Friday, December 30, 2011

I'm Not Allowed to Shower.....Again

If I didn't know better (and actually, I don't really) I'd say Koreans have something against combining people and water. After my surgery I went a whole month without showering. No doctor would give me the okay to get under a stream of water. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't have been the case in Canada. Now, again, I'm not allowed to shower. This time it is to preserve three "x"s that have been drawn on me which will guide my radiation. They are covered in some plastic film so I might risk it anyway. I can't decide how seriously I should take the showering ban. I mean, these markings are pretty important but they also took about 10 minutes to draw them so I'm sure they can be redone if needs be. The other reality is that, when you have no hair, you don't feel nearly as dirty when you don't shower.

Anyway, I should be getting some tattoos on the 3rd and after that I can shower. Those marks won't be washing off. I'm surprised how low these crosses are. I figured they would be up near the girls but one is about 2 inches north of my belly button and the other two are either four inches to the left or right of that one. Now, I know I'm no expert but these seem all wrong to me. I've decided I'm going to be that annoying woman who thinks she knows better than her expert doctors and ask about it on the 3rd when I have my simulation. I'm going to be so popular at the hospital, I can already tell!

The CT scan so far has been my absolute favorite. It required no needles and it took all of 5 minutes. It was a little weird hanging out with my girls out while 4 Korean men sat on the other side of a window staring. I'm sure it's not everyday that they see a white lade with her bits all exposed so I get the interest. Plus, let's just call a spade a spade shall we: I've got way bigger guns that your average Korean lady. It's my gift and curse.

In my case, I had to lay topless on the scan bed with my arm in a brace above my head. This is the way I suspect I will spend about 1 minute every weekday for the next 6.5 weeks. It isn't terribly comfortable but the arm rest/brace thing is quite helpful in maintaining the position, so there's that. After getting into position I was carefully adjusted by two techs. And I do mean carefully. I was shoved and pulled millimeters one way or another until I was in the correct place. Then the really weird part started. Well, the second really weird part - the first weird part was when the male tech undid my pants and hooked my left hand into my underwear. I guess to keep me in place? The things that happen when you don't speak the language; people just take charge of the situation instead of trying to explain to you want they want you to do.

A male and a female tech started taping wire around my boob. I guess this shows up on the xray and helps to determine what the boundaries of my radiation field should be. I'm only guessing since I really have no idea. Maybe the real story is they have some back room competition to see who can get the biggest boob metal circle each week. If that is the case, I'm sure my techs were the winners. This day will probably live in infamy for them. They'll talk about it for years to come - that one "megook" with the rack!

I digress....the whole point is if this circle will be the extent of the field (and I hope it is) this is why the "X" markings seem so weird - they are nowhere near the field and I really hope the radiation isn't going to be heading down into my abdomen. Once they got the metal circle tapped, into the machine for me. I was all prepared to have to lay there for half an hour but in total I was probably in the machine for 3 minutes. All that deep breathing and relaxation, for nothing!

After that, all that was left was to get dressed and go home. So I did. And now I'm at home, not showering (but thinking about it).

Happy New Year!


  1. i've been meaning to write for eons. I couldn't let the year pass without a little comment (longer one t follow). ...anywho.

    No showering? The exact opposite one might suspect to hear from the doc. Then again, I wasn't expecting to be prescribed tattoos either for my radiation.

    ...Maybe you can get the marks tattooed and shower all you want.

    You're in my prayers for a Healthy and Happy New Year!

  2. Yeah, really - a month without a shower? I would DIE. This whole thing is quite an odyssey - thanks for sharing it. When you're feeling better me and Maegan were talking about a trip to Korea to come and visit. Let us know if and when you are down and we will do our best! :)

  3. Not showering but thinking about it is my modus operandi.

  4. Personally, I think the Korean interns are doing the Wonder Woman or Zena thing with the wire and tattoos. You are already a kind of super hero, they are just fitting you for your costume.
    The left hand thing helps you to watch TV. I don't know why it works, but it does. 100,000,000 million men can't be wrong.