Whoo hoo! Radiation treatment is finished! When I got home after treatment this morning I did a song and dance about being finished radiation because I was so happy.
In all my excitement about finishing treatment, I forgot to take my morning painkiller and I am paying for that now with pain and a woogly back. It's not the end of the world but I do feel like an idiot - I can take care of myself, really I can. Really.
Today's treatment went really, really well. I didn't have to be told to breathe deeper at all and I did a great job of holding my breath. I made sure to fully relax after they got me into position, before they started treatment, and between breath holds. It turns out that all that meditation and mindfulness training I did comes in handy!
I didn't do anything crazy to relax - there was no "breathe in through one nostril and out through the other" (although I can do that). I just closed my eyes and imagined myself being heavy and sinking into the surface... as if I was lying on a towel on a sunny beach. Then I imagined the CT scanner "whoosh-whoosh" around me and imagined myself sort of rocking and floating to that noise - kind of like I was rocking in a straight hammock and on a magic carpet. Weird, I know, but somehow that worked for me.
When I finished the nurses told me that the radiation will continue to affect me and that I can expect side effects like difficulty swallowing due to radiation affecting the esophagus and fatigue. I told them about the prescription I didn't wait for and they said it would be in my file so when I need it to just call in and ask them to send it to the pharmacy. They also said to listen to my body and sleep when I need to.
I am very, very tired. Some of that is undoubtedly the forgotten painkiller, and some of it will be having gotten up for my 7am appointment, but there's a component of it that feels like radiation fatigue. I slept for a couple of hours this afternoon and when I'm done this I'll be having another nap.
My throat is also a tiny bit sore and I can feel that there's some rawness when I swallow. I'm not having real trouble yet but if it gets too much worse I'll need to get that Magic Mouthwash prescription filled.
My sternum is also very tender to the touch and hurts if I put any pressure on or near it - even wearing a seatbelt is a bit uncomfortable. I expect that to get worse before it gets better.
I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing and how much I'm affected by side effects. I don't expect to post every day but I hope to provide an update every other day or so.