All marked up
On Thursday we made our way into Halifax for my radiation marking appointment. When I arrived at check in, there was a distinct lack of information. The person at reception showed me where to change and told me where to wait after I was finished changing – however, she didn’t tell me how I needed to change. I decided that I only needed to take my top off, as they were not looking at my lower body.
They brought me into a room with a CT machine, lined me up, put some markings with pen on my body – specifically, under each armpit and one on top and the another on the bottom of my sternum. They put me in the CT, took a few pictures, then put small tattoos in the four spots. Three of the tattoos are generally covered by clothing, but if I were to wear a low cut shirt, you would see the top sternum one. Fortunately, it looks like a dark freckle.
I can see why some breast cancer patients really dislike the radiation tattoos. Now, everytime I look in the mirror I see them. Everytime I shower, I see them. They are a constant reminder of radiation. That being said, I have a lot of scars that are constant reminders and I get used to them. I’m pretty sure I’ll get use to the tattoos as well.
The next step is to wait for a phone call. The CT information goes to the radiation oncologist and she plans out the radiation. When there is availability of the radiation machines, they schedule it. It can start on any day of the week – so although it is 15-sessions, it might not start on a Monday. Typically, patients get about 2-days notice. When the phone call comes, they also schedule accommodations – either Hope Lodge or the Lord Elgin Hotel – depending on what is available. At this point, either works for us.
We also decided to spend Friday Feb 9 in Halifax so we can see JP Cormier and the Nova Scotia Symphony do a Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot. It is a late birthday present.
I’m also still waiting for the head CT. I haven’t received a call about it yet – so I’ll call the doctor’s office tomorrow and mention it. I will also ask them to mention that I have a port, so I need an appointment during the day when there is someone available to access it (if contrast is needed).
Now go on with our lives until we get the phone call. I’ve spending my time doing various sewing projects, exercising, and doing some painting in our new home.