Radiation Therapy for Cancer


Radiation is a repetitive daily procedure of signing in, changing into a gown, and sitting with other women battling the same traitorous disease while waiting for your name to be called.

The room you go to for radiation looks like a scientific experiment or alien abduction. The round part goes around me as I lay on my back, with arms up, holding onto handlebars. This is where you burn the tumors that are trying to escape.

The nurses use the sheet underneath me to strategically position my body in alignment with sharpie marks and stickers previously placed at a consultation. Those stickers stay on you through showering and daily life as you go through your weeks of radiation treatment. They also hand-dipped a needle into ink and put a microscopic dot tattoo in the spot where the tumor is located. You're marked with a little detailed reminder for the rest of your life.

Then they leave the room to start the procedure. I uncomfortably wait for the sound of an old-fashion pencil sharpener, once, twice, and then the machine moves to my back for another two rounds.

Then I'm free to release my hands, get down, walk back to the dressing room, staring at my red chest, get dressed, and go home.



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