I don't know if this might help others but radiation was very hard for me. I was hit with fatigue immediately. Plus the facility was an hour drive each way. I was too tired to drive as I would often fall asleep sitting up. I was so glad to have skipped chemo that I didn't count on how hard it would be.
I decided to do a few things to make myself feel better that worked well - I had heard about chemo patients marking off each chemo session in a special way, so I decided to do a version of this:
- for each of the 21 days of radiation, I marked them off by getting myself a different Starbucks drink. I normally only drink black coffee or green tea so this was kind of fun - although I didn't get too wild with that Tie Dye Frappuccino or anything. After rads my husband and I would go get a drink. The following day I'd report to my rads team what I had. They thought it was funny - I live in a rural area and we don't have Starbucks! Part of the silver lining of cancer treatment was all the trips to civilization. I once even blurted out to my surgeon that the best part of cancer was all the new restaurants I got to try. I think she almost fell over.
- we babysat a friend's puppy and after Starbucks, I'd buy a treat for both the puppy and my dog, a different one each day - maybe 2 some days or a treat and a toy. When we got home I'd delight in watching both pups enjoy their gift.
- in the changing room, I made sure to fold my clothes very neatly after changing into my gown. This way when I came back, I felt like I had done a small but important thing to care for myself.
- I did start to wear a different bright eyeshadow look each day but this quickly proved too difficult when I snagged the first appointment in the morning. But I did always wear a bright lip, which was easier.
These little things made my life so much better. I just wanted to share. It's hard to have pleasant memories of cancer treatment, but I do have them.
5/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Left
5/29/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel
IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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