Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Radiation Treatment - update

The treatment continues to go smoothly. Meagan likes the staff and doctor very much. The Swedish Ballard Cancer Institute radiation facility is very small - a brand new free standing building directly across the street from the hospital's main entrance. Its scale is quite nice - personal and non-institutional. She's become quite friendly (are you surprised?) with the technical people who set her up each day and zap her. The treatment itself is painless and her only complaint is that it does not last long enough so she can't fall asleep and dream about her coat of arms.

I think we are starting to see some signs of budding side effect fatigue though. Yesterday after treatment she went to lunch and walked around Ballard quite a bit, and then came home and a had a chat with a friend. By 4:45 she was wiped out and slept from 5pm to 6:30pm, when I finally woke her. What will probably make sense is for her to take a nap right after lunch so she can be more present the rest of the day.

Radiation treatment is kind of weird in that it is such an invisible and non-consequential treatment (except when aimed at the brain). So we are in this funny kind of suspended zone - we have this new daily routine, which is not unpleasant - and we assume the treatment is working, but in the meantime we know the cancer is doing its thing elsewhere and there is nothing we can do but wait. With other treatments, such as surgeries, there are more visible signs of the effects of treatment and there is action involved with follow-up care. Or if she is in the hospital, there are clearly a lot of things to do. With radiation treatment - you watch her nap. And try to catch deliveries or people at the front door before the dogs become aware and they start barking like crazy and waking her up. I may post a "Do Not Disturb" sign at our front door when she is napping...or lock the dogs outside in the backyard.

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