Rads week one done

And four more weeks to go.

I applaud anyone who has to travel long distances every day for work. I have been a passenger for two one-hour journeys every day for a week and am already drained.

The radiotherapy itself is a walk in the overheated park by comparison. Well, so far anyway.

I will describe the rads process for the uninitiated. First, the two radiotherapists help you on to the very hard ‘bed’. It’s not really a bed. There is a foam pyramid thing that you put underneath your legs, and arm stirrups above your head to put your arms into. Then the radiotherapists tell each other some numbers and letters (secret codes) to ensure that I am lined up perfectly. They use the three tiny tattoos on my chest to help with measurements. Then they both leave the room. There are warning beeps and then a buzz while it works.

You need to stay completely still while the machine is working. It moves around you to make sure that the radiation is focused in the exact spot. It has a big round metal ‘head’ which opens a bit behind its glass face, like little jaws. You can’t see or feel anything. It takes a few minutes to do its job.

The radiation hits only the part that needs it, in my case the left breast and the upper chest up to the collarbone. There isn’t necessarily any cancer there, but it can happen that the cells move north, so they are doing the rads as an ‘insurance policy’.

The radiotherapists are efficient and friendly, and there is a big team so I seem to have different people every day. One of them told me that I have a cool name, so I already have a favourite. ☺

My machine broke down on Wednesday, and there are only 6. My appointment time changed from midday (the most convenient time for me, what with work in the morning and getting home in time for schoolrun) to early evening. Obviously it was nobody’s fault but it was a bit stressful working out dinners and babysitters. Hopefully it will be fixed by tomorrow.

Roll on Swindon getting our own radiotherapy machines.

Brighter Futures radiotherapy appeal for Swindon.

Thanks to everyone who is making us meals and helping with lifts and babysitting.






Author: Alex

I work in a college library, and love reading and writing. I write short stories, poetry, blogs and children's stories. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2015.

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