After my first dose of radiation last Thursday, we decided to treat my lymph nodes and my skin. I skipped Friday for the office to prepare and had a late appointment today to start again. I spent about an hour on the machine while I was lined up properly, scanned, the bolis – 3- were added and then I was treated.
The entire radiation experience was very different from last time. I am on the same machine that I received my boost on when being treated on my left. This time, I had 3 separate bolis’ taped to me. The purpose of those is to imitate my skin so that the radiation beam actually penetrates my skin. I had one bolis on my left side before. This time I had 2 across my chest and one on my neck. My treatment area is quite large and stems from my neckline, up by my chin, all the way to my mid-stomach. The amount of time that I am radiated is also longer than before. There are no breaks or breath holds (whew!) but it is a consistent almost 7 minutes of treatment. The metal beams move about and form different shapes and sizes so it isn’t a straight block of treatment, however the area that is being treated is significant.
The dosage is higher than before also, which will be interesting because I have a lot more feeling in this treatment area. Mixed with the Xeloda, it will increase the effectiveness of the attack on cancer but also my side effects. So it’s important that I stay on top of any side effects and talk with the radiation oncologist about adjusting if needed. She is wonderful so I am confident that she has my best interest in mind.
The day ended with her reiterating at this visit that the Xeloda is definitely working! My lymph nodes are noticeably smaller and my skin is responding to the pills. Even the technicians commented on how much better everything looked. How awesome is that?!
So despite being tired tonight, I will rest easy knowing that the Xeloda is working, the radiation is going to attack what’s left and I am literally doing everything in my own power to change my dietary habits to make my body stronger.
It’s a good day, friends. 💚