May 19th, 2010
My husband and I were 5 minutes away from the clinic for my 9:30 PM radiation appointment. I had talked to a friend from Gilda’s Club right before we left to go over again how it was going to all go down. I had tried to make some kind of spiritual meaning out of the timing of the delays. I kept myself ready to face all this past the time when I am ready to get in my jammies and curl up for the night.
My cell phone rang. It was the clinic. After pulling 18 hour days in the weeks following the flood, the radiation machine had just conked out. They were canceling the rest of the appointments for the night.
My husband and I went in anyway. The technician was really nice. She, too, was displaced from the downtown clinic. She, too, had to suddenly juggle unexpected childcare.
“But I made plans for the summer,” I whined. “I counted the 6 1/2 weeks of radiation from the longest window my oncologist gave me after surgery, and then added two weeks onto that. I planned a trip for my kids to the mountains. The flood already took up one of those cushion weeks.”
Because I am not getting started until today, instead of being finished on July 2, the Friday before a 3 day weekend, I will get my 33rd dose the following Tuesday. We are supposed to have our cousins reunion the Friday of that week.
The therapists were incredibly sympathetic. That’s how cancer treatment is, they reminded me. It’s very uncertain. There are people who have to take a break in their treatment just because their skin needs a rest. It is also possible you could receive two doses in one day to get you back on schedule. It will depend on how you do.
So my husband & I got back in the car and went to SonicBurger. I got myself a hot fudge sundae.
I vented on facebook and was given a bit of perspective by one of my pals there. “Consider yourself lucky, you don’t want dosed by a machine on the fritz, you might end up like me!”
That helped. Instead of feeling frustrated that the machine conked out right before I went under its rays, I now feel grateful that I wasn’t under there when it went on the fritz.
Please, everyone. Forgive me if I don’t do what I have told you I would. Promises are hard to keep, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care. It’s just that my life is very very unpredictable right now.
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