Finishing My Last Day of External Radiation

Me with a few staff members at Florida Hospital Kissimmee Radiation Therapy on my last day of treatment there.
Yesterday I finished my last day of external radiation for my cancer, and I’m so happy to be done.

For the last five and a half weeks, I’ve gone Monday through Friday to have my 20 minute radiation sessions.

Every morning, I partially disrobe in the room as the one or two techs set up the machine. I hop up on the table and get into position. Then I’m pulled, tugged, and taped, so my skin lines up with the marks and I spend the next 20 minutes lying perfectly still as the arms of the machine spin around, radiating my abdomen and pelvic region from all sides.

The first week or so wasn’t too bad. Then the cumulative effects of the daily radiation started causing skin irritation – like a mild sunburn – and my digestive system started to just flush everything out as soon as I ate it, it seemed.

The worst of the effects has been the fatigue. I’m already anemic, but the treatments made it so much worse. I always had to nap after treatments, even if I hadn’t planned on doing so. I’d get home, sit down on the couch, and just pass out, waking several hours later in the same position.

But as of yesterday, that segment of my life is now over. I still have two weeks of internal radiation, starting next week, but no more daily external.

Yay! *snoopy flail*

I’d like to thank the staff at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute Kissimmee – Radiation Therapy for making my sessions go so smooth and for taking care of me on the few bad days.Big thanks to Nurse Mel, Melodee, Melinda, Christy, and Nathan, along with Dr Saunders and Dr Dill, for the first half of my therapy, and Dr Saigal, for the last half.  I think all of them had to see me naked below the waist at one point or another during treatments…two of them are pictured above (Nathan and Christy). They were with me for my last session, so I had to get selfies with them.

Thanks to all of you who’ve given me strength to get through this whole situation and keep up the fight. I appreciate your love and support more than I can say in a blog post.

*mwah*

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