It's hard to fully wrap my head around radiation and what it is. You can't see it but it's strong and a force to be reckoned with. People have become more aware of the risks of radiation and try to eliminate those things from homes to protect ourselves and family. I've heard so many of our clinic families talk about radiation and it's been a word that literally makes me cringe when I hear it. It just doesn't seem right. These children don't deserve this kind of treatment but sadly it's what's keeping their cancer away....that's what we hope. I've been in denial the past couple months with the things that were about to happen. Radiation and a bone marrow transplant. I knew we would have to do them but really just wanted to live in the moment and enjoy our time at home, our normalcy and our freedom.
It's like a double edge sword, though. When I had to switch back to reality the fear and anxiety set in. We had to face the stuff we've suppressed. I couldn't handle that word. Every time they would say it I would just cry. There isn't a moment I don't think that this is just one big nightmare we've lived the past 2 years. We are going to wake up and everything is going to be ok, but that just isn't how it is and we have to do this. We have to get her better, we have to trust these doctors, we have to do things that aren't easy and scary and we have to show people it can be done.
When we walked into the radiation room my heart sank and I become so overwhelmed it was hard to hold the tears back. This machine was a BEAST. The lights were dimmed and there was faint spa music playing. Not gonna lie, it was a little creepy. I sat with Arlie in a chair as 10-15 people surrounded us. The circle of people felt like it was closing in on me as I tried to keep it together, for Arlie. They gave her some "sleepy milk" and Arlie dosed off within seconds. They took Arlie and laid her on the floor, a wood board and they told us they would take good care of her. It was so hard walking out of that room. We do everything in our power to protect our children, keep them safe and they have so much trust in us. All I can hope is that she knows we have fought and fight hard for her.
The short term side effects have kicked in. Nausea, Mucositis and Hair loss. The long term side effects we pray are minimal. We won't know what they are until she starts growing and going through puberty. Growth issues, Thyroid issues, stunted growth, Hormonal issues and infertility are some of the biggest effects. We pray each day, Arlies body is protected and she can live an amazing , healthy life.