Thwip…that’s the sound Spider-Man makes when he slings his web at whichever villain he happens to be fighting. And that’s the sound I was hoping to be making after my first radiation treatment today, assuming that a spider crossed the radiation beam and then bit me. But, alas…I’m still the same old Mark this evening! 😉
Today was the first of twenty-five radiation treatments that I will undergo to once and for all eradicate this cancer. And, to be honest, the whole thing was pretty uneventful! Basically, I lie on the table holding a “donut” under my chin to keep my arms and elbows by my side so they don’t get hit with radiation. Then, they line up my super tiny tattoos with the lasers for the initial positioning. After that, they take some x-rays (with lower than normal radiation) so they can fine tune my position on the table. Lastly, to wrap things up, they spin the machine around me a couple times while firing some radiation into a specific part of my body (but attacking it from 360 degrees), and then I’m done! I literally feel nothing at all during the entire process, which lasts less than 15 minutes. A pretty routine procedure, it seems!
Thus far, the only effects I’ve felt is some mild nausea as I was driving to having dinner with my mom and brother. Aside from that…it’s as though I didn’t do anything today at all. Much, much better than chemo!
One last note: I know that sometimes I tend to maybe trivialize the things I’m going through, their effects, and what is and isn’t important with respect to it. Please note that’s just my take on the whole thing. For others going through radiation and chemo, things are much, much harder, and for some, much easier. For some, loosing all their hair like I did is a life-changing experience, while for me, it was a relief from having to shave! But, any way you look at it, these procedures are intense, dangerous, and often leave long lasting effects. I wouldn’t wish any of this stuff on anybody…ever. If you know of anybody going through radiation, chemo, or dealing with cancer in general, please pray on how you can offer them assistance. You’d be amazed at what a kind word, card, or some other act of kindness can mean. I should know…we’ve had TONS of support during this whole process, and it makes all the difference!
Well, that’s pretty much it! If things change with respect to side effects or anything else, I’ll be sure to write it up. My suspicion is that some of this stuff is cumulative, so it may be a while before it hits. But, my oncologist (in particular, the chemo side of the house) has offered me hydration and whatever anti-nausea drugs I may need to get through this. So, I think I’ll be in good shape!
Many thanks for all the prayers (especially for my amazing family), well wishes, thoughts, and general interest in what I’m going through. I love you all!