I never thought I would be privy to how a radiation clinic did its work. (Kind of like how I never thought I would be a plastic surgery patient, but I am glad I am.) It is a well oiled machine. We arrive by van from the far reaches of the north Oregon/south Washington coast. By turns we are called back. I walk down the hall, choose a changing room, grab a key and my own designated bathrobe (for real). I change into my robe, from the waist up, in my case, and take another seat. I am then called into the treatment room. The techs are amazingly kind, not corny or overly solicitous, just kind and friendly. My treatment is already programmed in, so they set me up on the table lined up with my three tiny tattoos (which they gave me during the set up appointments, so the treatments would be quick and smooth). Six or so minutes later, I get dressed, retrieve my stuff, hang up "my" robe, and read or chat with my van mates while we wait for everyone to finish. This all happens more quickly than one might think, as there are at least two, if not more, treatment rooms going at once. Today I learned that Thursdays are "doctor day," where everyone has a regular visit with Dr. Kim, though he was quick to ensure that I knew that I can grab him on any day if I have questions or concerns. I can't believe I am doing this every day, but it feels like an excellent place to be if your own personal roulette wheel ends up on the cancer number.
Also, throughout this whole experience I have received many kindnesses, in many forms: good company, food, chores done... And also some gifts. One day in the fall I found an original Petra Mathers painting on my porch, that she had left there herself, not sure whether I was wanting company at the time. I will treasure it. I am saving the stack of sweet cards I have received from distant friends and family, and those close by as well.
A couple of days ago I received a most original "cancer" present. A fresh new pair of muck boots. The friends who sent them, Pete and Sue, have lived out here so they are well aware of the climate (wet). The card said, among other lovely things, "Boots seemed like just the right way to acknowledge the long slog you have been on." Frankly, I don't know how to follow this sentence with any better end to this post. I will wear them and smile every time.