Dear folks,

I know it has been a while thanks to my lovely 2 weeks holiday back home with the family. It was great. The weather was gorgeous (if a tad too hot for my liking – but after the miserable winter and spring we have had, I shan’t complain too much) and the food and wine a plenty!

I got back on 24th July to find all my indoor plants had died (I expected that to be fair) and was back to work yesterday.

Yesterday was also the day of my first radiotherapy session. My appointment was for 4.30pm for a chat then the zapping was due. As expected there was some delays – apparently one of the 2 machines had gone on the blink in the afternoon meaning all patients had to be reshuffled to the one. Luckily I didn’t have to wait more than 20 mins.

The staff at the Radiotherapy Dept of St Thomas Hospital (London) were really nice and friendly. Seeing that I am going to see them every day for the next 4 weeks, that’s a bonus. Most of my appointments have been booked for late afternoon (5pm) so I have arranged to come to work a little earlier so I don’t miss so much time.

Radiotherapy machine (example) - mine is not exactly like that but very similar
Radiotherapy machine (example) – mine is not exactly like that but very similar

The event itself is quite a non event. You get yourself ready, they collect you and lie you down and the rest is a bit dull. They fuss a fair amount with measurements and alignments – I am not complaining about that though…this machine is powerful stuff….I’d rather they were sure of their measurements and zap the right area!

Then they leave you for about 10 mins whilst the machine whizzes around you making some buzzing sounds. They have put some woodland scenes on the ceiling above the machine so you have something nicer than blank ceiling tiles to look at. At the end of the event, you get dressed and go home.

They have recommended that I stay out of the sun during the period (which makes sense), to use only aqueous cream to moisturise the breast twice a day, not to shave my right armpit or use deodorant, to use a shower gel that has as little chemicals as possible (recommendation is to use Simple brand) – I have a Sanex one hopefully it will be ok.

Looking through Google images in relation to radiotherapy I came by some horrific “radiotherapy burns” ones and I sure hope this is not going to happen to me. As far as I have been told, it should be mild redness and tenderness but they never know for sure.

I feel a bit funny today…tired and a little light headed earlier. My right arm also feels funny but I have no idea if it is related (according to the radiotherapy nurses, I shouldn’t feel any ill effects until at least a week after the start as it is cumulative). That’s the weird thing with being diagnosed with a serious illness…suddenly every little ache and pain gives you pause and makes you wonder : is it a side effect kicking in? is it completely unrelated? is it nothing, something…? I was never much of worrier when it came to my health. More often than not, I would ride it out and self medicate only if necessary but now, even a little rash gives me cause to worry (not that I have one).

Hopefully, it’s nothing to worry about and more due to the fact that I didn’t sleep so well on the count of the heat and the recent full moon (sounds new agey I know but that is one thing I am definitely sensitive to).

On that note…something to make you dream a little…below is a shot I took with my phone of the sunset on the bay in my home town….there isn’t much to boast about in my village but this is nice…

Pont de Noirmoutier (France) - Sunset 13.07.13
Pont de Noirmoutier (France) – Sunset 13.07.13

And then just because I don’t want to let go of the holiday mood just yet, here is a shot of me playing tourist in Paris on my last day

Check out the hair!! (24.07.13)
Check out the hair!! (24.07.13)