So yesterday was my 15th session of radiotherapy. I hopped onto the bed, positioned myself in exactly the right position (its a particular skill) and made the same old “sooo Meester Bond” quip I always do. The radiologists smiled weakly as they always do and got on with their job of ensuring Professor Zappy did his usual precise targetting. They use terms I don’t understand but with which I’ve become familiar “2mm sup?” “Yep and 7 interior … ok see you in a minute Deb.” Off they go and in a few seconds I hear the monotonous bleep like a lorry reversing which means I’m alone in a room using radiation and it’s probably wise not to enter.
The machine whirrs round me, underneath me first for obvious reasons, then to the side, then back to its original position. Sometimes I fantasise the machine is stationary and it’s me whizzing round like I’m on a particularly medically themed Theme Park ride. I always sing along to the radio. Sometimes it’s blackly apt. Style Council “No matter what I do, I’ll end up hurting you” when you’re being bombarded with radiation for instance.
Then the door opens and the bed is lowered with the usual warning not to sit up too quickly or I’ll bang head. I haul my jeans back up, pop my shoes on and with a cheery “See you tomorrow” I’m on my way back home.
That’s my life now and will be for another 15 sessions. I’m probably the only one not looking forward to the two bank holiday weekends in a row because it delays my course by four days. Yes, congrats and all that Will and Kate but really? Straight after a long weekend?
I’ve been thinking about this halfway point. It’s brilliant in one way. All downhill from now – every day a day nearer to the end of treatment. In another way, I know what to expect. The slow change from “ooh chemo doesn’t make you feel that bad” to “waking yourself up crying out in pain and misery”. (sorry gang, I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with that information and I hesitated before I typed it but I must be honest in this blog or what’s the point?) I’m also scared about after the treatment. I wait for eight weeks while the radiotherapy continues to work and the chemo has done its job until I’m called into my Consultant’s office after various scans and tests and told my future; the tumour has gone or at least shrunk to the point where its non threatening or Plan B: The colostomy bag. I know I can cope with either option (hardy Northern stock and all that) but those two months when I can’t do anything but wait, when everything has been done will be tough. It’s like when you’ve done your best in an exam and have to wait to see if you’ve passed. You just have to take your mind off it.
So I’ll visit friends and relatives and revel in their smiles, I’ll have a new Great Niece or Nephew to meet and I’m eye-crossingly excited about that. I have dear friends who live on the coast and I’ll invite myself for a couple of days and sit round their kitchen table clutching a mug of coffee, (who am I kidding – a glass of wine) and roaring with laughter. I’ll visit my Essex Blondes and curl up on the huge sofa reaching over for another sweetie from the massive sweetie bucket while watching a film (preferably scary). I’ll drive everywhere. I’ve missed driving so much. Me and Luigi in perfect harmony roaring down a motorway with The Lightening Seeds “Life of Riley” at full blast.
You know, I’ve sort of cheered myself up in the course of writing this and that, dear reader, is a good thing. Thanks as ever for reading. Til next time.