have cancer. I could refuse treatment. But as much as I want to walk away, I don't want to risk it coming back. The future would hold much worse things for me than five weeks of awkward nakedness, side effects, and probing. And I would be writing about how I should have just sucked it up.
These recent blogs are difficult to write and share. This is the type of thing you don't talk about with strangers and weirdos on the Internet. But I know the power of the Internet. Some woman out there may find this blog and find comfort knowing that she is not alone. Or someone else may read it and get that pap smear they have been putting off. Or maybe my jokes about awkward nakedness will make someone laugh on a bad day. Any of these outcomes make my willingness to share worth the risk of embarrassment.