The skin over my left breast is now red, bumpy and warm to the touch. Under my breast where the skin folds to the chest, it’s brown and in places pinkish white where the skin has peeled off. It feels like a giant paper cut. The aerola and nipple are so tender that even the breath of a whisper causes me great discomfort. I try to ignore the itching and burning, but the sensations penetrate any level of discipline I exert. In my armpit I have two spots that feel raw though the skin is intact. At the same time I have these pains in my hands that shoot up to my elbows and, weirdly, into my toes. I know it sounds bizarre, but it really happens that way. My hands will hurt, and I’ll get a shooting pain that somehow goes to my toes. Maybe I’m just losing my mind. I don’t know. I’m more miserable than I anticipated. I thought the radiation would be a piece of cake. And, it was for a while. Then, it started taking hold, I suppose, accumulating, so that my skin is burnt, and my underlying muscles are tight and sore. I often just feel like an achy mass of flesh.

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