Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Tattooed Lady

So.  Today, at the age of 59, I got my very first tattoo.

See if you can guess what it is:


No?  How about this?

Hmmm…what about this charmer?

Ok, I’ll tell you….TA DA:

It’s that little black dot in the middle.  There are three others as well, but I can’t show you those because they include naughty bits.  They are the markers for my radiation treatment, which will probably begin next week.  I have too many co-morbitities to be a candidate for chemo, so we are hoping radiation, along with hormone therapy afterwards, will eradicate any errant cancer cells.  I will have a treatment every day, five days a week, for over six weeks.

In an icy cold MRI room, on a hard plastic table, I was set up for the procedures I will receive.  My arm was held over my head in a brace and I have to keep my head turned as far to the right as possible to avoid irradiating my face.  The area that was measured and marked off is relatively large, to include the lymph nodes in my neck and armpit.   Holding still for over a half an hour, my muscles started to spasm and then I was tattooed so the radiation can be aimed at the exact same spot each time.  Lying there, I had a few tearful moments as I was overwhelmed by the enormity of what was happening.  I still cannot believe I have cancer.   Oh, and we’re still pursuing the whole spot-on-the-liver thing, I have to go for another MRI next week.  I am just so weary of being a sick person.

I have to say, though, everyone at the Radiation Oncology Center was kind, pleasant and helpful.  My doctor is relaxed and friendly, he reminded me of B.D. Wong, except he is Korean, not Chinese.  He was incredibly reassuring and empathetic.

Who knows, maybe when all this is over I will treat myself to a new tattoo.  One of these would be my cup of tea.

My new theme song:


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Anji Knutsen said...

I love the teapot tattoos.

I'm sorry that I've missed so much action. I don't think that I could keep still for so long. You are incredibly brave.

I hope the rest of your treatment goes as well as it can


Shorespinner said...

The mapping and tattooing are the longest sessions you will have. The actual radiation appointments go quickly. The radiation techs at MMC are wonderful and caring people, as is Dr. Sim. I think I showed you what I did with my tattoos - I had 7 of the 10 tattoos turned into stars, for hope. If you want you can have them lasered off, but they do tend to fade to the point where I really have to search for the 3 I didn't have done.

Patty Woodland said...

I hope this does the trick. The goats are sending you lots of hugs!

Muffie said...

Your positive attitude is so inspiring! I continue to keep you in my prayers.

Marie said...

Thank you for all your comments everyone!

Anji - I wouldn't have believed I would like a tattoo, but I love those teapots too.

Thank you for your kind words, but the true brave one here is my friend Shorespinner, who has been through far more brutal treatment for this disease. She is a model of courage and dignity for me.

Shorespinner - You are so wonderful to offer me such encouragement and support. I am so grateful. You really are a hero to me.

Patty - I LOVE goat hugs!! Thank you!

Muffie - Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts!

Shorespinner said...

Marie, you are in my thoughts and prayers every day. I know you can do this. In the words of Julian of Norwich, all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

Marie said...

Amen, my dear friend.