• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 238 (Radiation Treatment 2 of 30: Nurses with a Sense of Humor)

    Nurses with a sense of humor

    Friday, March 6, 2015

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today: 2.60 miles; Running Total: 197.09 miles)

    Day 238 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    I was sleepy today. I didn’t sleep well last night. It seems early for the radiation treatment to make me tired so I’m chalking it up to just a bad night’s sleep.

    One nurse handed me the special glasses and another put a warm blanket over my legs. I put the glasses on and asked, “Am I allowed to already be tired of this?”

    My Star Trek warrior nurse laughed. “Not yet. Besides, we still have to beat the bad guys.”

    “Oh yeah. Well, on with it then.”

    A second nurse put a film of something over my right breast. The film was soft and about the size of a dinner napkin.

    I asked, “What’s this?”

    “It’s called Bolus. It’s just part of your prescription. We’ll put this on every other day. It’s like the texture of skin and brings the radiation treatment closer to the top of the skin.”


    This is what the bolus looks like. This is not me, but it’s very similar to how I look during treatment.


    “Okay, here we go.” The nurses turned the lights out as they left the room.

    Now the room was cold and dark. I was warm with a blanket over my legs and the bolus covering my exposed skin. It was the perfect combination for a nap, and I badly wanted to close my eyes. But no napping for me because I had to hold my breath and make the yellow line turn green.

    (I felt no difference in the treatment with the bolus in place. I still didn’t feel anything at all.)

    After the first round of radiation the two nurses came back into the room and attached the electron cone to the radiation machine.

    Half joking (half not), I asked if they’d ever dropped the electron cone on anyone.

    One of the nurses gave me a quick, flat ‘no’ in a way that said she heard that question forty times a day. Then she softened. “But an intern did once.” I winced. “Not here,” she reassured me. “At the main campus downtown.”

    The other nurse (my Star Trek warrior) asked, “What was the question?”

    “She asked if we ever dropped this on anyone.”

    My Star Trek warrior looked down at me and nodded solemnly. “Yes. Every other day.” She patted me on the shoulder. “Monday’s your day. Sorry.”

    “Good to know. I’ll try and keep my face out of the way.”

    Today’s silver lining: Nurses with a sense of humor.

    Jesus, I hope she was kidding.

    What’s your silver lining today? I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share? Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.



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  1. […] today. She was very sweet but she was also very small. All I could think of was the student that dropped the electron cone on someone. I sincerely hoped I wouldn’t become a teaching moment. Those things […]

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