Oct 31

1/30 – The Hulk told me I was a spectacular Breath-Holder

My first day of radiation was also Halloween. While I checked in with the receptionist, a woman in a full Cinderella gown came to take a picture in the waiting room next to the grand piano. I waited for my turn by watching all the various technicians walk by to get halloween cake. I learned that black boots + black leggings + an accessory = hospital halloween costume.

At exactly one o’clock, Robin Hood (accessories: plastic bow, felt hat) came to get me. She gave me my barcode sticker that will allow me to check myself in next time and go directly to the Blue Waiting Room (which is not nearly as nice as the main waiting room).

She also gave me a gown and told me to strip from the waist up. It’s kind of stupid. They should just make you go straight into the radiation room and strip there, because as soon as you lie down on the machine, they take away your gown and you lay naked from the waist up til you are done. Today, I did this for an hour and 10 min. The room is the temperature of a beer fridge. Made me glad I don’t have nipples anymore.

As it was the first session, there was a lot of adjusting to do, finding the perfect position (totally uncomfortable) and practicing my deep breathing. At some point, The Hulk (accessory: green sweater and green face paint) came to command me on my spectacular breath-holding abilities. A Wood Nymph (accessories: top decorated with plastic leaves) asked me if I was a swimmer. I assured her my breath-holding abilities were stress related, not athletic.

Eventually, Warrior Princess (accessory: lots of crisscrossed belts) and Kittykat (accessory: cat ears) came and drew all over me with Sharpies. I had been told no markings, but they tell me this will speed things up the next time. Which means, no showering for now, at least not tonight. I can’t imagine these marking lasting til Dec 13.

So I’m home now. I didn’t ‘feel’ anything. I don’t see anything on my skin yet, other than a lot of markings all over, front and back.


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  1. nance

    I was wondering how it went. Sorry about the sharpie

  2. R

    I laughed out loud with the nipple comment!!!

    1. outrunningthecloud

      yes. the absence of nipples is a plus, for once!

  3. Steph

    I LOL’d at the nipple comment, too! Glad the first one is done. Thought about you all day.

  4. Joanne

    I would find it hard to trust any medical professional dressed like a trick of treating toddler. Or stripper.

    1. outrunningthecloud

      I will be very honest with you, when i was in the waiting room and they were having the halloween cake in their costumes, I was quite uncomfortable. it was my first session, I was nervous and alone and they were having a party. But at one pm sharp, they put on their lab coats over their costumes. And when they came to get me Robin Hood was very quick to apologize for looking so silly on such a serious day. Oh, and I had half and Ativan while I was waiting. so I cared less.

  5. Liz

    one down. I figure every one that isn’t bad is a good thing (actual quote from my grandmother: if I don’t have a bad time, I’ll have a good time).

    I hope it gets smoother and easier.

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