Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Nine down, Six to go! or Radiotherapy and Ichthyosis

Yes, finally I started my three weeks long course of radiotherapy. And it started in an exciting way indeed. In three weeks time since my initial pre-radio appointment I lost my tattoo dots. They just simply peeled off with my skin I guess. That gave the radiology team a bit of a challenge. At one point it was actually funny as I was surrounded by four people trying to find those dots with a torch. They had to work out a different way of measuring me up for the treatment at the end. Well, at least I learned that it wouldn't be a good idea to go for a proper tattoo!!!
Lost tattoos wasn't the only excitement I've had so far. The other day there was a false fire alarm bang in the middle of my treatment. Then the machine went bunkers and a technician had to be called in. Last time I had a student there for an observation. I wonder what's next.
When it comes to side effects so far it's not too bad. I mean my skin is locally upset and perhaps a bit swollen but that was to be expected. Yet it's nothing like the skin reaction I had after chemo. I don't feel particularly tired either but maybe it's too early for that. Will see at the end of it.

With my cat

I decided that I'm certainly going to enjoy the whole thing as much as I can. I want to have good memories of it so every time I try to do something nice. I use the time of waiting to do a bits of writing for either of my blogs or reading and after the treatment I usually end up in a coffee shop writing into my journal. Or I go somewhere to see something I didn't manage to see before. I actually enjoy the driving part of the treatment too. As I live and work in the same place I have never done a lot of driving and I'm not a great driver but even though I have friends who could drive me to the hospital I prefer going on my own, torturing Tildie with singing out loud and with my poor driving (Tildie is my much loved car - in full name "Matilda II of Rosary).

This is her just after I bought her last October
And this is me hoovering her sometimes at the beginning of summer

It's good feeling that my treatment's coming to an end. I'm really looking forward to our holiday in September. 

Friday, 7 August 2015

Those who wait

Hard to believe it's more than a month since I wrote the last blog post. To be honest not much was happening. I would say it was time of waiting. Waiting for my skin to get better and waiting for the next stage my treatment.  
In lavender fields
I'm pleased to announce that my skin is better now. Only a few days ago I could honestly say that it is back to normal. It means that it took about six weeks to recover. 
I have date when my radiotherapy starts as well. Two weeks ago I had my pre-radio appointment and, as I jokingly say, I have now my first tattoo ever. Three tattoo dots is the standard way to mark where/how the beams will be directed during the treatment. Perhaps I'll go for some more exciting tattoo next time!
Not that it makes a lot of difference in my case but my natural hair started coming back. It's just nice to feel again my eyebrows and eyelashes, even though they are generally almost invisible. 
Rather big thing is, that as my cancer was hormone receptive, since the last appointment with my oncologist was put on a hormonal treatment. Practically it means that within next two years I'll become menopausal. That should reduce the chances of cancer coming back.  
Apart from all the medical things that are going on I had nice time harvesting some veg I planted in our garden after Easter, enjoying my friend who visited me twice and most of all I made myself pretty busy in our pottery. 

did three firings this summer and working towards two more. 
And when I'm not busy in the pottery I walk around dressed as Olaf the Snowman!  
I hope I renewed my strength at this time of waiting. Next week I'm starting my daily trips to Cheltenham hospital. Most of all I'm curious what my skin will think of radiotherapy... Will keep you updated.