This morning I took my last daily 9 mile ride up State Street to the IMC Cancer Center for my last radiation treatment. For 6 weeks I made the trip, enjoying our beautiful, sometimes rainy finally hot, Utah Summer mornings. The usual soundtrack accompanying this roadtrip was some fine KRCL tunes or the companionship of Kerry, Bill and Gina.
In the mornings I felt energetic, glad to be up and busy at 8:00 a.m. Then as the day progressed, like a wind-up monkey beating his drum ever slower, I'd tire and slow down. That is, until the last 2 weeks. By then I wasn't quite as chipper in the morning and by the afternoon, I was in a tired fog. The skin under my breast and my armpit were burnt, purple, crack-y, yeah, it hurt. My wardrobe was adjusted to allow for maximum comfort and on the occasions when I felt like I had to wear a good bra to be presentable, I'm sure the people around me were wondering what I was doing fidgeting so much with my armpit. I didn't care.
My usual Radiology team: Carolann, Kimberley and Mark (here's where the tears start) were so sweet to me, so kind, friendly and professional. When you see people every day for 6 weeks, topless, a bond grows. I know they must see over 30 patients a day, but they still made me feel like I was important, not just another broken boob on a table. I know that, having rang the "finished bell", I will soon be replaced with another unfortunate soul with cancer. Odds are, from studying the demographics of my waiting roommates; a middle aged woman much like me, or a 65+ man, will take my seat awaiting their turn to be cured by otherwise deadly radiation.
What can I take from this experience?
It is always best to put your happy face forward and act better than you feel, until a true friend comes along and knowingly let's you cry on their shoulder.
Everyone is fighting a hard battle, so be nice.
I really do eat when I'm tired and should be resting. Rest instead and don't let yourself feel useless.
When you are traveling along life's highway, even to an unpleasant destination, enjoy the beauty along the way. Utah mornings are mighty pretty!