Kat Caverly, Self-Portrait February 8, 2014
The first time I heard that Jack Johnson song was the week before my first radiation treatment. I walk the 1.01 miles to Ulster Radiation, and as I walk I believe “every part of the dream.”
I am looking forward to walking in the snowstorm. It’s 8am and I am already planning how to dress for this adventure, layers layers layers! I get to wear my winteriest clothes. I am ready for real temperatures under zero, and the wind chills too. Bring it Mother Nature!
Treatments are every morning, 8:50am, Monday through Friday. I am eager to complete this part of my cancer dance card with no delays. The sooner I do it, the sooner I will be done with it all.
The walk challenges me, especially the hills. I think as I walk up the steepest part of the hill, “Will I survive this?” every time. Then I make it to the hospital parking lot, once again. By this time I catch my breath. I am smiling because of the mere fact I made it!
Like Moses parting the seas I walk through the automatic doors. I have a special card which scans me into the system. Now everyone knows I am there. I am a member of this special club. Everyone knows my name.
Radiation is as hi-tech as it gets. The linear accelerator is very trekkie. I am finally over the first days’ jitters, got my music playlists all worked out, and grateful the whole thing is over before I can begin to worry about it. Today I’m in the express lane. I just seem to fall into the right place, and being shot by the “ray guns’ seems to only take a minute.
Rads doesn’t hurt. The hardest part is remaining still for those ten minutes in this pin-up pose: arms over my head, head turned demurely to the left. Boom shackalacka boom!
Complaining is not a survival strategy. All of these treatments suck. But with a certain attitude I can make it twice as bad. No thanks. Silliness cuts the suckiness in half, at least while I am being silly. So I’ve cultivated the art of the giggle. Like a prayer, a giggle acknowledges the holy, which is all around me, all the time. Lately I am finding myself giggling and smiling more and more often, for the littlest of reasons.
Another week of no pain, and only minor side effects. That’s reason enough to celebrate! Add to this another day closer to being done with rads, March 5th. That’ll call for a happy dance for sure!