Today they finally started radiation treatment on my beleaguered belly. No big storm, no power outage, no particular complications. They put you on a bed-like thing and a back rest(?) preformed to your own back so you will be in the same position during each treatment. Today they did a few more X-Rays before beginning the treatment proper, then the treatment itself. It consists of the radiation machine, mounted on a track, circling you and shooting radiation in in bursts of 10-11-12 seconds from numerous different angles. At least that's how mine went and I presume will go. You have to lie very still so as to prevent the machine's alignment being off because your body moved, but that's hardly an impossible task.
From all the literature we have read and from briefings from doctors and nurses, the effects of radiation are gradual and cumulative since it's done daily. It's fairly common for people not to have any side affects for about two weeks and then have them come on. Likely side effects of this treatment will be diarrhea, nausea, irritation on palms and soles of feet, vomiting, fatigue. After one treatment I have none of that and hope my experience will be similar to the first bout of chemo, when I felt pretty much none of the more common side effects. I'm hoping that general health -- mine is quite good even in the midst of convalescence and we're being quite cautious about crowds of people -- has a role to play in keeping down the side effects, but I don't know that it does for sure.
Upshot: mild tenderness on the scar, otherwise feeling pretty darn good!