I hate to dwell on the pain, but if this is to be a truthful account of my breast cancer experience, then I have to say something about these burns.
My last radiation session was two weeks ago today! But the end of radiation, I’ve learned, is NOT the end of radiation.
My radiologist warned me that I would feel the effects of radiation for 14 days after my last treatment. I just didn’t think he really meant me.
When that last dose was administered I wanted to be done, for the pain to end, for the burns to heal. But just like clockwork, weird bumps and blisters started appearing on my chest as the post-radiation days passed.
Then they appeared, mysteriously, on my back, like exit wounds, I thought. Then, as I continued to cook, my skin turned dark and crispy. When I applied ointment, my skin felt like bacon. Then it started to look like bacon.
The photo below was taken this morning as my wounds started to open up. I’m not sure if it’s good or bad. The pain is so bad I resorted to Percocet two nights ago. It’s not like a sunburn, it’s worse. More like if something scalding had been poured on me. Or maybe acid. Or maybe I’ve been nuked in a microwave. I really have no point of comparison.
Pain shoots from my chest to my armpit, which is also burned and discolored.
I was hesitant to post a photo of this, but I think it’s important. I also thought I’d never post a photo of my scars, though this one includes the part of my scar that extends under my armpit.
So there you have it.
There is good news, as there always is. I now believe Dr. P, who said I would continue to burn for 14 days. That means tomorrow the pain will start to diminish.
From now on out, the pain I have endured for the past nine months will get a little easier. Every day I’ll get a little stronger.
Maybe one day my brain will start to recall things a little better. I’ll write what that’s like another time – if I can remember….