Ok. I KNOW that title is offensive. Fukushima was a tragic, devastating disaster, and of all people, I would never choose to ever joke about a catastrophe such as that. Nor would I ever do a boob-moon to the awfulness or the people that died and are sick because of the tragedy.
But the treatment is kind of like I have chosen to fly to Japan, hold my breath, and say "screw you, meltdown! You suck! Say goodbye to THESE!!!" *Flashes boobs at the offending power plant a la Kitty from Arrested Development*
Cos that's what this treatment feels like, really. It's a concentrated burst of radiation that's so strong it can shoot straight through you and will utterly destroy your DNA in that area. That's why they have to shoot at an angle, and not straight down. Straight down means it could also go into your heart and lungs. Cos you know, left boob, left heart, left lung. It's a "thing".
I finally started my month-long radiation residency this morning. Each day, Monday to Friday at around 9am, I head over to Peter Mac at Sunshine Hospital to zap this bitch of a cancer, twice. Once from the high right angle, and once from the low left angle. I had to get measured up again cos my boobs had ballooned from the egg collection cycle, but they deflated again just in time for my measurements to be exactly the same. Woohoo!! That meant less time spent on the table with my arms stretched over my head.
My new tattoos (I'm such a badass now) lined up perfectly with my new friend (who I am still wary of), the radiation machine. And I met two of my radiation therapists, now also a part of my posse for the next month. I have my own drawer with my own name on it in a Peter Mac change room locker that has my own freshly laundered dressing gown - Members only thanks. My drawer is marked with an orange tag, I dunno why. Maybe they noticed I'm a ranga. Well played, Peter Mac, well played.
The radiation machine goes "gernk" and "bzzzzz" and the shutters open as if it has a secret. And it's scary at first, cos you can see it open its mouth and you think the secret is gonna hurt you, but then you realise, "woah! I don't feel ANYTHING!! There's no secret!!"
But there is a secret. It's just that the machine is whispering it under it's breath, or not letting you know what it is in terms that you understand. But the secret is there, and it's kind of venomous and you know that the machine is gonna turn around someday and be a backstabbing little bitch when 3 weeks down the track you start to feel the burn.
And I know I'm gonna burn. I am, after all, a good little ginger fry. I know my responsibility in the world and I do it diligently: If the world pays me in UV radiation, I respond in-kind with some scorched remainder of what used to be known as an epidermis. It's a good deal - if the world was happy to pay for burnt skin.
The dirty little secret also might make me really tired in a few weeks time. And possibly give me sore ribs. Or it might not. I might sail through and be a true Radio star.
But for now I'll accept this bitch as my friend. She is called "Shima". Ya gotta keep your enemies close, you guys. And angled well away from your heart.
PS. As a quick unrelated side note that I wanted to share, my beautiful and incredible friend Dan and I went out for brunch last weekend at Las Chicas. Dan is also part of Club Cancer (or Club Meds as I am now calling it) and we gas-bagged for about 2.5 hours over a seriously healthy and most delicious breakfast, neither of us choosing to worry in the slightest about the largish bill we were racking up at the Balaclava institution. As we got up to pay the bill and leave, a random stranger from the table behind us stopped us and introduced herself.
"I hope you don't mind, I try to do one nice thing for a stranger every day, and today, I chose to pay your bill, so please have a wonderful afternoon on me."
We couldn't let her get away with this, but somehow Dan and I both understood implicitly that we were not to argue, that it was clearly something she just needed to do. We were both kind of embarrassed and bowled over by the act of random generosity, but there was something about her and the way she just did it that told us that she was someone who was just special and there was no way she would accept our money, even though the bill came to well over $60. We thanked her with great depth of feeling, asked her what she did for a crust - a fashion STUDENT!! - and nabbed her email. Both Dan and I then emailed her with offerings of double passes for each of our upcoming shows to say thanks. She never responded.
So thank you, "Liza". Your altruism is aspirational. I want to one day make enough money to also be able to shout random people. Right now, I only earn enough to shout AT random people.
But you showed me the glittery path that you are on, laden with kindness and generosity, and I will try to walk that path too.
Thanks for the free breaky. You're tops.
ALSO I have FINALLY figured out how you can follow this blog so that every time I write a new entry it goes straight to your inbox: just follow along by putting your email in the follow box in the side panel and whenever I publish a new post you'll know about it. Learning slowly guys, learning slowly. So please add your email in, cos I don't always post to FB or Twitter.