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Today started the series of 5 ‘boost treatments’.  J and L, my two radiology technicians for today, had a ‘template’ they put over the incision and they marked my skin with felt tip pens to line up the smaller device used to administer this treatment.  The radiation ‘head’ sits down close to the area, about 100mm away from the skin.  They cover the unaffected breast and most of the rest of the area, with the hospital gown, but the treatment area is left uncovered for this treatment.  J and L left the treatment area, as they always do, and then there was a long ‘beep’ sound that lasted for about maybe 20 seconds (I’ll count the seconds tomorrow!) and the treatment was done!  They came back to move the radiation head away from me and lowered the bed so that I could swing my legs around and dismount from the table.  That was the technical explanation of the treatment.

The FUN part of the treatment was all our talk about fish and chips and where the best fish and chips can be had. Is it battered?  Do they serve salad?  Are the chips really good? Is it wrapped in paper?  We’ve had some good food conversations as they’ve lined me up to be zapped, and we have shared other various tips and knowledge.  One day we shared war stories about riding buses.  Another time we discussed the pros and cons of boy leg panties versus high cuts! Which style covers more sins? (no male technicians during this conversation!) These people have been so good to be going through this with.  I have no doubt I will remember that they were ‘my team’ many years from now.  I hope I never have to come back for more treatment, but I am sorry I will not be likely to see them again.  While I was going through this very strange treatment at a strange time in my life, for a few minutes I could feel ‘normal’ and have fun conversation. Maya Angelou says “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” No, indeed, I will not forget.

‘Caprice’ by Barbara Tribe, 1935, Art Gallery of SA