Welcome to the c word
I rarely show the world what is going on inside it is just not my style. I hide pain and constantly worry about worrying other people and how they will feel about how I am feeling. I keep my problems to myself and sometimes even from my closest friends. Well not this time.
I have been on the c word roller-coaster (I'm calling it the c word to go easy on the faint hearted) for over three weeks now and have decided it is a good idea to write down what's happened, happening and going to happen then whoever wants to keep up to date can without being forced to hear about it through emails from me. Because you will all have days where you just can't or don't want to hear about this. I get that it’s ok.
I hope not but you also might meet people or know people who go through something similar and it might just help them in some way to know they are not alone and when they fall apart it is ok because who wouldn’t. When you read this please forgive grammar and spelling etc I have not slept for three days and sorry too if it is up and down that is pretty much how I am doing most days.
- Tuesday 23rd February 2010
Saturday, 26 June 2010
Rads so far
Radiotherapy right. Yeah it's not fun but it's not so bad really.
First day they do the usual scaremongering "occasionally some people find their skin around the treated area blisters and slides off" and "we don't recommend wearing deodorants as it may react with the radiation". Oh great.
So they aim and localise radiation with a machine directed at an angle to miss your lungs for obvious reasons. The radiation, which is broken up into daily doses over 4 weeks to not over expose you, kills the cells in the breast (and any cancer cells hopefully) and therefore the skin which is the first place it meets will potentially become damaged like bad sunburn I suppose. It will make the whole area solid and firm and maybe give me lopsided boobs in a couple of years. It turns out after interviewing a few female friends, who obviously won't be named, that many women already have lopsided boobs and I was pretty damn lucky really that mine are even or were anyway. Some women say it evens them up so that is cool for them I suppose.
I admit I find it hard to be glad or appreciative of what it is doing to me, it feels so barbaric to kill the good cells while my body fights and uses all it's energy to rebuild them. My poor healthy cells. Also as silly as it sounds the word radiation rings bad bells in my head and unnerves me from growing up with Chernobyl and hearing about the radiation poisoning and what it did to those poor people over the years after the disaster. I suppose that is the first major disaster news story I remember from childhood and I strongly remember that radiation was bad and it never really left me.
As for the actual event well first day took longer with waiting and a broken machine issue but it was over relatively quickly once they got going. Pretty much you go in get in gown, lay on table thing, wap boob out, get drawn on, lights out, get positioned, lay still, they leave, you breathe, 4 minutes of a machine moving around you buzzing at you and a slightly warm sensation and it is over you are free to leave and enjoy the lunch your mum buys you in some cool Brighton cafe or like yesterday the lunch your very sweet compassionate friends have made for you at your house.
Second day I went in to reception, hello, went to sit, "Sarah Bolland", off I pop, strip, lay down, drawn on, positioned, buzzzzz, out. all in five minutes. It is weird though how you lay there breathing heavily and I can see my chest rising and falling and I am wondering if I am messing up their positioning because I am breathing so heavily because my heart won't stop racing damn it. They are fantastic people and so professional in every way you can't help but admire them and it is over so fast compared to other treatments. and yet if given the choice I would rather not have to walk forty minutes to hospital and 40 minutes back in the midday sun to zapped with some scary stuff that makes peoples skin fall off, thanks all the same.
Still 20th July end date 'last treat' is what they call it I wonder if I will get a lolly xx
Then 22nd July one tired post radiotherapy patient is off to the Marsden to see my surgeon about my boobs and thus starts the five years of 3 monthly visits until you get the official all clear, the reason they do this is sadly because for some people the bastard thing comes back, well not me thanks.