Friday, 18 September 2015

Things they never tell you about...radiotherapy

After having 6 months of chemo, and 3 months getting over a double mx I saw radiotheraphy as a bit of a wind down to treatment. This is surely the easy bit?

I was told that I would have 15 sessions every day (Monday-Friday), I'd read about other women having 20+ sessions and so I asked my oncologist to give me the maximum, basically all of my other treatment had been hard core so why not finish it that way? Apparently it doesn't work like that! It's the same amount just spread over a longer period. That's me told. I didn't have "boosters" either, not sure if they only give those to women who've had a lumpectomy.

So first I had an information and tattoo  appointment, my first ever tattoo. In order to line me up I had a CT scan, which actually is nothing like a regular CT scan -so no IV access required, it's actually very misleading! I felt like Catherine Zeta Jones in entrapment -lasers everywhere as everything needs to be precise. Easy peezy.

Next up my fabulous tattoos, 4 bloody dots which now look green -think sailor tattoos of the 60's/70's, reiterating that cancer IS NOT sexy. One one each side of my rib cage, one in the centre of my chest and one just above my armpit (had to get my phone torch out then and check where it was as I'm lying in bed-funny how you get used to strange things that happen to your body!).




I'm hoping to maybe get 1 or 2 covered up with a real life tattoo, can't have the 2 on cancer side but certainly the centre one and right rib cage -I'm open to suggestions by the way -I'm just not a pink ribbon / brave / stronger kind of gal.

I then saw a lovely nurse who went through the do's and dont's, and gave me a copy of the consent form I'd signed.

In summary I was told to wear loose clothing (preferably cotton), not to use deodorant, shower gel or perfume -excellent so, no only did I look like shit I would also smell bloody awful too.....

Tiredness, chemo tiredness was pretty bad but this is on a whole new level. -exhaustion.

Keep an eye out for open wounds/rash etc, remembering that this area is still numb from surgery so have a good old look in the mirror daily.

To begin with I was told to use aqueous cream, I slapped it on before and after rads but for some reason I ended up looking like this...

Looks worse than it actually was but maybe that's because I'm still numb? Quick trip To the doctors for some steroid cream and a new script for E45 and within DAYS it went back to normal (phew)

My hospital gown of choice was purple -just don't do as I did and wear a dress with tights -not unless you want everyone to see your arse.....


It really is nothing to worry about, just lie down, relax, block out the noise and plan your next holiday.....