Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ruban You Look Radiant!

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Each day, Monday thru Friday (except June 13th), I will be driving to Royal Jubilee Hospital's BC Cancer Agency building for my radiation treatment. This afternoon I finished my second treatment and I have eighteen more to go, ending on June 21st.

Arriving yesterday, I met with a radiation therapist who went over what to expect and what to do. For those that are interested I took some pictures of the sheet she gave me. The squiggly square on the drawing below shows where the tumor is and where the radiation is being directed.

After we went over the sheet and my questions, I went to get my first treatment. As I mentioned in my last post, I was tattooed small markers on my hips and pelvis. They use those markers to position my body on the radiation gurney thing that they called a "couch" (it resembles in no way a couch, more like a big cutting board). It's rather humiliating to lie there with my pants pulled down, with a strategically placed thin linen square the size of a doily on top. This part is incredibly out of my comfort zone. When I was tattooed and yesterday they had the cloth right there ready to go no questions asked. Today it was asked if I wanted it, I casually answered "Yeah..." as if I it was an option. I'm not sure who asked, but I'm sure she was just being polite.
Yesterday and today Myrtle loved the hospital hallways. I was told after both treatments that my daughter was entertaining everyone outside. When I went out of the radiation room I saw Myrtle running around, waving at people and Faith trying catch her. Today Myrtle was true to form, she did not want to be slowed down, as she had places to go and people to wave and smile at. I think she's a welcomed distraction for everyone. Myrtle was so sad to go today and cried when picked up saying "Muh-uuuummmm, Daaaaad! I just got here! Why are you taking me away from my friends?!"
Faith trying to catch Myrtle.
The actual radiation treatment is painless, I feel nothing at the time. Yesterday on the way home I felt like vomiting. Essentially I was told I would feel worse, a lot worse before I get better. The tumor will become more swollen and uncomfortable. Each dose of radiation builds on the last and by day ten my energy levels will more sloth like. For the last while I've trying to determine if I'm feeling cancer fatigue or just lazy and sometimes when writing or reading it feels like I'm getting stoohpidher. Fortunately other times I feel great and more mentally sharp. 

This physical and mental roller coaster also has my emotions on as a passenger, since my view on life has improved. Some things I have infinite patience for while others things I now have less patience for. For example the parking lot was full before today's treatment, we waited several minutes for some very senior geriatric citizens to back out their large truck as they finally drove away another car swooped in and took "our" parking spot. Pre-cancer Ruban would've given the driver a scowl, today I sighed and said "She probably didn't see us over the truck." I seem to have less patience when people (who for whatever seemingly valid and justified reason) have a hard time appreciating the juice of life, family time and or who just say no to everything. So sad. 

What could be more important then family and enjoying life? Pardon me? What's that you say? Nothing? Hmm. Why are we on this earth? To have joy?! Huh, something, a little voice within tells me you are right. Thank you for your insights, but this is my blog and I gotta go eat dinner.


  1. hmm... I saw you there over that truck. I just needed to go pee really bad! ;) I'd say I hope your nausea gets better but I know it probably won't - which sucks. My only comparison is when I was pregnant and throwing up for 9 months. Thankfully there was medication AND an end... so, with that, there is an end and once you are 'cured' the nausea will be gone and you'll be running marathons before you know it. :) Much luv to you from all of us.

  2. Thank you for sharing Ruban. There is always a positive side to look at in life, even if it's that you have the good cancer and Myrtle wanting to stay to play with her radiation friends. You have quite the journey ahead of you and all I know is that we are in this together. You are BEATING this! Go team Rebalkin!