Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I wasn't under arrest.

One wall of Dr. L’s small office is the same dusty rose as my bedroom in my Boston Riverway apartment.

He gives me the list of things that MIGHT happen during my 27 sessions of radiology four times each week probably beginning around June 10—yes I will get to Argelès sometime this summer:

Burned skin
Swelling of the right arm
Swelling of the breast (maybe the dent will be filled in)
A rising of the breast
A slight scarring of the lung

He shows me pictures of the machine that will zap any hidden or to-tiny-to-detect cancer cells and explains they might do it while I’m on my back or maybe on my stomach to use gravity. He has no photos of a woman on her stomach, but the one on her back smiles radiantly (okay I’m sorry) at the machine.

“We will give you a tattoo at the exact spot the machine will zap you,” he said.
Nurse Catherine, whose name is surrounded by lady bugs (lady birds for my Brit friends) and also cover her hospital shoes, tells me it is a pin point. I think it would be a great time to get a tiny rose or a book outline partially to shock my daughter. That is not among my choices.

At least it won’t be like the large blue crosses my mother had during her radiation treatments for cancer of the uvula.

Dr. V joins us. He speaks Franglais to me with the emphasis on the lais…

They have a wonderful X-ray picture of me on the computer shot from my head down before the surgery but after I was knocked out. I can see the bones in my arms, the tumour. The can rotate the photo so I have different views. I’m happy the tumour is no longer there.

Dr. L assures me that after I am through with the treatment I can have copies of the mammograms and other stuff. They are mine, but right now they need to keep them. I was not worried.

He asks permission to examine me. At one point he tells me to put my hands on my head.

“Am I under arrest I ask?”

He looks shocked then laughs while nurse Catherine giggles.
Tomorrow I’ve another appointment.

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