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Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I've been so busy trying to "catch up," that I have not posted anything about how I have been since I began radiation.

In a word: TIRED!

I am exhausted!! If I do anything that is the least bit taxing, I need to sleep for hours!!

I had radiation before, almost two years ago, on my hip. I felt drained by the experience, but nothing like what I'm feeling now. One of the doctors said that it is common for people to be extremely tired from radiation to the head.

The whole process is pretty amazing. I'm in and out in less than five minutes. It's hard to imagine that something so quick could have such a huge impact on my energy level.

I walk in the room and lie down on the machine. The technicians then strap on my mask (oops, keep meaning to post about that) and align the machine. Then they leave the room, and the machine slowly rotates to the first position, zaps me, then slowly rotates to the second position and zaps me again. Then it rotates back to the original position, the technicians re-enter the room, I get up, replace my head covering and walk out. The actual zapping takes only about 5 seconds on each side (the zap me twice).

The machine makes a high pitched buzzing noise during the zapping and emits a sort of odor (maybe like bleach?).

Today, when I came out of radiation, my friend was so surprised to see me so soon she asked "did they decide not to give you radiation today?" Her jaw dropped when I told her I was already done.

The longest part of the process is waiting your turn. Most days, I wait 45 minutes to an hour for my turn.

One day, there were only two people in front of me and I was out of there in less around 15 minutes. Most days are not like that.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


rickismom said...

Whether 15 minutes, or an hour, just hoping that HaShem gives the zap enough zip to get the job done!! :-)

Robin said...

Sending my own industrial-strength good health vibes to zap in their with the radiation, and adding a little something for you on my blog. I hope it makes you smile too.

Anonymous said...

I hope it's going OK, Rivka, and that you are getting enough rest.


weese said...

my mom is to start radiation soon in addition to her two chemos.
It will be strengthening for her to hear that it makes you tired too.
Her chemo makes her tired and she feels bad about sleeping so much.
I try to assure her that sleeping time is healing time.
So go catch up on some Zzzz's.

CD said...

I just happened to find your blog. I'm so sorry you're going through this, but you sound like such a strong and remarkable woman, and I believe you'll be okay. My sister is recovering from breast cancer (Stage 3C) and doing well, and I know a woman who is living with lung cancer for years now, also in her case a "chronic illness." I don't daven often I'll say prayers for you, and will include you in my prayers when I light my Shabbos candles. I've written your name down and put it near my candlesticks, so I'll have it handy every Shabbos. Thinking of you and wishing you all of the best, now and always, until 120.

CD said...

Sentence should have read "I don't daven often BUT I'll say prayers for you..."

Sorry that didn't make sense at first.

Baila said...

Thinking of you.

trn said...

May you have a restful, restorative, and healing Shabbat.

Batya said...

Refuah Shleimah and Shabbat Shalom!

Rahel Jaskow said...

Sending good vibes and hugs....

Anonymous said...

My mom was also exhausted from the radiation (as you know, she had brain cancer). It was indeed very quick, and it's over a few weeks. The chemo wasnt' as tiring.

I hope you feel better soon and they get the darn thing out (you're religious so I won't use the words I'd like to use!)

Sending you hugs!