A note from a friend with a helpful story, which she said I could pass along here. She previously had radiation treatment for breast cancer, but had to return many months later for treatment in her spine.
I've been mulling over my experience with spinal radiation. I realized that the staff, when they are preparing me with information, has no way of knowing what I am anticipating about the experience. They don't know I am not taking them seriously -- because I do not know it will be very different from what I have experienced before. So I am thinking "5 treatments - ha! - the first 5 days of radiation were nothing! No side effects at all!" and of course a day later I'm lying in bed whining. I was very disappointed in myself.
You know that I loathe surgeons who say "You'll be fine in a day," when they know you won't, as if their words are divine power. That wasn't the case here -- I believe the staff told me the truth but I was not listening. I should have known, when they handed me anti-nausea medication, that they actually meant that you can feel nauseated.
I was an over-confident patient. I don't know what that means, but am mentally filing it away for the future.