Prep for Radiation: Skin Mark-up

Girl with the London Tube Map Tattoo: Prep for Radiation

It was a wild visit with my radiation oncologist this week. I popped in for my radiation simulation not knowing exactly what to expect. What I didn’t expect was to leave with seven tattoos and a rendering of the blue line and the red line from the London Tube underground subway map on my chest. It’s a regular Oxford Circus on my torso! They marked my chest for the radiation zapping machine so that they can quickly line everything up when I go in thirty times over the next six weeks beginning the first week of January. The Tube map will eventually fade off. The tattoos (as in permanent) are randomly placed over my torso as literal points of demarcation. I’ve never had tattoos before and was shocked to find myself immediately pining for a leather head wrap, boot chains, a 44 magnum vest extender and other delicious biker garb.
I better go easy, though, for Rowan’s sake, as you may recall her inherent fear of bikers from driving through South Dakota and Sturgis this summer. (see first 9 posts to this blog) Poor girl. I may end up giving her PTSD. (post traumatic Sturgis disorder). I can see these tiny tattoo pinmarks as gateway tats for more serious body art. I can vaguely now understand how each web ring on an elbow tattoo for each nark I kill in prison could morph into a serious homicidal habit. I get how I might accumulate three black tear marks while in the hood on the side of my face from my eye as a testament to my number of kills. All it took was one cancery tumor and I’m all gang-banger.
radiation prep

The bright blue line inches up to my neck. Apparently every shirt I own that isn’t a turtle neck is a hussy-like neck-plunging affair as evidenced by the fact I tried on five shirts this morning before settling on one that still shows the blue line. I am hindered further in my wardrobe choice by the fact I have to wear a red bra that won’t submit to the marker ink as readily and therefore be ruined upon the completion of this macabre nuclear endeavor. I suppose my creeping marks and tats will make for an interesting conversation breaker peeking from my blouse. My husband, back from three weeks of flight school in Florida, and I went to Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill in St. Louis for dinner last night. The kind of established Italian joint where service is everything and the carb-loaded food phenomenal. The aged waiter who I kept making twitchy when I asked him non-sequitor off the menu questions asked us kids if we were celebrating anything special that night. I lit up immediately and gushed, “Why yes! We’re toasting to the beginning of radiaiton!” He was very perplexed as to why one would celebrate such a thing. He’s lucky I didn’t show him my London tube mapped hooters.

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