When I named this blog a couple of years ago, I thought “Let’s Radiate Don” was a cute, catchy name. I had been round and round with my various Doctors and there wasn’t exactly uniformity in their recommendations for treatment.
Not surprisingly, my surgeon wanted to cut. My “Oncologist Who Hates Me” wanted to treat with chemotherapy and the radiologist wanted to radiate me.
The arguments against radiation were simple. It was described as the “silver bullet” your last, best option. It was a particularly unpleasant treatment with harsh side effects, some of them life altering. Who would want to subject themselves to that unless they absolutely “had” to?
After thinking about it for a few days and talking it over with some friends, we decided we “had” to. We decided to be aggressive and go for the trifecta. We would do it all, thinking no matter how bad radiation turned out to be, I would only have to go through it once. Because there was no way they could radiate me twice.
A year and two surgeries later, they found a way. Lower dosage, different areas. Tricky, yes, but even our second and third opinions agreed. Radiation was unanimously suggested. But this would be the last time they could do it. I mean a third time was ridiculous. Simply out of the question.
Until three months later. I have just finished five days of intensive cyberknife radiation. This was different, instead of a wide blast it was a small, targeted area attacking a tumor near my collarbone. An hour or more a day under the mask rather than the usual fifteen minutes, the end result making the name of this blog seem less and less ironic and more and more a way of life.
Let’s be honest, at this point I have enough radiation cycling through my body to fuel small household appliances. Not that I’m complaining, it’s handy to be able to power your average hair dryer just by picking it up and I haven’t had to charge my phone in six months. I just pick it up, give it a good shake and I’m good to go for the whole day.
In a couple of weeks I’ll go back in for yet another scan and we’ll see if the last round was worth it. Until then, if you’ve got any frozen Swanson dinners to defrost, invite me over. I can have your Salisbury Steak ready for you in two to three minutes.