Saturday, 30 January 2010

Radiotherapy - 1 Week down 4 to go

I feel a sense of achievement and relief. I am still anxious about how I am going to feel after week 5 but week 1 has been a breeze. Friday, my 5th treatment, I was out of work for about an hour which included a 15 minute wait at the Beacon Centre where I have my treatment. The girls at work are taking it in turns to moisturise the target area on my back - THANK YOU !! - Holly does this for me at home and I do my front. It feels just like you have sat in the sun without your sun cream but I have been warned the skin will get hard over the duration of my treatment. I am using Aqueous cream and Aloe Vera gel, 3 sometimes 4 times a day.

I turn up for my treatment, get booked in by the receptionist and wait to be taken to the locker room where I take off my top clothes. I can either wear a hospital gown or my own clothes. I have chosen to wear a vest top. I get released from my changing room by the nurse and walk round a couple of bends to where the Radiotherapy machine is. I remove my top and lie on the bed and the radiographers do all the work.

My hands are placed out the way in the rests so that they are the same level as my head. They then move and juggle me to the right position using laser beams to measure up the 3 dot tattoo's on my chest and working to the mm. Once they are happy I am in the right position I have to stay as still as I can. The machine delivering the beams moves around me. The delivery of the beams takes up about 10 minutes in total which includes the radiographers popping in to check and reset it. They are watching all the time from cameras in the room.

I have had the pleasure of listening to the best of Lionel Ritchie twice this week so have took in my own CD of Well being music that I use when I am trying to relax or mediate- Thank you Leina !!

The team are brilliant there. I feel relaxed and confident with them. I am meeting other RT patients in the waiting room as well including a couple of familiar faces, a lady from my Chemo days and another lady from my GP practice. Hark at me "My Chemo Days"

Have a good weekend everyone and bring on Week 2!!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Day one of Radiotherapy Treatment has arrived!

Feeling quite anxious all day. I knew the administration of it was going to be painless but it was the unknown. It was uncomfortable more then anything and I have tingling like sunburn as I write this 2 hours later. I had to lie still for over half an hour with my arms resting above my head on arm rests. I managed to stifle a sneeze and was desperate to clear my throat after a while. Lionel Ritchie the best of was playing on the CD throughout the duration. The bed was still and the machine moved around me, left, right and right back clicking during intervals. Tomorrow's session should not be as long but also not as quick as they hope it will be until they get comfortable with all the measurements. I have to go Monday to Friday for 5 weeks. By the end of it I should be in and out in half an hour not the hour and half it took today!

Last Tuesday I went to the Force Cancer Centre in Exeter for a Look Good Feel Better workshop.Take a look at for more details. I arrived in the town centre early as I was meeting my friend Cathy for lunch and did a bit of a shop. The workshop was brilliant, going through our bag of goodies and using them on for the 12 steps make up programme. Again it was so good mixing with other ladies at different stages of their treatment and some not even Breast Cancer. Glad I was able to make the trip as I had cancelled my first appointment last year as had so many appointments in the same week.

Got to remember to put on loads of Aqueous cream day and night now. Will also invest in some pure Aloe Vera gel and keep it in the fridge !!!

On another note my sister in law has posted some of the tributes we received for Colin which I also read out at the service. For those who knew him and might like to have a read.

Here's hoping I get another good night sleep....

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year - Radiotherapy here I come!

Happy new year everyone! Hope ours is a bit better then last year. Can't even describe the mixture of emotions going through my head at the moment...
Back at work today and went to my first Radiotherapy appointment. The Radiographer was lovely once I got seen after waiting for 45 minutes. Had a chat, going over the forms before lying down on the scanner. The Radiographer explained to me the process and she was a bit evasive over the use of the needle word. I butted in and said your using needles and she nodded. I rolled my eyes, here we go again I thought but at least it will only be once she says hoping.
Both the Oncologist Dr's then came in to mark the spots. I laughed as it was like a mini reunion as I hadn't seen one of them since September. I got taped, scanned and needled. It wasn't too bad. I can't feel anything on my right hand side any way!
After getting dressed they had to take my photo. This was weird as I had to hold up a big strip of paper confirming my patient number, bit like someone who has had to go to prison and then it was all over. I know I am over the worst of my treatment but not looking forward to the fatigue that is going to accompany the Radiotherapy. Just starting to feel closest to normal then I have for a long time. My treament plan has also been confirmed with 25 appointments starting on the 25th January. All of them are at 4:15pm or later apart from 2 which are at 2:45pm. Also don't have to fret as Colin's funeral is before this treatment starts. It feels weird as we had been sharing our treatment trauma's he didn't get to tell me how he felt when he had his radiotherapy. Hey Ho.....