Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Somebody get me a compass, I'm getting mapped!

Exactly one month from when I originally refused treatment, I am back at the radiologist's office.  It is also my 9 year American wedding anniversary.  (I was married in Morocco the year before this.)  My husband goes with me.  Such a romantic way to celebrate - not!  I see the doctor, we discuss all my fears once again so my husband can hear them first hand.  I want to know if we can still have sex, if the radiation will affect him and cause him to have two heads or if he will have glow-in-the-dark penis if we do, long term affects of radiation to my body, the short term affects, vaginal shrinking, nutrition, the damage to my bladder and colon, the duration of the entire treatment.  He tells me it will be 5 weeks of daily treatments and 3 weeks of internal, those being 2 hours or more each visit.  He goes out and gets this dildo looking thing with a tube on the end the radiation will go into.  He tries to make it all better by saying I can bring in a dvd of my favorite movie!  Great, how humiliating it is to be sitting with your pants off on a table, now I have to be observed with a radiation dildo in me for two hours also.  Why not bring in porn?!  We listened to his explanations to all my questions and his orders to have as much sex as possible - it's a "use it or lose it" situation.  If there is too much shrinkage, he will prescribe a vaginal stretching dildo to take home with me and use in the privacy of my own home.  So surprised to hear that isn't another task the technicians are going to do for me. I am given a gown and taken to the back.  I meet the technicians, Rina and Kevin. 

I am laying down in yet another Stargate looking machine while they move around the room doing this and that.  So many other things I wish I was doing at this very moment than this.  I don't want radiation, don't know how these thoughts effects the treatment if I am so negative about it.  Kevin comes in to explain he is going to "map" me so that they can radiate only the specific area they will be targeting.  He tells me he will be tattooing me with three little dots.  I tell him my son was one of the best tattoo artists on the West Coast and I wouldn't let him put one dot on me - let alone three - and now I am willingly submitting to these tattoos that will always be a reminder of this very day.  They mark my dancing hips and my sacred vessel with tiny black dots that look like moles.  Good thing I have freckles everywhere.  They blend right in.  They also bring in a large blue pillow and place it under my feet, ask me to get real comfy and they blow up the bag and it hardens.  It will hold my legs in place and keep me still during my treatments.  They lube up a tampon and let me know they will be inserting it to take measurements.  I'm laughing and joking with them the entire time as I am fully embarrassed by the process.  Little did I know they can hear and see everything outside the room and my husband is waiting behind this curtain in the hallway, listening to every word I say.  He tells me the doctor comes by and observes me behind the curtain in the hallway.  Fortunately no one can see me but they can hear every crazy comment I make.  Hey, why not make their job fun?  I'm sure they deal with freaked out patients all day long.  I'm not getting treated today, this is only the preliminary stuff and they assure me treatment will go much quicker than it took to map me.  I decide on a location and they check on a time for my daily appointment in an office location closer to my work.  I was hoping to do it around 4pm each day and go home from there, maybe take a little nap then get up and cook dinner.  The office closest to my job is only open until noon so I have to take a 10:30 appointment and would be back to work by 11am.  Oh well.   I'll take it as my lunch and still be back to cover my co-workers when they leave for lunch.  I'm all set.  I start next Wednesday with very low external doses building up over the next 5 weeks. 

I'm walking down the hallway with my folders of information, my appointment card, and wave goodbye.  I feel defeated that I have to do this and not fight it like I want and should on my own.  I feel I can beat this, it's two teensy, weensy tumors for goodness sake.  I settle in for a fight of a different kind.  I'm still anxious and scared of what's to come next week but for right now all I want is the next few hours with my husband at dinner, discussing our wonderful wedding and reception 9 years ago and the real reason I fight.  We have an Italian dinner close to home at a restaurant overlooking the Vegas Valley.  We watch the sunset and all the lights come up.  No more discussions tonight about cancer.

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