On Wednesday I started the third leg of my treatment - radiation. So far it was been the simplest part as well, but I know that will change in a few weeks.
I will be have at least 25 sessions of radiation. They take place every weekday and last about 10-15 minutes. The first session was the longest, a little over an hour, because they had to shoot a few x-rays to make sure they were aiming the radiation in the right place. I told them to take their time and get it right.
There is a possibility that I will need an extra 3-5 sessions at the end. The doctor said that this might happen because when the surgeon cut out the tumor there was no cancer in the bronchial tubes, but there was some in the fleshy tissue surrounding those tubes. So the extra sessions would be done just to focus on that area in particular. It will not be decided until the last week of radiation and seeing how well I am holding up to the side effects.
Side effects should start kicking in next week. He told me that radiation is cumulative, so the effects are not felt right away. By next week he said I may start to feel a little run down and tired, this will continue until 3-4 weeks after radiation. He also said that since they are shoot quite close to the esophagus, there is a strong chance that I might feel the esophagus constrict a little and have to eat a lot of soft foods during the last few weeks of radiation and for 304 weeks afterward. Luckily I am big fan of soup and ice cream!
The staff at the radiation center is great. I have had to take Sierra with me and they have taken care of her wonderfully as well. So far, everything is going very well and I am still quite hopefully that all of this will do what it is supposed to and we will wipe this stuff out.