For me, radiation therapy is the most difficult of my cancer treatments. It doesn’t hurt physically. It is over rather quickly. If you close your eyes, you barely know it is happening.
Oh, but the emotions!
Emotions During Radiation Therapy
If you have breast cancer and will be receiving radiation therapy as part of your treatment plan, here is what you need to know:
- Half a dozen people will see your breasts, while you are awake and alert.
- You will hear everything they say and be required to carry on conversation, while your breasts are exposed. More than half a dozen people see your breasts during surgery, but you are asleep and you never see or hear them.
- Your hands and feet will be bound so that you can not move.
- They will use paint pens to draw x’s and o’s on your body. This will make you look like a football play book. The marks remain on your body for the entire course of treatment and need to be reapplied if they fade.
- Before your first actual treatment, you go through a CT Simulation to ensure you are aligned correctly for treatment. This means that not only will your hands and feet be bound, but you will also be inserted into a tube the size of a torpedo bay.
The cumulative effect of all of the above is emotions. Humiliation. Lack of control. Embarrassment. Self-pity. Humor.
I am a rather happy go lucky gal. During my CT Sim, with my hands uncomfortably positioned above my head, my feet bound, and a torpedo tube making clicking sounds all around me, tears began to roll down my cheeks.
As we were leaving the appointment, my husband, who had been in the waiting room during the procedure, asked how it went. I choked back more tears and replied: “I don’t want to talk about.”
Coping with the Emotions
Everyday, around one in the afternoon, George Clooney makes sweet, sweet love to me. I share the details of our torrid affair in the following video:
I use my imagination and a lot of humor to make it through my radiation therapy. Heck, it’s what is getting me through this whole ordeal.
What are some of the ways that you cope with emotions during radiation therapy, or any awkward, uncomfortable or just downright frightening situation? Leave a comment. Your suggestion just might help someone who is struggling right now.