I made it to see Dr Johnson, the radiation oncologist, this morning. He had a really goofy but sweet resident with him this time who was very personable. They had conferred with Dr Keedy & decided to start radiation concurrent with the second cycle of chemo (first week of April). They will do the simulation CT scan on March 20th. Basically what they do is use a CT scanner to create a 3D model of my body; they explained that everybody has organs in slightly different places so they have to do it individually in order to assess where the radiation should be directed. It also allows them to better assess what side effects will be based on what organs will be hit with the "scattered" radiation. They figure I will probably have some bowel irritation, skin irritation, and possibly muscle weakness from my radiation, but these side effects are reportedly very minor compared to those from chemo.
So, I had a bit of a revelation today. I went to the hospital looking like a cancer patient for the first time. I had on my sweats, my flip flops & a hat. No makeup, well I never wear makeup so thats not different. I have a headache, I feel fat & a bit nauseous today. But you know what, I wasn't upset by that for the first time. Instead I found myself smiling at everybody I saw there and genuinely feeling okay with myself. This is a year of my life that is going to be difficult but at the end of it I will be back to myself. I will be able to get myself back in shape, eat properly, etc. In the meantime I am NOT going to beat myself up, I am going to treat myself nicely. I have so much to be happy about - I have the most amazing family on the planet, I have wonderful friends who are working SO hard to take care of us, I have the best doctors in the country, I live close to the most amazing medical facility, and I caught this damn thing early. So why not smile, why not be nice to myself? Why not embrace the next year and smile thru it?
Don't get me wrong, I know I won't feel upbeat every day of this journey but I want that to be my default position - where I come back to.
And now its pouring rain here!