I had my first radiation treatment today. It was a piece of cake compared with chemo. No needles is definitely something I appreciate. The radiation therapists marked me up and radiated my breast and node area. I didn’t feel pain or warmth or cells jiggling or anything. And then I met with the radiation oncologist. That went well, especially the part when I asked him if I could delay the last treatments to go to Savannah to see Sahkanaga show there. And he said yes! That it would be no problem to miss a few days. It turns out that breast cancer isn’t one of the cancers that requires the radiation route to be followed strictly. Plus, the delay would be of the last treatments. The first 28 radiate a larger area, and the last five focus on the specific area where the tumor was. The doc said that radiating that specific tumor area has been shown clinically to make the biggest difference when the patient is under age 40. So it’s just something that might help with people like me who are quite a bit over 40. And it won’t matter if I don’t have those treatments on a strict schedule. So now I have to hope my energy returns enough by April 6th to drive the six hours to Savannah.
I’m hopeful that I will have the energy, because the chemo fog is lifting, and I’m feeling a tiny bit stronger each day. It’s baffling to me that I could continue getting stronger when my breast area is being bombarded with radiation five days a week, but my radiation therapists and my radiation oncologist assure me that that’s the case. I guess that’s partially the difference between having systemic treatment like chemo that affected my whole body and radiation, which will affect a specific area. The brain fog started lifting a little last week, and I can concentrate better. Not very well yet, but better. I still get tired very easily, and changing the linens on my bed or taking a shower is still a workout, but I can have several “workouts” a day as long as I space them out and rest between them. So now I’m catching up on chores I put off until I felt stronger. I can’t get them all done in one day, but I’m making progress.
It’s another lesson in having no expectations. I got so bummed that I would miss the Sahkanaga showing in Savannah. But I shouldn’t have. I didn’t have the whole picture. I may still miss the showing because so little is within my control. So I’ll just appreciate feeling less foggy and a little bit stronger today. And getting the first radiation treatment in. And having a compassionate friend to take me to radiation today. And hearing the birds singing and seeing the flowers blooming and the trees budding as if it’s spring. They don’t have expectation that spring doesn’t come in February. They just respond to what is. I need to follow their lead.
Addendum: Another note on Sahkanaga. It played at the San Francisco IndieFest last week and was reviewed by Variety. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117947159?refcatid=31