A journal of my experiences with breast cancer to inform those who are interested and to help any one else who might have just been diagnosed.

“[She] will have no fear of bad news; [her] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

Friday, April 19, 2013

Preparing for Radiation

It has been a hard week. As I was telling Ticia, In the middle of all that has happened this week in Texas and Boston, we were studying WWII and the holocaust. It was too much for me. Or, perhaps it was because I start my radiation treatments soon and they tattooed permanent marks for where they should set the radiation machine. I was in the waiting room and reading After The War so that I can read it before I read it to the boys. It is about what the Jews had to endure even after World War II was over. I don't mean to make light of the holocaust by saying this, but I am struck by the similarities of the settings. After a brief wait in the waiting room, and I must say that the cancer center waiting rooms are filled with people who either look like they are about ready to break down and cry then and there to or those who are overly cheerful. I don't feel like I am in either category. I am escorted to the changing rooms by a nurse or technician, I am not sure of the title as she doesn't tell me. She is very distant, telling me what I need to   do and where I need to put what and I find myself having to pay particular attention to these simple instructions because my mind has gone into numb mode. It will do this when the thought that I could actually die from this surfaces. Since this facility takes care of all sorts of cancer, many of the patients don't make it and it shows in the manner of the personnel. I do manage to get into the gowns, making sure they all go in the correct directions and are tied in the right places. I then put my clothes in a locker, but am instructed to take my personal possessions with me (my purse and book) so that they don't get stolen. I guess there is no fear that the clothes will get stolen. :)

I am escorted to the radiation room and lay on the table. The technician takes a thick piece of foam-like substance and gets me to position my arms above my head and she begins to shape the foam around my arms to make a pillow rest for my arms. This ensures that I take the same position each time I do the radiation. Through the whole time I am with her, it amazes me how much she seems depressive, as if she has seen too many people not recover. It is hard to put my finger on what she says or does or how she does it to convey this, but it is strongly conveyed. After she is finished with this, she begins to figure out where the tattoos will go. In three or four places, she tattoos a dot so that the equipment can be lined up perfectly each time. Now I have permanent reminders that this will be forever with me. Even if I am cured, the fear that it will return is always with you. As we leave, she says, "Good Luck with your radiation treatments."

I return home an we begin watching Paper Clips and I then I begin crying and can't seem to stop. It is just tears streaming down, but I still can't stop it. The boys didn't know what to think, because I don’t cry much.

I will begin the actual radiation treatments with a trial run on Friday, May 10 and then treatments every morning for seven weeks. Despite how all of this sounds, I am not generally this upset and I have much hope today, and for all the tomorrows, and I know He is in control, and it is a beautiful world, a beautiful life.

"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Ps. 34: 17-18


  1. I was just looking for an update the other day. I can imagine how you would be emotional right now- the recent news would add to that for sure. Sounds like time for some uplifting studies!! Praying that all goes as well as it can with your treatments.

  2. I wonder what one person with joy could do in there? Know that I'm sending you some!

  3. I'm praying for you, Phyllis. Cling to the Lord.

  4. I can't seem to see anything regarding this past this post. Know you are in my prayers!!! I am so sorry to hear of your breast cancer diagnosis. Your a beautiful mom and wife.

    1. I am not sure why you can't see the other posts. I am doing well with the radiation treatments. Thank you for your prayers.