It’s all action. The side effects from Chemo 8 are descending heavily, as are the side effects from the white cell booster. My neck and shoulders are aching, mouth is tender and painful and teeth sensitive. My fingers are numb and sensitive, my legs are buckling underneath me and even soft gentle bananas are giving me horrible heartburn.
So what better to do than get signed up for the next stage! Dr W2 had set up my consultation for Radiation Therapy for Tuesday (yes, yesterday!) Radiation will be carried out at the Cancer Hospital as there is only one Radiation Centre in Bangkok. I had an appointment to meet my Radiation Consultant, Dr K, at 2 pm and had no idea what to expect. Please, please no needles or awkward Twang Arm manoeuvres………..
After the registration and administration procedures, we headed to the Counter and waited to see what was next. Soon I had the usual Blood Pressure, weight and temperature checks and some concern expressed over bruising on my hand. The nurse was surprised that this was from the blood test last week, until I showed her the marks from the IV!
In no time, we heard Dr W2 arrive and drop an envelope on the counter, accompanied by my name. Very soon afterwards we were ushered into Dr K’s room.
He talked us through the process for Radiation. It would start around 3 weeks after final chemo. There will be 25 sessions – 5 a week over 5 weeks. He suggested a start date of 27 April. The first session will be a computer simulation using CT scan and they will work out carefully how and where to target the rays. Because my cancer and surgery was on the left side, there needs to be particular care to make sure my heart is properly protected!
I had a long list of questions and he patiently took me through the process. We talked a lot about the effects of Radiation and while it is very different to chemo, it is not without effects too. The skin will usually develop a kind of “sunburn” after 3 – 4 weeks of the treatment and it is difficult to predict how each person’s skin will react. I have very fair skin and tend to burn easily so I expect this might be quite uncomfortable. I was advised not to use any creams immediately before treatment as some creams can have ingredients which react with the radiation. I asked my questions about being in Belarus a few years after Chernobyl and possible radiation exposure. Apparently any exposure I might have experienced then is nothing compared to the 5000°C which I will get with the Radiation Machine!! How many? I am sure I have probably got that wrong!
Through our discussion there was no sign of a needle or a need to wave Twang Arm around. 🙂 But there was one piece of not so good news. During the 5 weeks of Radiation I will not be able to swim. I have to avoid any additional irritation or possible infection so swimming is completely out. I will miss that terribly but I guess I can cope for 5 weeks?
We saw Dr W2 again after the consultation and in the meantime, he had spoken with Dr K and brought the start of the course to the 20th April. This means a quicker finish which is very welcome.
So here I am, all signed up for the next event in the Triathlon from Hell – the Cookery Event!