It's my face.
Dun dun dun...I'm on steroids again and the side effect known as 'moon face' has taken over.
If you're not familiar, that means that steroids cause a lot of water retention and swelling in my body. Every ounce of me is fuller and more uncomfortable that you can imagine. And if I allow myself to vulnerable for a moment, I'm pretty self conscious about it.
Sure, the upside is that the steroids are helping my body, but the downside is physical discomfort. My clothes hardly fit and I look like I grew a second face.
The reason for the steroids (this time) is because I had to have brain radiation again. This is my third time riding in this rodeo. The two spots that they radiated in my brain were not new, but they were finally juuuuust big enough to treat. Which is actually a good thing, because we are zapping those bad boys right outta there, one spot at a time! The job of the steroids is to make sure there is no swelling in those areas after the radiation, so pardon my facetiousness and joking complaints about their side effects.
The process of brain radiation is uncomfortable. It doesn't hurt, but I'm required to wear a mask that is super intense. The mask is a perfect mold of my face, in fact, when they make the mask it's reminiscent of a paper mache project that you might have built back in your junior high years. The purpose of the mask is to hold me as still as possible so the radiation goes directly to the right place.
We don't want to be haphazardly shooting lasers all over the room and hoping for good luck!
The real buzz kill of the mask is that when they attach it to the table, it's tight. Like, super crazy tight to where even blinking requires effort. It's not for the claustrophobic crowd, that's for sure.
Once you get going, the overall treatment is about 20 minutes per spot and you just lay there listening to the clicking and beeping of the machines surrounding you.
Overall, my doctor says he is amazed at where my brain is now, compared to the devastation he initially saw in 2014, when I had brain surgery. It seemed like a long road then. Now through a few 'spot treatments' and some really well-working medication, my brain is showing minimal issues. We will still keep a close eye on it with MRIs every 8 weeks; however, to have come this far is a huge accomplishment.
My brain has always scared me the most because it's the central control station for... everything; but to know that I'm 'winning' in this part of my body, is a huge relief. Steroids, moon face, and all.
Besides, the moon lights up the night sky so if I have to have moon face for a few weeks, at least I'm still here, doing my part to help light up the world.