I finished my radio therapy treatment on Thursday last week. The final four treatments were ‘booster’ treatments, which I found quite terrifying. No goggles, no holding my breath, just a really big machine zapping a very targeted part of me at close quarters. I almost asked for the goggles back, then realised I could just shut my eyes to avoid being confronted by the bigness, closeness and scariness of the machine.
Each treatment was over quickly though and Emma would drive me home while I felt a little more shell shocked each time. I have no idea what I would’ve done without her.
I’d somehow forgotten about, or perhaps thought I was immune to, the side-effects though. Apart, of course, from fatigue.
I can’t say I wasn’t warned. Karen, my radio oncologist, told me about the potential for them, as did the breast care nurses, and others I’ve spoken with who have gone through similar treatment. I even wrote about them on this very blog a few weeks ago, yet I was still caught off-guard.
A sunburn type response.
I wrote in that earlier post: ‘I might get all of these, some of them, or none.’
I got the jackpot – all of them.
The good news is that they probably won’t last more than a week or two (or maybe three or four).
And the other good news is that I’ve had company since halfway through my treatment – others to share my daily annoyances with. Probably not good news for them, but I’ve appreciated having Emma (who stayed an extra week with me) and now Deb to whinge to.
I also had the foresight to take some sick leave and I’m very pleased I did. I couldn’t have coped with going to work on top of everything.
But this is getting boring now. And if I’m bored by it all, I’m sure you are too. So I’m not going to write anymore about it.
On Sunday, Alison (aka Number 6) decided to spend the day with us, celebrating ‘me’ – my birthday earlier in the month and the end of my treatment.
Alison knows that I love to photograph flowers and so we went to the Queen Vic Market and bought loads: carnations, daisies, bluegum leaves, wheat that had been spray painted, and others I have no names for.
The outside table was strewn with flowers and leaves and twine and special scissors for cutting the stems and ribbon; palings from a fallen-down fence were put to good use as a backdrop and a surface; a tabletop was perched on the backs of kitchen chairs so we could shoot against the white wall under the clothes line; a shiny black tile and a sheet of black cardboard was set up in the kitchen as a different kind of photographic space … in amongst this chaotic space Alison managed to create a beautiful bouquet, and a delicious dinner.
It was a fabulous way to spend an afternoon!
These are just some of the shots I took – and if the wind stops I might take even more.
Thanks Alison! Let’s do it again some time.