Radiotherapy

So radiotherapy is fine. However VERY repetitive and already boring. Hospital trip everyday, getting changed, lying on the bed, being measured with lasers, breathing in, holding my breath, breathing out, machine thing spinning round, breath in, breath out, machine spins, get changed. Repeat, repeat, repeat. 

Trip normally also involves snacks of some kind…. wouldn’t be me to not involve food! Golden Arches (only once so far!), WHSmith and costa have been on the menu so far. Definitely not going to help the weight…. but little treats and all that! Tried to be good and take a banana in my handbag….. banana came home again!! 

It’s actually very quick, surprisingly quick. In total the appointment lasts about 20 mins, of which most of that time is the nurses measuring you, lining you up with lasers and saying random numbers. I don’t understand what all the numbers mean but it’s something to do with the 3 dots I have tatooed onto my skin to ensure the radiation is aimed at the right bit. I also have to do lots of breathing in, holding my breath and breathing out. That’s mainly because it’s my left side and the idea is to make sure my heart is protected and try minimise long term radiation damage! The actual treatment, which no joke lasts about 2minutes, involves the giant food mixer looking thing moving round to the left, buzzing whilst I hold my breath and then moving round to the right and doing the same thing. Very bizzare really. I don’t feel a thing and just have to lie very still and make sure I do the breathing correctly when they talk to me through the tannoy system. Job done. A walk in the park compared to chemo. Skin is beginning to look abit red and definitely feels warm to touch. I use aloe Vera gel every evening and then e45 twice a day. Radiation burns are pretty unavoidable I think so it could get much worse and then will ease away a couple of weeks after I’ve finished. 

PCH radiotherapy machine

Henry’s been a complete emotional wreck since I started though. He really isn’t coping with the fact that I’m back at hospital lots again. Hates me leaving or dropping him off and just cries and asks for more cuddles and kisses. Don’t really know how to deal with him and hate seeing him screaming and trying to run after me but what can I say to make him feel any better! And trying to avoid telling him off for being so upset. Although he does that and then when I go to pick him up he doesn’t want to leave and come home! Strange child. Dylan on the other hand doesn’t care and happily waves bye bye. 

To make the month of June even more fun the kitchen ceiling decided to start dripping water. Happily cooking breakfast Sunday morning when I noticed 2 wet patches. We instantly thought it must be the sealant on the shower but after 6 hours and them getting worse Dan called his friend, who’s a plumber, who confirmed we had a leak from the bath/sink. Sunday night involved buckets catching the drips before our plumber discovered on Monday that the shower pipe had been dripping for some time and completely soaked the insulation and therefore all the plasterboard!! Arrrggghhh – cue insurance claim and new ceiling needed. 

Kids can really help distract from a problem though- as I sat crying about said ceiling, as you do, Dylan looks at me, says “awww” before shouting “cake”. Obviously already worked out the answer to most problems – just eat cake! 

Really struggling to sleep at the moment. Not sure if it’s a lockdown thing, not doing a lot with my day thing or too many thoughts in my head thing but it’s annoying. I’m someone who never copes well without sleep – in other words I cry at the drop of a hat when tired so it never helps the situation. 

My skin is beginning to look red. It’s in a perfect rectangle shape too which is because during radiotherapy they put a jelly pad over my left chest. This acts like a fatty layer and tricks the machine into thinking there’s a boob and makes sure the radiation hits the skin at the top. Very clever but also very clear exactly where it lays as I have perfect burn shape of it. 

Wasn’t sure if I wanted to write this next part or keep it in my head. Anyway better out than in and it’s been annoying me. One horrible part of getting a cancer diagnosis is how you instantly feel you’ve been handed a death sentence ticking clock. Because of everything you hear you can’t help but think the worse and with my type of cancer (triple negative) the recurrence rates / chances of metastasis (the cancer spreading) are pretty high. Even though I’m all clear and hopefully will stay that way you can’t help your brain going to the dark places. It’s scary and the number of times I find myself thinking of my funeral is horrible but I can’t help it. I don’t like even writing that because it sounds dramatic and negative but I said I would be honest about my cancer journey so there you have it. Another very difficult aspect is to try and now think about the future. I was such a planner with everything and now I can’t really see or think too far ahead because it quite frankly scares me. I’m getting better at being able to talk about certain times ahead but it unsettles me to think too much about it. 

It makes me so sad and mad when I watched the news and saw that cancer referrals are so down. It’s frightening that things are potentially being left or ignored because of this fucking virus. There’ll be a fucking cancer pandemic at this rate – Bet that won’t make the news every damm day!!! Please please please just go to the doctors if anything is bothering you, not quite right or obviously there! Early diagnosis is the best form of defence and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this shit. It’s so important- please make sure you pass that message on too. 

Anyway 7 radiotherapy sessions down, 8 to go and currently feeling ok. I spoke to the consultant on the phone Friday and she said side effects (burns/tiredness) normally peak at the end of treatment and then last for a couple of weeks after so could be interesting!! Fingers crossed it won’t be too bad. 

Published by queendring

31. Wife. Mother of boys. Self proclaimed HRH

3 thoughts on “Radiotherapy

  1. Hannah.
    I would really love to send you some Tropic products which others have used to help soothe and heal radiation burns.
    If you email me your address I will send some things over. Hopefully it can help.
    Emma

    Like

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