Ten Days And Counting!

On that last 10 days of my radiation treatment!  YAY!  Today I’m remembering all the times in my youth when I ditched my bra and pulled on a tight white t-shirt hoping to show off my womanly youthfulness. 

Firm, high, breasts with nipples that pressed teasingly against my Fruit-of-the-looms. “Beaters” in today’s lexicon.  It was an exciting feeling 20 years ago to waltz around that way, all tucked into a great pair of jeans and leather thong sandals. 

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

Today I’m going braless under a tight white t-shirt for a very different reason.  Breasts hurt too much to wear anything  more supportive than a t-shirt. Haven’t been able to wear an underwire bra, my foundation garment of choice for the last 25 years, since about my third radiation treatment.   The fit was causing severe skin irritation and undo swelling.  I sorta looked like the left half of Dolly Parton by 4:30PM each day.   So at the urging of one of my radiation therapists I switched to wearing sport bras under my clothes.  I’ve found Wal-Mart has very pretty styles.  Three for about $10.  Not bad.  Cheap enough that if they get ruined from the markings and creams of my treatment I won’t mind.

The past three weeks of radiation treatments have scorched my left breast and the left side of my chest.  “The glow” as I call it is reaching up the left side of my neck.  I was warned about a “sunburn” side effect prior to starting treatment.  Now “my girls” have seen the sun over the years and have on rare occasions even been a little overdone, so I thought I knew what to expect.  But I was wrong. I guess I have a radiation burn of sorts. Everything is a strange reddish brown color with a hint of yellow.  Nothing really like a tan.  The redness comes from an irritating prickly rash all over the left side of my chest.  Radiation dermatitis.  And it iches.  I don’t dare scratch it because the tiny bumps hurt to touch.  The once soft, smooth, blue-white skin of my breast now looks like the flesh on the cleaned turkey I cooked not too long ago.  My skin’s pores are huge.  It’s kind of scary to look at.  I’ve been assured that some day my appearance will return to “normal”.  I’m hoping!

As I look at myself in the mirror I feel like a gawker driving by a bad car crash.  I know I should look away, but I can’t help myself.  I stare wondering if everything’s going to be okay.

I am on a final countdown beginning today!  Nine more to go!  Join me each day, won’t you?  And let me hear you shout!  I can use all the encouragement I can get going into this final stretch!  I hurt.  But I’m gonna cross the finish line on my own.  Just like I started! 

Watch me!