I got my first tattoos last week: three pinhead-sized dots around my bra-line. The technicians will use them to line me up under the radiation machine, to ensure they're zapping the same areas each visit. How's that for technology? Primitive, you say? Yeah, my thoughts exactly.
Between the new ink, my buzz cut and my new boyish body, I feel like I have an alternate hipster-punk persona. As my sister-in-law said, I just need a motorcycle and some jackboots to complete the look. She also joked that tequila would have helped. I pointed out that I got my tattoos at 8:00 in the morning. Plus, I don't remember the last time I washed anything down with a shot of tequila (not at 8 a.m., anyway.)
The tattoos were just part of the process to begin my radiation plan, which required a quick CT scan. As I laid there half-naked on the sliding table, my deflated "boobs" exposed, my radiation oncologist came in to check on me.
He advised me that I won't be able to shave or wear deodorant under my right arm during the course of radiation because it could irritate the skin enough to remove it. That did me in. I can handle the scars on my chest, recovering from surgery, being bald and eyebrow-less (although I'm happy to say my hair is getting thicker every day now). I can handle tattoos on my torso. I can handle a lot of things (who knows? maybe even tequila at sunrise). But not shaving my armpits or wearing deodorant for six weeks? Bleck. It's better than having a gaping wound under my arm, but only slightly.
Who out there remembers those "Garbage Pail Kids" trading cards? Specifically Armpit Britt? That's the vision I've got for myself at the end of radiation. I'll be a vision, I'm sure.
And no word yet on when radiation will start; they're still working on my plan. I'm told it should be any day now. I guess I'll take it as a good sign that they don't seem to be in any major rush to get this done. Since I'm in no major rush to braid my armpit hair, we're on the same page.