Blogs > Ann DeMatteo's Why Us?

Since my breast cancer diagnosis on June 9, 2008, I have spent a fairly decent amount of time wondering "why me?" I would like to hear from you about your cancer stories. Let's create a dialogue of learning, sharing and hope.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Radiation Graduation

How can something so unpleasant be pleasant? That was my experience with radiation. As you may have seen in my column, I thought radiation was the toughest of all of the breast cancer therapies. For me, it was the one therapy that made me think daily about my cancer diagnosis. After the technologists set you up on the table, the four-food lead door closes and you're on the table alone in your own thoughts.
On Thursday, I received my certificate of completion on the Varian Linear Accelerator, a machine that treated me 30 times, the last seven with cone therapy that lasted a minute. The previous 23 treatments covered five parts of my chest and armpit area and caused a very big sunburn. I am now peeling under my arm and it's uncomfortable.
It didn't help that in the course of things that I came down with my annual spring case of bronchitis. The infection went away after a week of antibiotics, but I'm still coughing and my chest is still wheezing. Not pleasant.
But what made my radiation therapy pleasant were the technologists who treated me, Roseann Perito and Shalene Neeman, and others who popped in to assist from time to time. As I've said in my columns, I have been blessed to have had many kind and caring medical professionals helping me during my breast cancer treatment. I don't know how they do it, but all the doctors, nurses and technicians I have come across are so caring and compassionate. What jobs they do.
Happy Mother's Day, all.