Today was the start of a new chapter in the Squatter Saga. I’m not planning to describe how it’s gone after every one of my oodles and noodles of radiotherapy sessions as I’m guessing that will be monotonous for everyone, including me. However, I’ll make an exception for my radiotherapy debut.
I mentioned this on Facebook earlier so apologies for the duplication for Facebook users. Contingency Cole (aka The Human Gantt Chart aka The Silver Fox) ensured we arrived at the Freeman Hospital a whole hour before my appointment. I joked that it wouldn’t have happened if I was in charge as I’d be closer to the appointment time (albeit late)!
What I failed to mention initially on Facebook (artistic licence and all) was that I was asked to arrive half an hour before my first appointment so being an hour early wasn’t quite as crazy as it seemed. It’s my self-appointed duty as a wife to gently rib my husband for his overly cautious planning.
Maybe it was the zapping of the brain this afternoon but I’m feeling soft in the head. I feel obliged to tell you that Contingency Cole came into his own yesterday. We were just about to set off for my rendezvous with Dr A (literally standing in coats in the hallway) at the appointed time designated by Mr CC. I felt a seizure coming on and Mr C helped me to the sofa before the episode began in earnest. That set back our departure time. When we got to the RVI, the hospital car park was full and so we had to park at a car park about 10 minutes’ walk away (ten hours for me!) from the hospital. G had to wheel me along but his contingency planning had paid off as, notwithstanding the seizure and the extended walk to the hospital, we still arrived on time for my appointment.
Although I take the mickey out of him for it, Mr Contingency is responsible for me not being late for my (many) appointments so far without any stress. Long may it continue.
Shall We Dance?
Anyway, back to the radiotherapy. Today’s two radiographers, J and L (not Jennifer and Leo – that would have freaked even me out!), were very friendly. J explained what would happen and then we danced.
When I say dance, I mean:
- putting my swim cap on;
- lying on the bed/bench of the radiotherapy machine (see here for an image of a similar machine) and having the Mask clamped into place;
- back and forth between J and L calling out numbers (I’m assuming this was linked to my radiotherapy and not a game of bingo);
- J and L leaving the room while I had x-rays taken from various angles;
- J and L coming back into the room to play bingo;
- L confirming that it all looked good and we were ready to roll (I’m paraphrasing);
- J and L leaving the room again while I had the treatment: high energy x-rays directed from various angles* at the Squatter – this last step took a few minutes; and
- removing the Mask and the swim cap and leaving.
The first two steps and the last two steps will be repeated at every appointment from now but the bingo game in the middle won’t be. Wednesdays I’ll be having a weekly review after the treatment with either the Consultant or one of the Specialist Nurses.
In summary, it was painless, seizure-free, not at all scary and I’ve not experienced The Bends. The radiographer told me that fatigue would probably set in after about three or four weeks so that’s something to look forward to, though I’m not sure that we’ll be able to tell the difference from my current energy levels!
I’m pleased to have got this show on the road with my first session. I’m even more pleased that tomorrow’s session is scheduled for the morning, which gives me a fighting chance of making it to J’s second nativity of the season at nursery. To put the icing on this mixed bag of a day, Leo took a full bottle from me before bed for the first time in a good couple of months. Treasured moments indeed.
*The result of calculations by the psychics from Caltech, the oncologists and the dosimetrists.