Here we are, just 2 radiotherapy sessions to go. Over 3 weeks of daily hospital visits have been completed and all has gone pretty smoothly.
Each day the time involved for travelling to and from hospital and having the treatment is about three hours. On a few days I have had other appointments as well, so some days it’s more like 5 hours. In all 21 days including the planning day.
I haven’t driven since surgery, mainly to stop myself doing too much. So 21 days requiring a driver for what is usually an hour’s trip each way…quite an ask. A couple of weeks before radio began I started planning how the month would work. The easiest way to organise it I thought would be to set up an online schedule showing what was required when, send out an email to local friends and see what they could help with. Then hope that I would only have to do the drive, or call on Dan to drive, a few times.
So I sent out the email and within just a few days every day was covered with backups for each day too. Isn’t that incredible?! And also lots of help’s been forthcoming to cover Tilly care all the time I’m out at appointments. Everyone has work, family, general life commitments but they’ve all worked out what they can do when and I am overwhelmed. Again. Thankyou to all of them and their families who have made this month a lot easier.
I can’t pretend the organisation around radiotherapy has been easy. When your head’s a befuddled post-chemo mess and simply existing is exhausting, the last thing you want to do is put together a matrix of chauffeur and childcare solutions. And just when you think everything’s sorted a few things have gone wrong – my driver’s cancelled due to their child being ill or the radiotherapy machine has broken down so my appointment time changes and so all plans for childcare and drivers go out the window – but on the whole it’s worked well. And I am acutely aware how lucky I am that I’ve got the possibility of multiple solutions at my (still numb!) finger tips. A lot of people going through this have very few people to call upon for support which must make things a hundred times harder.
Radio itself has been ok. My skin looks a little sunburnt and I’ve got shooting pains in my ex boob. Each day I’ve had treatment in the morning then come home and usually gone to bed for as long as I could before my childcare ran out and Tilly came home. Sometimes that’s not been possible and I’ve pushed through the day going straight from my hospital trip to collecting Tilly and then on with fun and games until her bedtime and then I go straight to bed myself. The flu I had proved difficult to shake which didn’t help the fatigue. It’s left me with a hacking cough which has resulted in my coughing through a few radio zaps which isn’t ideal as you’re supposed to be still like a statue to make sure the zaps are hitting the right areas. Dan’s had to be away a few days which has proved to be a bit of a struggle but we got through. And we had a myriad of things go wrong with the house and car this month, but hey, we’re here to tell the tale and crawling our way to Christmas.
So all being well, I’ll finish radiotherapy on 21st December and we’ll have a little break until we’re onto the next stage in the new year. Onwards, onwards and hopefully upwards.