There was no feeling as I received radiation – certainly not like chemo. At least in the very beginning of radiation, there was no immediate reaction to the treatment. I had little disgust about the protocol, since it was like taking a scan, but I was never emotionally crippled by the procedure.
For some reason, whenever I receive an X-Ray, I close my eyes, thinking the radiation won’t damage them. I realize it’s silly, but I also did it during these treatments and scans. If you could have seen what the radiation did to my skin… Why I continue to close my eyes perhaps relates to my crazy thinking that my already very bad eye sight will worsen. My eyelids won’t do a thing – logically, I understand that, but it’s a reflex.
The skin along my scar grew from bright red to dull, dark, and crusty with each session. One day, I was shocked to see it as black as the night, as though some one took a torch to it. Scorched and flaking skin, washing the area was impossible. This lasted for months, but eventually the skin colour returned to normal.
By the time I returned home, I was drained and nauseated. My mother-in-law saw it in my face as I stood by the entrance, “You’re tired, right?”
My mother would just look at me, then took my coat and helped me off with my shoes. Any visitors who were there greeted me at the door, like they were waiting for the mail to arrive. I was so happy to be home, but too sick to express it. I just wanted to lie down, so I washed my hands in the powder room on the way to the family room, and finally lay down on the couch, right next to my bucket. Repeat.