Chemo Brain

Warning: Blogger suffers from chemo brain-The struggle is real, y'all!

Monday, June 5, 2017

June 5th and Duct Tape Nightmares??!!

June 5th already?? I can't believe it!

The month of May flew by for me, and my radiation treatments seem to be going pretty quickly also!! Today was treatment #14! Only 19 more to go!

Today was what I fondly refer to as "duct tape day" at the radiation center! Every other day something called a Bolus ( a flat piece of rubber-like material) is placed on my chest for part of my treatment. The use of the Bolus increases the radiation dose to my skin and the tissues below it. The technicians use tape to hold the Bolus in place during the treatments, and it looks a LOT like duct tape! LOL!

Let me say right here that I am very claustrophobic and I also have some issues with being held down in any way. It might seem a bit strange, but anything that confines my movement at all gives me the same claustrophobic feeling that I get when confined to small spaces.

Yes, I have issues! We won't even talk about the time I broke my foot and 2 hours into having a cast on that foot, I had to have them CUT IT OFF (the cast-not the foot!) and put me in a removable walking boot cast because I was FREAKING OUT!

It was such a pretty pink cast!

SOO--back to the Bolus/duct tape story-
Last week on one of my "duct tape days," a new technician (new to me) put the tape on me, and she put it on all the way across my chest and taped me to the table! On previous "duct tape days," the tape was applied to the middle of my chest directly onto my skin and was not confining. On this particular day though, the tape felt a little tight right away, but I thought it would be okay for just a short period.....and yet, it wasn't!! OMG, the longer I lay there, the tighter the tape seemed to get, and of course that made me breathe harder, which made the tape feel even more uncomfortable! I tried every breathing technique that has ever worked to calm me down when I have been anxious, but nothing worked! Finally, I asked the tech to PLEASE-QUICKLY come and loosen my restraints!! I was going into a full-fledged anxiety attack!

It wasn't as bad as depicted below, but it sure felt like it at the time! I can laugh about it now, but I was really freaking out! I apologized to the technician, but she kept insisting that it was okay and that I was NOT the first patient to do that! She also assured me that for future treatments I would NOT be taped to the table!! Maybe I wasn't the first to have a meltdown on the table, but I wonder if I'm the first one to have nightmares about duct tape afterward????

Each Monday after my radiation treatment, I see my radiation oncologist, and he was quite pleased today. He said that my skin seems to be handling the treatments really well. I'm a little red on my chest, but not too bad at all!

I am so happy that this phase of my treatment is going by so quickly! I am also thankful that at least for right now, the side effects aren't too bad! I am just praying that it will continue to be this way!

Oh, just one more thing-Today I started a new medication called Femara, which I will have to take for the next 5 to 10 years. I will talk a little about that in another post.

Do you have any phobias? Please share so that I don't feel quite so alone with my issues!!



  1. Replies
    1. They have open MRI machines, but I don't know of anyone who has actually had access to one!

  2. I haven't had an MRI but I imagine I'll panic if I do...

    I'm so sorry you're dealing with cancer. Sending you lots of love and healing vibes. And now I need to catch up on your previous posts. xxoo

  3. I have anxiety but I manage it pretty well. I've had a few MRIs and have done just fine with them. But I'll tell you, as a medical professional with a (newly diagnosed) chronic illness, it SUCKS being a patient. Especially for those of us with anxiety.

    Hang in there and just keep moving forward.

  4. Thank you! It DOES suck being a patient! We will both keep moving forward because us ladies are tough!