Today I visited the radiation oncology department at my local hospital for preliminary information about this phase of my recovery from breast cancer. It so happens that eight weeks ago today I had surgery, and eight weeks from today I’ll be finished with the radiation. I’m half way there. Sometimes it feels manageable; other times it’s exhausting. But here are some things I learned that could help.
- A positive attitude is the most important factor in making radiation easier. Given that I’m a glass-is-half-full person, I hope this works for me.
- Maintaining as much of your regular routine is important. So I’ve scheduled my trainer for two times a week and will mall walk the other week days we don’t meet.
- When fatigue sets in, it’s fair to take a Power Nap, defined as sixty minutes or less. But if you give in to fatigue totally, then it becomes worse. What a paradox?
- My daily appointment (not on weekends) is at 3:30 PM. I chose this because I’m not a morning person. When I finally come to, then there’ll be morning time to do other activities. And when I get to 3:30 PM – 4 PM by the time the session is over – I can go home and collapse.
All this is very fascinating, except I’d much prefer it wasn’t happening to me. Since it is, it’s my goal to be in the same physical and mental health I was this time last year. Because my son Kevin is running the Boston Marathon on the fifth anniversary of the bombing. And nothing ever came close to the feeling that the city and the running community had the year after the bombing when we also went. It’s a goal worth working toward.