Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Radiation? To Heck with Tattoos, Be Sharp Instead!

I'm GLOW-ing!

I've started radiation treatments.  10 days of zapping, after that I'm done.

My radiation therapy won't cure my cancer. . . the big masses of low-grade ovarian cancer in my abdomen are too close to all of my essential organs, not worth the "zapping" risk.

But for a few annoying outlying tumors, radiation will work fine! (God willing).  

My radiation is considered to be "palliative care."  Just taking care of a few outlying tumors, nowhere close to curing the REAL problem of my abdominal low-grade ovarian cancer mass.  
But it's still fun, regardless.
This machine has hidden ARMS that extend and envelope

In preparation for radiation, I could only think of my deceased sister.  They tattooed her for radiation, to mark the "target" spots.  This week I was at a dinner with a friend who was also tattooed for the same reason.

UVA does NOT tattoo, they use sharpies, and a clear strong tape to protect the target radiation marks (made with multi-colored sharpies).   It works.

And, because that works, shame on any institution that still tattoos. . . Like, we need yet one more permanent scar/reminder?  

I think this is a sex issue. . .Women succumb to tattoos because they are told to, unaware of their choices. I think men condone the administration of tattoos because they just don't innately 'feel' a woman's desire for "body image." And tattoos sure make radiation appointments go quickly. . .

Due to a few seemingly odd, personal, but biblical-based religious restraints, I CAN'T be tattooed, on ethical grounds  Thank goodness for sharpies!

I would advise any woman to ask for sharpie marks and strong clear tape in lieu of tattooing for radiation.  And if your healthcare people can't wrap their heads around that one, refer them to UVA or whomever, but they need to grow up.     Insist on it, and they'll do it.
My Biggest Sister reminded me that back in the 80's (when our 2nd sister died of cancer, tattooed) , they didn't HAVE sharpies.  That was 30 years ago.  Wise up, docs, our goal is to recover from what You Doctors did asap, so we can get back to OUR lives---as far away from medical thoughts as possible.  We need to heal.

Tattoos can only be a reminder of the cancer war we went through.

We don't need those reminders, we need to be able to wash them away.  


  1. Good thought about NOT tattooing. I didn't even know radiation was an option for ovarian cancer. I've never been given that option so far. I should know by the end of the week if I qualify for immune therapy. You did that right? How were the side effects?

    I don't know why but I have a feeling I won't qualify. That means I'm back to chemo. Ugh. I guess after the chemo pills failed I'm thinking any alternative treatment just isn't for me. But the more I read about how poisonous chemo is the more I question it. Don't know what to do....

    1. Mine was only for outlying tumors that were causing me grief. There is no way that they'll use radiation for the tumors engulfing the inner bits. For example, the tumor sitting on my liver? No way. Can't radiate, too close to the liver.

      I'm sending you a separate e-mail about my take on your concerns {:)

  2. My son just shared your blog with me, you are such an amazing women... You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.��
    I also have stages4 ovarian cancer and have been thru 8 months of chemo...radiation...68 days of oral chemo, just finished radiation again on tumors in my neck and just visited Dr. Rose 6.22 at Cleveland clinic. Praying there is a clinical trail that can help slow down the growth of all these tumors.
    My journey has helped me look for something positive in each and every day, even though I have to say some days I have to look a little harder than others.

  3. Millie you ANGEL!
    Your own strength is coming through clean and clear!
    Sometimes, with cancer patients, there is an obvious "layer" of denial, anger, fear, whatever, that makes it hard to get down to the business of us getting better.
    Thank you, Millie, for being so clear and pragmatic!
    All Cancers are SO different.
    I've learned a few tricks about finding the best clinical trials for all of us "different" ovarians, and how the heck are you expected to compare them without a degree in advanced biochemistry?
    I'm at 540-687-8871.
    I guess there are teams out there but if you found me, you need a team, and I would be honored to be your first member.
    And I think I would be a good choice because I'm Not Dead Yet :)

    1. And just like that your blog makes a difference. Nice feeling right!?! :)

  4. Something messed up with Google I didn't realise there was a new blog! Tattoos that's news too! Keep it going brave girl xxx

    1. I just thought you were too busy to read them. . .:/

  5. I didn't get my notification either.
    Lookin' SHARPie, kiddo! (Can't decorate this post in little coloured Xs, drat.) xxx

    1. Loved the letter with the sharpie marks! I felt At One With My People!

  6. Leslie, So good to read you. And to see you. Loads of love from Vermont, Maura

    1. Love you, Maura! I hope to call when back from "medical tourism" this week (Wed-Saturday).

  7. My God Leslie, you are amazing. With social media I always feel a bit creepy reading information that wasn't intended for me but I couldn't not read your story. I think the world of you. You're in my heart!

  8. Janet W. . . got your message on e-mail but it never showed up here (maybe you deleted it?) Anyway, BLOGS are PUBLIC. Us Blog writers are here to share our very personal bits with everyone. As the expression goes, Strangers are just friends that we haven't met yet, yeah?

    My blog was intended for ALL readers, even those who don't have anything to do with cancer or whatever. I think it's a really good sign that people can be vocal about human traits and feelings amid total strangers, and still end up feeling good about it from the positive feedback we get.

    You are a welcome reader. And your comments are welcome, too, even if you're coming in from left field :)

  9. ***شرکت نوين گيت***

    با سالها سابقه در طراحي ،اجرا و خدمات سيستمهاي درب اتوماتيک و راهبند
    فروش،نصب و راه اندازي و خدمات انواع درب اتوماتيک (درب سکشنال - کرکره اتوماتيک - کرکره پنجره - درب ريلي اتوماتيک - جک پارکينگي - کرکره شفاف - رول گيتر - انواع راهبند و درب اتوماتيک شيشه اي... )
    خدمات 24 ساعته و شبانه روزي حتي در تعطيلات رسمي
    مشاوره رايگان در تمامي مراحل

    1. Oh how novel! Using Persian bots for a New Zealand Fencing company! I'll have to resist temptation of insider trading with every red corpuscle I have left!

  10. Hope you are still here! July has been a hard month for me immunotheraphy did not work and put me on oxygen. Went home to my childhood place in the mountains and spending some quality time with my family!

  11. Hi, Talla! Yes, I'm still here! Sorry about the oxygen--is it a full-time necessity? How cool to be surrounded by family and mountains. I bet you can get the whole Mountain Feeling within two steps of the door there.
    We put new windows in so that on my "stuck in the bedroom days" I have a fantastic view of our yard, trees, and creek (lovely and green). It does wonders for the psyche!
    Hang in there!