19
Oct
11

First radiation therapy today

After being x-rayed yesterday for 20 minutes (by the same machine that does the radiation therapy), today I received the first of 33 treatments. It only took about 10 minutes after being positioned on the table, 15 minutes altogether. They treated two areas, one the entire left chest wall, the other the lymph nodes in my neck. I asked a lot of questions about the machinery, the treatment areas, etc. and the technician was very friendly in answering all my questions.

The first thing the technician had said when I arrived in the treatment room was, “This won’t hurt, you won’t even feel it.” She meant the radiation beam won’t hurt.

I explained to her that the positioning of my still-sore left arm, chest wall and shoulder does hurt some, however, so please go gently when lifting my arm into place over my head. And she did. Once they were in place, the muscles relaxed somewhat and it was okay from then on. She had to help me get my arm down again after the therapy — the left shoulder is still so achy that I can’t really lower that arm by myself yet.

Last Saturday I went to pick up the prescription skin cream to use before and after each session, which helps prevent and/or heal radiation burns. To my unpleasant dismay I discovered that one little tube of the generic cream cost $45.00! The pharmacist said it used to be covered by my Medicare Rx plan but they had dropped it.

Monday I saw Dr. Sonfield again. The appointment was to have the Portacath removed but he said it would be better to postpone that until after radiation therapy is over. To remove it means making a small incision and tugging to get the device out, then stitching up the incision. All that would make the right upper chest wall a little sore, he said. So, putting it off was fine with me.

However, the fluid buildup beneath the surgery scar had begun to return though not as severely as before. He drained it for me again and I could tell a difference right away, again. Hope this was the last time. I’m not fond of having long needles stuck in my chest.

The LE therapist and Dr. Sonfield had both told me that the free lymph fluid would eventually be absorbed back into the body but obviously they didn’t anticipate so much of it.

The lymphedema massage and exercises have worked well to reduce the swelling in my arm. Although they are designed to redirect the lymph flow across to the right side of the body, apparently they don’t redirect enough of it and have been contributing to excess lymph fluid buildup in the left chest.

I see the LE therapist tomorrow morning and will discuss this situation. I sure don’t want my arm to swell again but don’t want a fluid lake developing in my chest again either.

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2 Responses to “First radiation therapy today”


  1. 1 Diane Brown
    October 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Thank you Father for the grace to go “through”. I know your presence is going with her!


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Bette’s Journal

Bette Cox 2010

Christ is the "Big C" in my life!

That was told to me by a good friend recently, and it's so very true.

Jesus says in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

I believe Jesus. I hope you do too.

I have one request of other believers reading this journal:

Agree with me that the invader will shrink, shrivel, die and disappear from my body, whatever method the Lord uses to accomplish that.

Thanks in advance.

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