06 December 2010
Today I had my blue dot moment. My radiation therapists, Cynthia and Michael, gently inked the tiny blue marks on my chest and under my arms. They are temporary tattoos that let them know where the radiation beams should go each day – 25 to 28 days.
I had a choice of colors, so I asked for red. Because it's Christmas, I thought it might be nice to have my dots match my tree. No red, but four other choices – green, black, purple and pink. No gold or silver either. So I just stayed with the traditional color blue.
In the days ahead I will begin external beam radiation therapy. This cancer treatment uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells. In my case, hopefully there are still no cancer cells in my body, and the treatment will be used as adjuvant therapy – to prevent recurrence of the cancer. Five years and I’m home free, isn’t that what they say? I hope so. I like to think of this treatment as double life insurance. One year, two years, three years and counting . . .
The Governor and First Lady asked me again to plan the upcoming Inaugural festivities, asked me if I was physically up for doing that. Of course I am - I'm as strong as an ox, and nearly as smart. I managed the planning four years ago and this year will be much easier because I know what I'm doing this time. I shared with him that I would have blue dots on my chest and neck area during the celebration. The Governor said, “No problem. We’ll just buy you a blue feather boa. You'll match your new tattoos.” I’ll now wait on my feather boa. I only need one.
More treatment means more days and weeks of counting. I’ve spent this entire year counting – 8 chemotherapy treatments, 3 days of pre-chemo tablets, Vitamin D levels of 50 or more, counting white blood cells, 8 pills a day, Arimidex for five years, 17 lymph nodes removed, six saline injections – and now 8 blue dots for 25 to 28 radiation treatments. I guess I’ll keep on counting.
As I lay there on the scanner this morning, wearing my new blue dots, I couldn’t help but wonder . . . What will life be like when we live in a world without cancer, when we can quit counting and counting and counting?
Posted by Stacy Sells at 2:07 PM