I have a meeting with a very large machine today. Yes, I take an anti-nausea pill and then I head to the bowels of the Cancer Centre for my first zapping. Dr. Radi-O (thank you faithful reader for your suggestion) was true to his word, and my radiation intervention plan is starting. I’m calling the plan the Miracle of the Shrinking Spleen.
In preparation for this procedure, I am sporting three crosses on my upper body. I would show you but I’d have to lift my shirt a bit too high and I’m not that kind of girl. The crosses, which have been drawn in permanent ink, are there to guide my zappers to exactly the right spot. As a nice Jewish girl, I feel a bit discombobulated by my crosses, but I understand that Jewish stars would not have been a plausible substitute because they do not have a central intersection point. Over the course of the week, I have become increasingly comfortable with my crosses, even befriended them, since they are there to help this process along.
The Radiators (my name for the radiation technologists–has a superhero feel to it, doesn’t it?) will be carefully positioning a very large machine over my body and, as I understand it, lining it up with my crosses. 30 seconds later I will be on my way. Three Tuesdays in a row I will undergo the same zapping, and six weeks later we’ll see if I am one of the 50% of patients who, in Dr. Radi-O’s experience, respond to the intervention. By “respond”, I mean “shrink”. And by “shrink”, I’m referring to my ever-expanding spleen. By 6 weeks post treatment, I’ll know, although I’ll know long before that by my (hopefully) magically shrinking girth. I measured my waist circumference this morning so I’d be able to follow my progress. No, I won’t tell you what it is.
I am hopeful that the radiation will do what it’s supposed to. There is some security in knowing that 50% of people are helped by the intervention, because there is no atypical minority group to aspire to. I usually aspire to the atypical minority, as you know. This intervention was made for me; my body can’t be noncompliant even if it tries!
Up until yesterday, I was telling people I was not at all scared about radiation. Sure, I kept myself a little busy, but I WAS JUST FINE! Then last night, I woke every hour from dreams of personal radiation disasters. Obviously I was a psychologist in denial. You knew that already, but I’m a little slow to catch on.
Just to warn you, next time you see me, you may not recognize me. First, I may be able to do up my pants. (I’ll no longer look like an overgrown sk8ter boy.) Second and more importantly, I may just have a special glow about me. Here’s hoping.