Tuesday, April 29, 2008

day one of radiation

My first day of radiation today went something like this: I walked into the radiation room feeling relatively composed, and when I saw the cast for my legs to lie in (the one they made yesterday to hold me in the same position every time) and the hard table and the big machine that would be used to radiate me, I started to feel knotted up inside. I believe my words to my friend Laura, who accompanied me to my first appointment, were: "I feel like I want to throw up."

The ceiling above the table had a picture of a green park with tulips in bloom around a clear, blue lake. I wished I were there instead of here. Then the big x-ray machine swung up over my head, and I couldn't see the picture anymore. By the time they were ready to get started, tears were streaming down my face. I was as surprised by my reaction as anyone. I kept thinking about my family, about Ben and Daniel and how cute they are, and about the fact that I have cancer and this is the first of many, many toxic things that will be done to try — try — to get rid of the cancer. All that reality just hit me squarely in the face all at once, and I cried all the way through it. The treatment itself didn't hurt. In fact, I didn't feel anything except the hard table against my back.

Afterward, we met with Dr. C., the radiation oncologist, and Dr. A., the resident assisting him. I have to give both of them high marks for compassion. (And they're smart, too!) Dr. A. looks like a young guy himself, and I get the impression he has kids. I imagine him wondering what it would be like if this happened to his wife. When I explained to Dr. C. why I was crying, he was honest. "I don't know how I'd handle it if this happened to me," he admitted. It's the best thing he could have said.

Tomorrow, it won't take so long. I'll be in and out in a matter of minutes. Nine more of these trips, and then I start chemo, and that's when I'll really be crying.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Emilie, it sounds exactly like when I had radiation. Same kind of machine, same deal where you had to lay down. And the radiation did not hurt. Just made that buzzing sound. I remember the technitions were really nice.

Roxy said...

I don't know what to say other than we love you.

Katy said...

I'm continuing to keep you in my prayers Emilie. I'm glad your doctors are "real" and are showing compassion. We are keeping you wrapped tightly in our arms and in our hearts.

LutherLiz said...

Go ahead and cry all you need to. It is a shitty shitty thing that you have to deal with it at all.

..Sending all the prayers I can...

elizabeth in mississippi said...

I love you.
I am praying for you.
I wish I could be at your side and not just on your side.

Love you, Mean it.
Lizba

Coach Megan Thomas said...

Emilie,

I hope that the treatment eases your pain.

You are in our thought,

Megan & family

Cibele said...

HUGS!!!!!!!!!! I would have cried also. I'll be praying that treatment works and you can be cancer free

Kristie said...

I would have cried too. You have every right to cry. I'm crying for you. I'm glad that the doctors were compassionate because I am sure that helps. I know that when I go for my heart appointments and when I had my surgery compassion is a big deal to me. You are experiencing something that you never thought possible and it is so unfair. We are praying for you and like Roxy said, We love you!

sharon said...

It sounds like your reaction is completely normal. How could anyone not cry and be afraidunder the circumstances. I'm glad your doctors are showing the empathy and kindness their patients deserve.

Continued prayers of healing for you.

Sharon (ChiTownie)

Jamie said...

Cry all you need. I'm very glad the doctors are being so compassionate with you as well - this is a hard thing you are doing. We continue to pray for you too.

I also get quesey walking through the tunnel from the parking lot to the building because it reminds me that I know too much about what goes on there. I'm so sorry Emilie.

Heidi said...

Hang in there. We're all cheering for you. And crying too.

Katie said...

Lots of prayers continue to come your way. I'm glad to hear that your drs. were so good to work with. That's important! You're in my thoughts often, Emelie.
-Katie (KtClaire)

Anonymous said...

(((hugs)))

My mom had chemo in 2006 and all the only thing that she could drink without feeling like it had a metallic taste was lemonade. Just wanted to let you know in case you have a similar experience.

Chris said...

I am thinking about you Emilie and crying along with you too. You are so strong.
Chris (1219bride)

Anonymous said...

You haven't left my thoughts since I stumbled across your blog days ago. You are clearly surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. May all of that love carry you through this most difficult time. You'll be in my prayers.

Anna's Mommy said...

Hugs, hugs to you. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this.

Mary said...

HUGS.

Alex & Jill said...

Praying for you Emilie...*BIG HUG*

k@lakly said...

Keeping positive, healing toughts for you and your family, and sharing your tears.

Jo on the go said...

Obviously, you needed to get that cry out. I agree with LutherLiz, it is a shitty, shitty thing and there's no right way to react. You are so brave and I don't know how I could get through this but I just have a feeling you are going to kick this cancer's ass. It sucks, but you're one of the strongest people I know.

That being said, if you wanted to make 'em laugh today, you could show up with a tin foil helmet and a water pistol to protect you from the alien rays.

Amy said...

Emilie - You continue to be in my daily thoughts and prayers.

Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this.

You are blessed to have so many people that care about you - especially the three boys in your house.

Peace.

Amy Johnson-Mimick
Orleans, FRANCE

Rebecca Feyder said...

Thinking of you Emilie. You have a right to cry and to be angry. Indulge every emotion.

SmallTownMommy said...

Emilie
I am so grateful that you have been blessed with compassionate doctors. I continue to pray for God's hands to be upon you.
Kathy (Kathe4602)

mo*reezy said...

I'd be more worried if you didn't feel scared and cry. Remember, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians [read: today's radiation] you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be [lie on that awful table] still." - Exodus 14:13-14 [inserts are mine]

Betseeee said...

I can't imagine not crying going through all this. I think you'd explode in some other way.

My heart and my hopes are with you and you family.

Ahuva Batya said...

I'm crying with you, Em. We love you.

Anonymous said...

Whatever came of the "sarcoma conference" last week? Did they come up with any new ideas for yur treatment?

Aunt Becky said...

Sweetie, you continue to amaze me.

I am sending you light and love today and every day.

kristine said...

lots of love and wishes to you, em. you're strong..

Piccinigirl said...

I'm glad you're crying, letting it all out. I hope it leaves you and takes the cancer with it.
I am thinking of you so much, holding your hand in this virtual world and praying so hard for you, every minute of every day.

liz said...

Cry all you want, I say. Much, much love to you...