This post is original to Toddler Planet and may not be reposted without permission.
Would you like to know more about radiation? Would you like to understand a bit of what it means when a friend says, “I’m in radiation, but it’s okay,” or “I’m in radiation, and “I’m so tired,” or even “I’m in radiation, and my skin is so tender?” I’ll happily answer questions or even walk you through a radiation session, if you’re interested.
Today, however, I’ll show you a picture that illustrates just how much of my body is being irradiated each morning.
(picture deleted to protect my child’s privacy)
I originally wanted to post this picture (despite my bad hair day) to show you the sheer joy that is my three-year-old. He is the light of my life, my heart walking around outside my body, and I would do anything to ensure his happiness.
But then I realized that the picture was taken the morning after I had my tattoos and markings done at the radiation center, and I got shy again and kept the picture to myself.
But this too is reality. See the markings on my neck? My chest? My shoulder? Those outline the top radiation lines. The radiation extends over my breast area and down almost to my belly button. I know. There are tattoos at every turn that will remind me of them forever.
When I have radiation, it’s done in several steps. First, they irradiate my upper chest, part of my neck, and my underarm area where the lymph nodes were removed. Then a broad sweep across my chest. And finally, an odd angle to get the back of my lymph nodes and more of my chest, but at a different angle that spares most of my lungs.
Each day, I get these three treatments, and then I am helped up. I change, wipe the permanent marker markings off my skin, apply a special cream to help prevent sunburn-like damage, and go home to finish breakfast with my children, send Daddy off to work, and start the day. It’s not an ideal way to begin the day, but, for now, it’s what I must do.