Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Folliculitis A True Story

I have folliculitis, my newest, oh-so-glamorous malady. It sounds made up, I know, but alas, it’s a prickly, red, itching, burning, yucky rash on exactly half of my chest. My hair follicles are apparently not amused by this radiation business and they’re protesting, they’re inflammed, literally. I never considered my hair follicles in such a non hairy place but I guess the little suckers are everywhere. I’m putting this goop and that goop all over it, but it remains quite uncomfortable, I just hope it doesn’t get worse.

Aloe, I’m told by the radiation doc is a natural form of cortisone, and I should be using it on it, which I am, but I suspect the unnatural cortisone in the plastic tube might actually work better because thus far, the aloe isn’t cutting it. Oh, poor little hair follicles, you’re only halfway done being abused. Yep, turns out I’m halfway done with radiation, I hadn’t been keeping track, I just planned on showing up every day until someone told me to stop, but today I was informed that I was halfway done, which is further along than I would have guessed. But just like so much else in the odyssey, it’s hard to remember life before. Did my daily routine not consist of changing into a hospital gown every morning and laying on a metal table before going to work? I’m sure it did, I just can’t remember it. This cancer treatment is really not for the faint of heart.

What bothers me the most about radiation, however, are the signs in the women's changing room. A small, dark, dingy room to begin with, it's covered in laminated signs telling us what to do, only they're yelling at us. The signs are all caps and each sentence ends in multiple exclamations points, by the last sentence, there's about 14 exclamation points. DON'T LEAVE YOUR ROBE IN THE CHANGING ROOM!!!!!!!!!!! DON'T PUT YOUR ROBE IN THE LAUNDRY IF IT HAS YOUR NAME ON IT!!!!!!!!!!!! ROBES WITH YOUR NAME GO IN YOUR CUBBY AND WE WILL WASH THEM WHEN IT IS APPROPRIATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All single spaced, and I want to scream all-caps-are-not-more-readable, they're less readable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because shouting begets shouting and it's a slippery slope from there. I'm sorry that the staff was annoyed by the patients, but you know, we're all a little dazed by the time we get there and extra robe laundry isn't going to kill anyone. In other words, our problems are worse than your problems. As I was parking my car this morning, my doctor parked next to my little blue beauty in her tricked out Toyota mini van Limited Edition. I peeked inside after she went in and it had all the gizmos, leather seats, full screen GPS, lots of extra buttons and I thought, yeah, this practice could wash those robes a little more often because I know for a fact that mine hasn't been washed since my first day there.

7 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh. The signage. That would drive me NUTS. I mean, this whole thing would drive me nuts. But those SIGNS sound like torture, and so unkind, and so unnecessary.

    I hope you hang up some of your own signs in the robe room. I LEFT MY ROBE IN THE CHANGING ROOM AND WAS INSTANTLY CURED!!!!! Or MY NAME IS ON MY ROBE, AND I PUT IT IN THE LAUNDRY, AND NOW IT IS SO CLEAN AND FRESH, THANKS!!!!!!


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  2. ironically, i don't think anyone reads them, because who can plod through a solid, 1/2 page of block text in all caps? i'm going to be a total bitch and ask my doctor if she's been in the changing room and has seen the signs and then i will share my perspective. don't usually complain, but as each day goes by, those signs get under my skin and i can't be the only one. and... glad you're enjoying those crystal cokes... i totally forgot about that trick, but alas, have only had a single diet coke in 10 months, drinking green shit instead, kombucha is no diet coke, let me tell you!

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  3. Crystal Cokes! I'm glad the recipe has a proper name.

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  4. and one should wear a sparkly crown while consuming and maybe having a cigarette too... in a holder, audrey hepburn style.

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  5. I also have Folliculitis. It's a real pain in the breast! My doc told me it should go away about 2 weeks after my last radiation - which is tomorrow - yeah. We don't get our own robes, I get a different one every day - hopefully they are all clean - I put mine in what I assume is the dirty laundry basket every day. I have to agree, radiation is not for the faint of heart. I have had 33 treatments, every day except weekends, but I did take a day last week when I was at a conference, but they added it to the end. Still, I guess the positive is we do get to complain about the treatments instead of being dead! I think I have been fortunate in that I haven't blistered like my sister-in-law did, she was raw. Nothing seems to ease the itching as much as regular aloe sunburn spray. Hope everything works out for you.

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  6. try MIADERM, you can only get it on-line, expensive, but sooooo soothing, including during the healing process. mine cleared up reasonably quickly, hope yours does too! congrats on finishing. i wanted to celebrate, but was too damned exhausted. i hope you'll find your moment to celebrate even if a few weeks or months down the road. buy a bottle of champagne and just wait for the moment you feel like popping the cork. it took me about two months. best to you!!!

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