Two More Zaps to Go

Today is my penultimate radiation zap. 18 down, two to go. One this afternoon at 4pm, and my final zap at 9:30 am tomorrow. The end of my cancer treatment is less than 24 hours away.

It’s been a helluva seven months. From my first biopsy on June 2 to my final radiation zap on December 30, there’s been a lot of treatment and recovery. Now, the end is in sight.

Just like Rudolph’s shiny nose, my breast is now sunburn red, as predicted. And while I can’t say that it ‘glows’, it is sensitive. So far I’ve been able to avoid the dreaded itchiness (touch wood), so have not yet had to use the prescription hydrocortisone cream (the radiation therapists warn you to not use it if you don’t have to as it thins your skin). For me, using Aveeno moisture lotion several times a day has maintained the moisture in my skin and kept it unruptured. Fingers crossed it continues to do so.

I found this very helpful – and accurate – pictorial overview of the whole radiation oncology process. The description of how the tattoos are determined and applied, how the treatment is planned, and how radiation is given is exactly what I experienced.

For the past week or so, I’ve had tiny little water blisters appear where the radiation beam enters. They don’t itch or hurt. But, following instructions, I’ve carefully applied Polysporin to make sure they don’t get infected. The last two or three zaps have also been accompanied by minute ‘prickly’ feelings as the beam enters my skin. It’s as if a pin cushion was pressed against your skin very lightly. It lasts just a fraction of a second.

Two more to go. Not that I’m counting.

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