This past Monday was my last radiation treatment. And you’ll see in the attached photo that I was awarded with a certificate of completion. I’m also pictured here with Pat and John, the two technicians who worked with me most days. John is holding the dreaded mask and I’ve also got the sleigh bells in hand, which I ring in case of emergency. They alternated between giving me a clown horn or sleigh bells, but despite their efforts, the experience was neither fun nor festive.
Interesting what a big deal they made of completing radiation when it has been relatively the easiest course of treatment so far. Not to say that it hasn’t been it’s own brand of torture, but much less painful and anguishing than the rounds of chemo and surgeries that I’ve already endured. I kinda felt like a toddler being given candy for making a poop in the potty.
My symptoms are primarily fatigue and pain in my chest and esophagus when eating and drinking, because I’m burned on the inside. These symptoms are anticipated to increase over the next 7-10 days, so it will get worse before it gets better. I’m restricted from foods that are spicy, too hot or too cold. I’ve been told to force myself to eat even if it’s painful because the two sides of my esophagus are sticky and could stick to each other if I don’t keep things moving through. I’ve unfortunately been losing weight throughout the radiation treatments and am down to 108 lbs (I’m 5’6), but Jo Ann and I met with a nutritionist this past Friday and she gave me some ideas for high calorie smoothies. It’s a bit overwhelming to think about trying to gain weight, so the nutritionist told me to just focus on not losing anymore. I’ve also been given some pain killers and mouth rinse to swallow to numb my esophagus. Let me know if you have a favorite smoothie recipe or protein powder!
This morning, Auntie and Jo Ann are joining me to meet with my oncologist regarding next steps.