Today was day #23 of radiation. 13 more to go, then I am through. It's a good feeling and a relief hat the finish line is now coming closer. The remaining radiations will be the toughest ones, though: my skin is red and irritated from the previous sessions, as is my body and my mind and soul. But then, hey, just 13 more! Just to the end of this month of July.
Well, or rather: to the end of this month, plus the first Monday in August. Which feels silly, this extra day in the new week and new month. But then, the Finish line isn't the line that marks the step from being in treatment to being healthy. It's the end of radiation - after that, my skin and body will need time to recover. But it will be a huge, huge milestone to cross that line:
Right now, it is downwards again. But from that finish line day on, it (hopefully) will mainly be upwards. And hopefully, my energies will return then on a daily base. Right now, I have to plan the days carefully, to not run out of energy before at least the main things are done. But even now, the days still come with good moments. Also, I am so glad it is summer. So when the tiredness wraps me up (which it does more and more often now), I can lie down in the hammock and rest in the shade.
Embracing the brutality...
I am mostly reading short stories these days, and trail travelogues, especially Carrot Quinn's blog. She currently treks the Continental Divide Trail, which is both a beautiful, powerful but also demanding experience. The “slogan” for it is: “embrace the brutality”.
It's refreshing to read and remember that it is human nature to look for challenges and go through them by own choice. Also, swinging in a hammock is double relaxing when reading about rough hikes. So I guess that will accompany me while I am walking my own “trail” of radiation.
And here are some of the short stories I especially enjoyed, it's probably not much of a surprise that a focus theme of them is medicine and healing:
About medicine, science and old knowledge, painkillers and projects: “The Cage of You“ by Kerry Howley: "Try a mantra. Say: “My body knows what to do. My body knows what to do."
A different kind of ghost story (+ a Nebula Award Nominee): "Ghosts of New York" by Jennifer Pelland: "he only people who find clarity in certain death are those who somehow cheat it, those who can reflect back upon the experience and use it to goad them into living a better life. For the ghosts, there is only terror.."
A story about life, tales, and trains:: "To Zagreb" by Yoko Tawada: "You have to start by tricking yourself. One day you might dig up some evil from a past life, give it a good polish, and become a swindler in this one. If it came to that, you would surely believe the story you made up to deceive others."
A story about remembering and forgetting: "Thailand" by Haruki Murakami: "There was an announcement: Lettuce angel men. We aren’t countering some tab bulence. Please retahn to yah seat at thees time and fasten yah seat belt."
Previous Blog Posts
Here are the links to the previous blog posts about my radiation time:
- The first post about radiation: Going through radiation, or: emotions vs. logic, ghosts, that parallel world, and a hammock
- And the second one: Going through radiation: a breakdown + an oasis, and skin-on-skin advice