(I have been trying to keep my head above the water, just like these guys!)
Today I had an appointment at the hospital for what they called ‘Mapping’. This is where they decide for the want of a better word, with the help of one huge space age machine; the best possible was of radiating my poor boob.
I very nearly cancelled this procedure, feeling it was possibly unnecessary, seeing as how the surgeon assured me he had successfully removed the entire tumour. The thought of three weeks, that’s 15 appointments, 15 days of being zapped by radiation strong enough to burn and possible shrivel this offending part of my anatomy.
I learned that it was wrong to think like that, for the tumour I had was ‘aggressive’ or malignant and there could still be some cells in there, on the verge of becoming nasty. By almost destroying every cell inside my boob, they could guarantee that I would be cancer free.
So I arrived, somewhat nervously, I admit, to be prodded, pushed and manipulated onto this massive machine. At least two technicians busied themselves, scribbling various marks and measurements in several different coloured inks all over my chest. It looked like they were enjoying themselves to me. Copious measurements were taken and marked, and then I was stretched out with my arms above my head in an impossible angle.
Then everyone left the room, a bit like lemmings if you ask me, leaving me lying there in this huge room like a museum exhibit. Then the machine lit up and started humming. The bit I was lying on moved slowly inside the machine, a beam of iridescent green light travelling up and down my body.
I was told beforehand that it was important that I keep still, no problem really, I was so nervous I even stopped breathing at one point.
They all seemed very pleased with their efforts, but before I could leave, there was one more little treat in store for me. So that they could line me up in exactly the right position for the 15 days of treatment, they would need to tattoo small dots on either side of my chest. Not sure if these are permanent, but it doesn’t really matter at this stage, for nude sunbathing is out of the question!
At one point, because I am dead nosy, I asked how they knew for sure whereabouts the tumour had been. Apparently, the surgeon inserts small titanium clips at the site to mark the spot for the very purpose of any radiation treatment. Don’t they have fun! I wonder if that means I shall cause a stir at the airport?
These posts about my trials and tribulations were written, basically because I was terrified when all of this happened to me, and if my account can in any way help someone else have the courage to check out anything even slightly out of the ordinary, it will have been time well spent.