I’m tired. I’m so close to the finish line I’m terrified to get my hopes up for fear the machine will explode over the weekend and my treatments won’t end on Monday so I’ll refrain from countdown talk until Monday.
I brought my Radiation Oncology team cider donuts and apple cider from Duffield’s Farm in celebration of the end of my treatments and to thank them for their care and kindness. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m so very glad I decided to change Oncologists. Dr. Hughes has been a gift. She’s kind, plain-spoken, honest, compassionate and kind. I never once felt that she didn’t have my best interests at heart. I always feel cared for and safe. I feel like I’m part of the decisions made about my care. She never makes me feel dictated to or like I’m an annoyance for asking questions.
My nurses Pat and Tricia, who take care of my head after each treatment are nothing short of amazing. Here are two women who see every patient who comes through the department whether as patients with appointments with their Oncologist or those who’ve received radiation treatments that day. These are two busy women and treating my head is a time consuming process. I’ve never felt like I’m a thorn in their side or taking up too much of their time. They talk with me, they always have a smile for me and send me off for the day feeling good. Everyone who’s treated me has remarked how well my head has held up during these treatments. My head would not have held up as well as it has were it not for the amazing care Pat, Tricia and Chuck (the hubs) have taken in treating me every day. I feel safe in their care. If you’ve never been sick you just cannot understand how important this is and how important to your treatment and recovery it is. I don’t know if it’s something that they teach in nursing school or if it’s just those who possess such traits are drawn to nursing but I’m so grateful that they nurses who’ve cared for me during this experience possess the kindness and skill and competence and attitude that allows me to feel cared for and safe in their care.
My radiation therapy team Denna, Donna, Jillian, Lauren, Lisa (I hope I have her name right) and Maria are an amazing group of women. Here are women who truly hold your life in their hands, they are responsible for administering the proper amounts of radiation to get rid of the cancer but harm as few healthy cells as is possible. I walked in to to this experience terrified and more than a little defensive (I’m aggressively defensive when I’m frightened, it’s a defense mechanism). I’m quite sure I was a hot mess mix of needy, frightened and terrified. How these women put up with me let alone cared for me with such kindness and understanding is beyond me, even I didn’t like me. Over the past 7 weeks these 6 women have cared for, coddled, encouraged and treated my cancer with radiation. At no time were they clinical or cold. In fact I haven’t run in to anyone clinical or cold during this entire experience. I’m amazed and awed by the spirit of everyone in the Radiation Oncology department. You have to imagine for as many successes and miracles there are just as many not-so-happy endings. How they greet each day with such optimism and positive attitudes is beyond me but I’m grateful for them.
You’ve read along with me as I’ve chronicled this journey and I’ve had bad and good days during my radiation treatments. I’ve had hissy fits and moments of despair and days when I didn’t want to get out of bed to go to treatments and lots of anxiety but all–in-all it’s been a positive experience. It’s another leg of the journey almost completed. No matter how scared or angry or anxious I felt my family was right there with me as well as my radiation oncology team. If you’re reading this and you’re here looking for info about radiation therapy/radiation treatments I hope you take away this, of course it’s scary, of course there are side effects but you can get through it, I did.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I love you all.
With much love and great affection,
~ Carol Anne