During radiation, my biggest concern was whether or not my skin would be healed before I attended my son’s wedding. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I had what I have heard called a “wet reaction.” The skin on my chest and under my armpit blistered, cracked, oozed and peeled for two and a half weeks. The pain was significant. I wore a flannel cape around the house to give it as much air as possible. At night, I wore my husband’s t-shirts to try to absorb most of the mess. The dry air in Las Vegas and time helped to dry out the skin.
Wouldn’t you know that I would get selected for a pat down at the DFW airport. I looked at the TSA agent with pleading eyes and said, “Be very careful.” She was very considerate. Chalk up one more perk for being practically bald.
At three weeks, the last crack has healed and most of the peeling has stopped. The skin looks much better and I’m working with cocoa butter to soften the skin and make it more pliable. I will always have to protect this skin and keep it out of the sun, so that means a t-shirt over my swim suit. I can live with that.
In an earlier post, I talked about radiation fatigue. I don’t know why I had it in my head that the fatigue would go away in about two weeks. Probably because I knew that was the extent of my attention span. Unfortunately, I’m three weeks out of radiation and I’m still fatigued. Since I don’t have a follow up appointment for another week, I went to my favorite Mayo site to see what they said about the topic. Sadly, they say that radiation fatigue can last six weeks to a year, and in some cases, years. This does not fit into my schedule.
Nope. I’m not having it. I have officially run out of patience for side effects and being sick. I don’t know how much mind over matter works for medical issues, but if sheer will power works, I’m going to eliminate, “I’m so tired” from my vocabulary. So today I started my new training program. I took Dolly Dog for her usual morning walk, but I stepped it up a notch. I marched down the driveway swinging my arms high. Then did the goose step back to the house. (Good thing our nearest neighbor needs binoculars to see me!) Dolly kept looking at me and cocking her head to try to figure out what was wrong with me. When I got back to the house, I turned around and walked backwards down the drive again. Dolly kept looking over her shoulder to see what I was looking at.
Later, Gene called to say he couldn’t make it home for lunch but he wanted to make sure that I would eat something for lunch. I was so tired by that point that I heated up a cup of soup and then fell face down on the sofa for a nap. I need to learn moderation!