I am called in for my appointment on-time, and introduced to the four computers that will monitor my radiation experience. I see my picture on a portion of the screen of one computer. I meet the Machine. I lie down, and three people work with me. My placement has to exactly match the placement of Tuesday. The part I am on moves under the main part of the machine. Then, that part moves around me. I see that this ceiling has water lilies. There is no Pacman. That was just for practice. Chopin is playing, though I can choose my music each time. They take pictures, and confer with the doctor, and take more pictures. Chopin gets very excited. I can barely hear the voice instructing me when to breathe, and hold my breath. Chopin is exuberant. It is very hard to keep my breath exactly the same, while I am listening to him, but I decide he is better than the other choices. I would hate to start tapping my toes and moving my arm at a strategic part. So, I learn how well they monitor my breath. They tell me when I have not inhaled enough air, or when I inhale too much. It is hard to breathe naturally when being monitored so closely. I feel performance anxiety, and I do okay. I am tattoed, and that is certainly the minor part of the whole treatment. Four pin-pricks and they are done.
The nurse is waiting for me when I finish, and instructs me on the use of lanolin, and answers any questions. I don't smell like a sheep. She also says that I will see the doctor on Tuesdays, and that the doctors, especially Francine, stay with you as long as you need. For that reason, they do not run on time. Ah, I see, and I figured it out with my experience with the machine. They are making the appointments with the idea of an average. The machine is popular. My 30 minute appointment took almost 50 minutes. There is no way to know how it will go. Still, there is only one man in the waiting room when I leave.
Because I am not having the second operation, which all agreed, it seems, makes no sense now, they are going very deeply with the radiation. My radiated space goes all the way around to the back, and way up under my arm. I have a huge space to rub with lanolin. I'm not too thrilled with my huge area of radiation, and once again, it is better than the alternative. This is an important part. So, I am ready for my first treatment tomorrow. What a set-up this has been. They said it takes about three times to feel comfortable. I feel better already just knowing what to expect. I think that is what felt so scary to me. It felt so unknown, and yet, everyone has been so sweet and helpful all along the way, I wonder why I thought that would change. So, again, I deal with fear, and perhaps, next time, I will better know it is fear, and just observe it. I do think though the tears of today were helpful to me, and, also, the continuing support. Thank you!! I am happy and well. : )