Honestly, I have a lot of mixed opinions and so many feelings about receiving radiation therapy.
I am tired of having treatments for cancer and of the side effects. I long to feel really well again. I worry about short and long-term risks and side effects. It's a lot of work. Daily treatments, 5 days/week, about 10 minutes in the machine, but about an hour in and out at the medical center. The supportive care I am providing myself takes far longer: sauna the night before, exercise in the hour before, four doses of niacinamide in the 2 hours before that treatment, an hour in the Hyperbaric Chamber after the treatment, handfuls of supplements, eating a careful diet. It's work to be alert and advocate for myself.
I am also increasingly aware of my gratitude for the treatments and for the people who are so committed to providing them with excellence. I read, hear and witness the advances in the technology designed to make all the treatments I receive more and more effective, safe, and tolerable. My own health and resilience is a treasure. Frequenting a teaching hospital is an opportunity to witness a broad spectrum of physical health experienced by people who are receiving treatment. I experience this as an antidote to self-pity.
Despite how much time it takes up, I am grateful for the access to and the knowledge of supportive therapies to help me receive and integrate these medical treatments.
Mostly, I am grateful for the fact that I am tolerating these treatments really well, that they are working to treat my cancer, and I am nearing the end of the most intense phase of treatment.
I am so very glad that I have been able to continue to practice family medicine and recently to return to a more active work schedule. I am once again seeing patients in person, offering acupuncture, and in the office 4 days/week. I rejoice that my practice has weathered the challenges of a pandemic and my own illness.