15 April 2012

The Sizzler vs Mother Nature

The Radiation Technicians run from the room once the machine is turned on, leaving me on the table. Radiation comes at me in the form of a giant C-shaped arm that moves around me with a low hum. Unfondly, I think of it as the Sizzler. I lie on the table with my arm over my head cradled in u shaped wrist rest, and a piece of triangular foam under my knees. It isn't uncomfortable. What is uncomfortable is the idea of is what this giant machine actually does. So I don't think about it. The fact the the technicians dash out of the room once it's turned on? That's worrisome.

The benefit of radiation is that is kills the pesky disorganized cells that cause canceritits. But the side effects, naturally, are numerous. Most commonly they include fatigue, rashes, itchiness, burning ....things like that. To alleviate the effects of radiation there are a wide variety of potions, lotions and creams. But as an antidote to the two-ton cutting edge hunk technology, I have my secret weapon.  Aloe.

Aloe gel is the cure for everything. My grandma used to have a plant in her kitchen, and she'd snip off a leaf whenever she needed to tend to a scrape or burn. My mother does the same thing. So does my sister. And now I am counting on it to keep me from looking like a drunken British holidayer who went to Cancun for the first time, covered up appropriately, then fell asleep in the sun after too many margaritas, with one breast fully exposed.
Aloe, aloe

Although many creams have been recommended, I am reassured by something pure. Though I likely still have chemo drugs in my system, as well a daily doses of tamoxifen, and massive doses of radiation, I don't want to put anything on my skin that wasn't created by mother nature. Ultimately, I have faith in both her, and my lovely Lithuanian grandma. I think that they both knew that all that heals us comes from the earth..

'Awesome,' was the way aloe gel was described when I went to the health food store. The sweet boy behind the counter told me that he used Aloe for everything. He swore by aloe for cuts, bruises, rashes, and pimples. According to him, it even cured his varicose vein.

So thrice daily I slather myself with gel, then walk around topless while it is absorbed by the skin (this will be difficult once I start working).  I also use a saline solution, because salt also comes from the earth. (Perhaps I should consider using cucumber since the combination would be delicious!) At home I have a tub of aloe gel. And I carry some around in my bag. Today I am going to pick up a plant, so that I can commune completely with nature.

Tomorrow I will head back to Princess Margaret for the 5th of 25 treatments. Once the green light turns on - the technicians will flee to safety. But my bag, with my aloe gel will  stay in the corner of the room. Mother Nature doesn't leave one's side.

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