Cancer Is No Fun, but I had a little

My first radiation appointment (in this series) had no radiation, it was a planning session.  While being mapped, I asked the two young lady technicians if they had a most memorable patient.  They said no, patients come and go daily, nothing has really stood out in the parade.  After a while, one of them remembered a tattooed patient who, for his final treatment had printed THANK YOU across his chest with a big felt marker.  He was the most memorable.  I told them my prostate surgery seven years ago was on the morning of St Patrick’s Day, and how I was going to tie a green bow on myself so when the surgeon pulls back the sheet to operate, he would say, “Oh – Yes… it is St Patrick’s Day!”  But, I confessed that I chickened out.  That doctor and team didn’t know me and could possibly suspect I was a weird-O.  One technician thought that was really funny and wondered if I would do something on my last visit here.  I had seven weeks to consider it, and they had seven weeks to determine the odds of me being any kind of weird.

My daily radiation treatments have gone as follows: allow time to get to my appointment considering traffic and parking.  Go directly to the radiation dispensary, remove pants and shoes, put on a hospital gown, visit in the waiting room until escorted to the machine.  Reciting the magic words (my birth date) gets me through the last door.  I lay on the slab, put my legs into the “don’t move” mold made just for me, and to expose my new hospital tattoo laser targets, I slip my underwear down to the borderline that separates PG-13 from RATED R.  The machine orbits my equator once while performing a scan, and once again delivering radiation.

I drove the 21.8 miles once again for my 38th and final radiation treatment.  In the changing room, I switched to my brand-new, carefully chosen, Wonder Woman underwear.  The technicians were properly dazzled when on the slab, I drew open my hospital gown and presented my colors.  They were even more impressed when I lowered them to reveal the message my wife had carefully inscribed just north of the border with a king size Sharpie, “THANK YOU x38.”  They said it made their day and would be talked about for a long time.

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My Temporary Tattoo