Friday, June 11, 2010

#180: Mileposts Passed

Today was "R5" on Mum's calender. That's day 5 of 33 radiation treatments. She is the keeper of the official date book. Actually, I think we all have one. It's funny how one measures out the time. My day usually starts around dawn with some quiet staring into space, then an alarm at 7:00. Wash, rinse my mouth, pills, flush the PEG, change the dressing. It's a team effort. After a quick trip across town courtesy of Mom or Mrs P I'm on the radiation table by 8:30 and out the door by 9:00. Then I sit down to chat with you for a while.

Of course meals are mileposts, too. Slowly sipping some herbal tea or a protein shake. A nice crumbly muffin. A smoothie made of fresh bananas and frozen berries. Yesterday, I dreamed about cutting a slice of Ray's Original Pizza into tiny little pieces and savoring each sliver.That may have to wait for the store-bought choppers, though.

And friends, my touchstones. I spent hours on the phone yesterday. You can't imagine how I treasure each second. We talk about plays they are working on. Books they are reading. Sick relatives. Gossip and jokes. My friends give me a reason to laugh every day. They are my treasures.

Late in the afternoon, my energy wanes. The tum becomes a little unstable. The thinking clouds. There isn't much evening activity for me these days, though I desperately want to be well enough to see some of the wonderful theatre being prepared for the summer. Maybe if I time the steroids out just right...

Tomorrow, I get to sleep in. No radiation on the weekends. It seems funny to get such intense treatment on a work-week schedule. The techs told me today that each shot from the linear accelerator (that's the machine's real name) represents about 6 million volts of X-ray radiation. My morning treatment is comparable to getting 100 chest X-rays every day. I'm not sure which is more miraculous, the fact that they can do it, or the fact that I can stand it.

Summer is only 10 days away, but feels like it will be here any minute. This morning the air was just plain sultry. There aren't many days that I happily surrender to the Air Conditioner gods, but today, my heart belongs to them. At least until the afternoon rain gives us some relief.

I hope your time is passing peacefully today. May we all have many miles to travel.

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