As I told you in earlier posts my first month at Dana Farber was a bit of a fog. I know I was given a PET scan but have absolutely no memory of it. I know I had chemo, radiation and procedures but in what order I am not totally sure. People came to visit, called, sent flowers and brought food but when and who, that I can’t say. Some things I remember clearly, some are foggy memories and other things I can’t recall no matter how hard I try.
One clear memory I have is of seeing my very first tattoo. It was almost like I woke up from a long sleep and there it was. Actually, I was laying down on the radiation machine. I had blue marker drawn all over my abdomen. Big X’s and lines, kinda like you would expect to see on a person who is getting plastic surgery. I remember asking what that was, why it was there. The radiation therapist explained it was to help them guide the machine, it showed where the radiation beam should be aimed. The therapist explained that I also had tattoos, four small dots around my waist. One tattoo below my belly button, one on each side of my hip and one on my back. This is how the machine worked. It would rotate all round my body, the radiation beam hitting each of these four tattoos.
Before these four small tattoos I had none. I never wanted a tattoo and never thought I would have one but now I had four. I know they are small and most people can’t see them or don’t notice but to me they represent four very permanent things that cancer gave me. Every time I see the one bellow my belly button I think, “That is where the tumor was”. Just recently, while showering, I noticed one of the tattoo’s on my hip. It made me sad. I can’t explain exactly why. These tattoos symbolize a difficult time in my life and the many things that were taken away from me!