Exciting days were forthcoming, one last treatment of chemo and I was done. My mind could not grasp the idea of reaching this great milestone in my cancer journey. Tough days were behind me and a new uncharted season was upon me. Tired of the way things had been, I was looking forward to a new day without the dreadful poison running through my body. I had experienced so much pain, that at times, I felt like pretending to not care or being cold was the only way to live in this world. I experienced all these thoughts and changes in mindset as I endured each stage in my cancer battle. Finally, it’s all over and done with or was it?
Chemo was over but my next step in my cancer plan was high dose radiation. I thought to myself, am I ready, I will do whatever it takes to continue fighting. At this point in time, with all the scars and battles experienced, I had a positive attitude going into radiation. Up to now, my life had been consumed with chemo as a treatment so even though I do recall reading information on radiation, I could not for the life of me remember any details of this course of treatment. In my mind, my inner voice said everything will be okay, I will figure it out, no worries.
I went to a different hospital with a cancer treatment center to receive my radiation treatment so I had to redo all the fun and exciting forms again. I know all the paperwork is necessary but to a cancer patient, you end up having to fill out so many documents every time you take tests as an outpatient that by this time, I was just exhausted but I had to suck it up and just fill out all the forms. They reviewed the paperwork and performed a routine check up of me. I was in a new medical facility but it was the same old routine. I was taken to a room and while I was waiting, they came to tell me to take off my blouse only and put on the gown and that they would call me in a few minutes. I said ok, thank you. I thought this was odd but then again, I knew that I had not gone through the radiation information orreread it to refresh my memory so I was pretending like I knew what was going to happen. They called me into this room and told me to lie down on a testing table bed type thing. I was asked to open my gown and I am wondering why, what’s happening. She told me well, we have to measure you so we can put the tattoo marks for your radiation treatment. I said, pardon me, tattoo marks. Don’t get me wrong, I had always thought of getting a tattoo but my fear of the pain from the needle caused me to pause and rethink it. In my head, I thought this is ironic, fear of pain and needles prevented me from going through with it to get a tattoo and now by this point, pain and needles were embedded in my daily battle with cancer. She told me yes, tattoo dots are made in order for the radiation therapist to be able to aim the radiation precisely in the same place in order to prevent recurrence and to spare healthy tissue from being affected. This is the price you pay for radiation treatment, tattoo dots.
Up to today, I have not gotten a tattoo but I do have my tattoo dots which the best tattoo I can have since these are some of my battle wounds that remind me of my battle with cancer. These tattoo dots symbolize the victory over cancer despite all difficulties sustained throughout my journey.