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After our beach trip to Fort Morgan, I went home to start my radiation treatments.

Before I began treatments, I had my port removed on January 16th. It was in a tight spot and was painful. I was glad to be rid of it.

I loved my radiation oncologist. He had gone to high school with one of my brothers-in-law, so I had known him previously.

We met to discuss my treatment on November 29th, and then I went again to have my markings on January 14th – the places where they would send the radiation.

I had 33 treatments – I went every day Monday through Friday, beginning January 21 and ending early in March. The final week they did what was called a “boost”. It was a much heavier treatment and left my skin burned.

I was not sick like I was with chemotherapy, but I had severe fatigue. I had several different people drive me to radiation, because I was so weak.

A typical day for me would be to sleep until about 2:00 in the afternoon, get up and shower, and be at treatment by 4:00. After treatment, I would come home, eat dinner, and rest on the couch until time for bed. I was wiped out.

A radiation treatment began with signing in and waiting. When they called my name, I went to a lower level and put on a gown. I waited to be called. At this time, they walked me down several levels, where I was put on a narrow bed. They lined up the markers with lasers. They left the room, and for about 20 minutes I was given radiation on my right chest quadrant.

radiation

lymphedemia therapy_rThis process was complicated by the fact that my right arm was heavily bandaged to reduce the lymphedema swelling so that I could wear a compression garment. I had to hold that arm up over my head while they treated that quadrant. The arm was heavy, and it was hard to rest it during treatment.

I remember that they played country music during the treatment, which was fine with me, because I am a fan.

After the 20 minutes ended, an assistant would come and help me get off the bed. I would get dressed and head home to eat and sleep and start all over again.

My treatments ended March 7th. I thought it was over except for treating my lymphedema in my right arm.

Unfortunately, there was more to come.

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