I had my radiation planning session today and they ‘tagged’ me with 3 tattoos that are really like 3 dots. The tattoos make is all very real all of a sudden.
I can say I am definitely freaking out. I thought chemo was hard with only one week in between each session. Radiation is every day except weekends and holidays. It just seems like a lot and overwhelming.
The main side effect of radiation is fatigue. I was warned it would be probably worse than chemo and might come on faster. During chemo I had a few days, especially on my first drug, where in 1/2 an hour I went from really mostly ok to absolutely dead tired. A couple times it happened while on my way home from dance and it was a little questionable. The radiation oncologist told me with radiation the same thing can happen within a few minutes.
I am not sure how to deal with that. I just know that I will.
She is really encouraging me to dance though. Physical activity really helps to keep the energy up, so with a little luck perhaps staying active and dancing will help keep the fatigue away.
I am very worried about how my mood might be during radiation. I was pretty positive during chemo, but there were some days when things were really bad. There were days I was ready to quit dancing and quit everything and just stay in bed until it finished. But somehow I got through them, although I have some great support here to help me out when things got bad to remind me why I do the things I do.
I am still thinking very seriously about taking a break from lessons. I don’t know if I will be the best or even a tolerable student during radiation. Thankfully, because I am a redhead I have very little melatonin in my skin for radiation to react with and cause a rash. First time being a redhead paid off for NOT getting a sunburn. That is a small bonus as it means I *should* be able to keep wearing proper undergarments throughout.
I think the thing that freaks me out the most about radiation is that most of the worse side effects will hit 3 weeks AFTER treatments finish. There is something uncontrollable about that. Like I am just going to get back on my feet and WHAM! I will get hit with super-fatigue. My oncologists thinks it could be 8 weeks before I can really go back to work, although the return to work program will help.
My surgery is 10 weeks after I finish. I can’t imagine just sitting around being tired for 10 weeks waiting for the most major surgery of my life.
It all seems a little too much right now. Not quite sure how I will make it through, but definitely somehow I will.
I just don’t really know how not to be positive and optimistic. It always works out. Even radiation.