Monday, 7 September 2009

Radiotherapy Set Up Day

Teal Toes for Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Sherry, I will post you a link I just hope I am not too late. Chemo has been bad this week so today is the first day I have been able to think about make up or nail polish. Soon over though!
Today I had to get to Glan Clwyd Cancer Unit in Bodelwyddan for 10am. No mean feat with having to drop the children at school. Harry didn't cope with the change in routine very well so this meant a rocky start to the day, we managed. Another disaster was that my friend couldn't drop her dog Poppy off with me because she had lost her in the woods, then as we spoke, she found her but her daughter fell into the swampy lake! Disaster!

We got to the cancer unit on time and I must say how posh it all is. It is all newly furbished and very nice for NHS!!!! I had a brief appointment with my oncologist just to sign the paperwork for radiotherapy and finalise details for Herceptin and Tamoxofen. She warned me that there would be alot of talking over me and about me so I got myself mentally prepared.


I was handed a piece of paper to cover my breasts while I got myself into position on the table. The two radiologists were lovely and kept me informed of what they were doing as the fiddled me into place. I had to then lie there as still as possible for half an hour while they moved me, x-rayed me, stuck labels on me, drew on me and measured me.


I decided that the best plan of action was to close my eyes and think about other things such as my dogs, my family and my blog. This way I didn't end up feeling like a piece of meat and also I didnt have to acknowledge the other members of staff who were working on my not so pretty body.

The good news is that because the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes, I will not have radiotherapy under my arm pit which was a worry of mine because mobility of my right arm is important in my line of work as a dog groomer.

The final insult was the application of permanent "dot" tatoos. As if my body hasn't been cut up, stitched up (or rather glued) and mutilated enough. I keep reminding myself that a few dots and scars are alot better than the alternative.

We got out of there as quickly as possible. However, the cumulative effect of 11 rounds of chemotherapy, sleepless night last night worrying about today and travelling had its effect on me and I hit a wall of exhaustion so the rest of the day was spent in bed, too tired to read or even think.

At least I was well rested for when my Screamers came home from school, since then it has been full on action with Harry filming his dwarf hamster Penny and play fighting. Off to swimming classes tonight so I should get an hours peace, poor Jason fronts it all!


  1. I love that your oncologist prepared you for the "talking over and talking about you" -- it is VERY much that, isn't it? But you prepared by visualizing things that make you happy and what could be better? You do feel a piece of meat though, don't you? Strangers looking at you, writing on you...but when you look back on this in a few years (even a few months) it will all seem so bizarre!!

    Dear goodness about the dog lost in the woods and the daughter falling in the swamp...and your changed routine not going well with Harry -- sounds like quite the start to the day!

    I hope you managed a nice rest before school was over...and girl, I am loving these teal toes!! You rock, you know that? In the midst of chemo and preparing for rads, you still did the toes!!

    Oh, and no rads under the armpit? I had 1 lymph node and took part in a study where I was randomized to the side with the armpit too -- so far, 3 years on -- all is good with my arm (now I must go and knock on wood!).

  2. In 2001 when I had the radiation, a plastic mold was made of my chest. I would lay down and the mold would go on top and be screwed down to the table ... not sure if they still do that or not. It was a bit claustrophobic ...

    Hopefully the radiation is gentle on your skin ... I had redness but no blisters.

  3. Hi Sara
    Glad you were able to think of other things while lying there, and yes it does feel uncomfortable people probing, touching etc...we feel less than human at times, I felt that way when they put the picc line, then the port a cath....glad you were able to think of better things...its not easy.
    Take good care of yourself.

  4. Daria, they dont use a mould any more. I am going to have my own customized gown to take home!!! Maybe I could add things to it to make it look less clinical..... some sparkles, butterflies? What do you think?


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