• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 269 (Radiation Treatment 23 of 30: Burn Relief)

    CoolMagicGelSheets

    Monday, April 6, 2015

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today:  3.66 miles;  Running Total: 231.66 miles)

    Day 269 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    Today I went old school for my run. I dug my interval watch out of my closet and set it to match today’s Couch to 5K run. I could barely read the instructions through the cracked screen of my phone. Interval 1: 5 minutes, Interval 2: 3 minutes, repeat at the end.

    Damn driveways. Why does concrete have to be so hard?

    It was so weird to run without a phone. I’m not sure when it happened, but a smart phone somehow became a necessary running item.

    I kept thinking the worst was going to happen. ‘Justin will get into a car accident’ led to ‘the school will call and one of the kids will be hurt’ and ‘there will be a terrible natural disaster and all of California will fall into the ocean and I won’t know it because I don’t have my damn phone’.

    When I got home, I rushed to see what I’d missed.

    The sum total of activity on my phone? Flipboard pushed an auto-update.

    Apparently I embody FOMO.

    fomo

    There is a very definite radiation burn under my right arm now. It’s a deep red color and pimpled with blisters.

    It also hurts. A lot.

    If you’ve ever had a sunburn, think back to the worst sunburn of your life. The one that blistered and you couldn’t stand to have anything touch it, not even a t-shirt or a sheet. Your skin was hot to the touch. If you allowed anyone to touch you, that is.

    Now take that feeling, double it and condense it down to a 4×6 area under the fold of your arm.

    That’s what my radiation burn feels like.

    It makes sleeping difficult. I’ll roll over to the right and wake up myself up because it hurts so bad.

    I spoke with one of the radiation oncology nurses and asked if I could put Lidocaine cream on it. I have two tubes left over from chemo. I just wanted it to stop hurting.

    She said said that the lidocaine cream will thin my skin out. Also, just numbing my skin wouldn’t solve the problem. The problem is that my skin is looking for moisture and it isn’t getting enough. I told her I’d been putting the Aquaphor on every day. She said sometimes Aquaphor alone just isn’t enough.

    That’s when she gave me a huge pack of the gel sheets you see at the top of this post.

    The first time I put one on I broke out in goose bumps everywhere. They’re only cool against unburned skin. Against my burned skin the patch skipped right over cool and went straight to the territory of fucking freezing.

    But oh my lord, sweet relief. Think back to that bad sunburn again. How good did it feel to apply aloe vera gel that’s been kept in the freezer?

    Exactly.

    I shuddered and broke out in goose bumps but I wanted to cry it felt so good.

    The nurse said I’ll probably have to change the patch four or five times a day as my skin soaks up the moisture. Whatever. It makes the pain go away and my clothes don’t get greasy. I’ll change it every fifteen minutes if I have to.

    Today’s silver lining: Cool Magic Gel Sheets. Whoever invented these things deserves a place in heaven.

    I know I’ve been in an awful mood lately. My burn hurts and I’ve been very scattered. It makes me think of going through college finals. Just like then I had to shut everything else out, put my head down, and get through the next week and a half. I’ll clean up whatever mess I make later.

    I still don’t know how I’m going to deal with treatment ending, but that’s going to have to wait until after treatment is over.

    Each worry in it’s own time.

    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.

    xoxo,
    Meghan

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