If you have ever shopped for white paint, you know that there are a crazy amount of different white tones. They range from a neon/bluish white to a yellowish/khaki white. This range of whites represents my skin tone from spring all the way through summer. I don't tan, but I can turn a dark shade of white. Even when I taught windsurfing one entire summer, I did not tan.
If I don't use sunscreen, my skin would represent the pink tones. I am careful about not sunburning my skin because I want to look as good as my grandmothers did in their golden years. They never sunned their skin, and aged beautifully. In her 90's, my grandmother looked better than most face lifts. However, radiation has turned the skin on my left chest and underarm from white to light pink to bright fuchsia.
My newest color is the color purple. I didn't even know that one's skin could turn this color. On the color wheel, my purple skin is closer to red than blue. (blue + red = purple) My toasted skin often itches, and sometime aches. My skin also feels thick and tight, especially under my left arm which looks the most purple. I had to cancel my physical therapy because I couldn't bear someone pulling and stretching my colorful skin.
I look like a doll that was colored by a little girl who loves pink and purple.
Today Chubba drove me to radiation because I was very dizzy this morning. I saw Dr. Dad's nurse about the dizziness, and she told me that is could not be related to radiation, and that I could possibly have a virus. She checked all my vitals, and they were normal. Chubba saw the whole radiation routine. He thought the radiation machine looked like something from "Honey I Shrunk the Kids." There are three radiation rooms, and I am assigned to room #2. Sometimes I will have a new tech rotating in from another room. Today I had a new gal that made a couple of mistakes. Over an intercom, a tech instructs me "inhale" before they turn on each radiation zap, and "breathe" after it goes off. The new tech forgot to tell me to breathe after I had been holding my breath for 20 seconds. Fortunately I had danced these steps a few times, so I knew the routine and that it was okay to breathe. Her second mistake was more disconcerting. She forgot to tell me to "inhale" before she turned on the machine. I heard it go on and quickly inhaled, and moments later she said "inhale." I wanted to yell - "too late!" I hope this one zap of radiation wasn't enough to damage a lung. If she is there tomorrow, I am going to remind her to warn me to "inhale" before the radiation is turned on.
I have two more weeks of radiation. However, I have four weeks of side affects left. I will have a lot to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. Bring on the stuffing and the gravy! (Just don't tell my oncologist who keeps telling me to lose weight. She's right - I can read the scale too.)
This whole cancer - surgery/chemo/radiation thing is getting old and wearing on me. I have never run a marathon, but I imagine this is what the last few miles must feel like. I just need to suck it up and get over the dang finish line.
Whacky thought for the day...
Is "dark shade of white" an oxymoron?