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.
Essex blondes (now with added russet!) eagerly awaiting with sweetie bucket and bucket-loads of love xxx
I’m ready and waiting to zoom up to Town for vin rouge when you call. Well done for being honest in your blog too brave and hopefully cathartic xx
Slightly humphy that you didn’t include a transatlantic flight on your list – only joking!! I am also an Essex Blonde so will place myself in that category for now!!!
Whatever the journey and wherever you are going, I will always be sat beside you (probably with the map upside down!) xxxxx
That’s saved for September Bee – and as you’re back soon I was rather hoping you’d be unwrapping the more trickily wrapped sweeties for me! xxx
Huge hugs as always.
Would it help if I told you that I picked Oscar up from childminders yesterday and he insisted that I buy him a green rubber ball, the size of a cricket ball, but softer and with a silly face on it..when we went to Tesco. CLUE to all slightly insane Grandmothers who indulge their wonderful little ones – BAD IDEA!!! We spent a hilarious 20 mins with me chasing said damn ball all over the shop (literally) until Oscar realised that I had more trouble catching it if he threw it backwards out of the trolley – and immediately hit an old lady in her eye as she spent down to examine a bottle of Rose in the three for 12 quid row.
Wouldn’t have been so bad if baby hadn’t totally cracked up laughing (and I mean hysterically)!
Picture me trying to do all this at once: a) Hang onto trolley (its got my purse and a small child in it). b) Assist old lady whilst apologising like a demented person. c) retrieve offending ball from under the rather nicer bottles of bubbly shelve. d) tuck my bra back into the top of my t-shirt, which has obviously become exposed whilst juggling small child into trolley. E) Ignore small child yelling ‘TA NANA!’ at the top of his voice – desperate to have the ball back and see if he can get her other eye.
I think we’re banned from Tesco.
I love you Honey – point your Italian job our way – or we’ll come to you – whenever you feel ready for mayhem. XXXX
OOPS just read that back – old lady was BENT down, not spent?? haha
*cackling with laughter from North London*
Laughing out loud in Essex too. Thanks for sharing that, Pam! 🙂
Great blog post and you cheer others up whilst cheering yourself – keep writing and laugh whenever you can. Failing that grin broadly, especially at people you don’t know, it’ll scare them ;-))))