Tag Archives: radiation

It’s even harder than we thought

Today, the New England Journal of Medicine publishes a paper that shows that genetic mutations—the garbled DNA code that can kill you—often differs within the same cancer tumor. This is a huge deal. Why? Because dozens, if not hundreds, of … Continue reading

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No fair

After almost six weeks of radiation, I’ve become friends with a couple other women who are crazy enough to do early, early morning radiation appointments. One is a young mother, very petite. She’s also one of Dr. Hwang’s surgery patients. … Continue reading

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Control freak who?

“Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Control freak. Now, you say, ‘Control freak,who?’” When I first heard that joke, it took me about ten minutes to get it. That created much merriment for my family, who know that I’m the sort of … Continue reading

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The side effects come in on little cat feet

If chemo is a sledgehammer, then radiation is a little Dremer drill: more subtle, more precise but equally lethal in its way. The side effects accumulate more slowly, appearing quietly, steadily. Week 1: After my check-up with Dr. Fowble, I … Continue reading

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The first day of radiation, I get up before six. I’ve chosen one of the earliest available time slots: 7 a.m. Better to just get the radiation out of the way, I figure, and get on with the day. Why … Continue reading

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Set …

Almost a week passes after my measuring session in radiation oncology. Radiation therapy happens every day, Monday through Friday, but the docs prefer that you have at least three sessions before you get to the first weekend break. My schedule … Continue reading

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Infusion No. 5 – What to say?

Like the low-grade nausea and fatigue that keep up their drumbeat as I write this, infusion number 5 is wearyingly familiar. We make some progress during the “is she healthy enough for poison?” checkup. The shoulder pain that I had … Continue reading

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