I’m now halfway through treatment! The original plan was for six weeks of radiotherapy and chemo, and this is the end of the third week. I missed a radiotherapy session last week because I was in hospital but I’m expecting that to be rescheduled for the Monday at the end of the six weeks. Fortunately being in hospital seemed to be a blip in the ‘excitement’ that is my life at the moment. I’m hoping to keep such blips to a minimum though – being in hospital isn’t fun, although if it’s the best place for me that’s how it is, but I’d rather not go if I don’t have to! The last couple of times it’s happened I’ve felt better very quickly and so it feels like a lot of waiting around to be discharged, although all the staff at the hospital have been lovely – and it’s much better to be kept in even if I feel better than not go in or be sent home too early!
In terms of side effects, things seem to continue to go well. I had a couple of days this week of feeling very tired, but on Friday I had a long but lovely day and felt tired by the end but no more than anyone else having a similar day would! We’ve been playing with my meds and adjusting doses and that seems to be helping mostly (apart from ending up in hospital but you can’t win it all!) I’ve got used to the mask used for radiotherapy and it’s been adjusted to make it less tight and so is causing a lot less pressure and problems. It’s by no means fun or comfortable but it’s not horrendous – the closest comparison I can think of is having a flannel over your face while you lie very still. That doesn’t quite cover everything that happens or exactly how it feels, and probably makes it sound more pleasant than it is, but might give some idea. When all the masks are lined up they look a little bit like some kind of Doctor Who villain! This would be impressive if mine wasn’t then going on my face… My mum wants to keep mine if she’s allowed. I’m less sure I want to see it again, but I’ve been assured it’s a thing of beauty. I think the association is a bit too strong to see it like that myself though! I’m continuing to eat well which is a good thing (a combination of the operation in Italy and the steroids seems to have worked wonders!). There was some talk of yet another operation and while I’d have that if it were necessary, it doesn’t look like it will be so that is a relief! Anyone who has had major surgery will know how much it takes it out of you, and while my attitude at the moment is ‘do whatever the doctors say’ I’m always very relieved when they don’t recommend further surgery, for example!
I’ve got a very busy month and a bit planned! A visit to my brother in Oxford, going to a baptism in Manchester and a wedding in Glasgow – as well as a few visits from friends. I need to remember to pace myself though, because lovely as those things all are, they might tire me out a lot and while the wedding will be after treatment, the others are during it so it’s harder to rest on weekdays. I’ve tried to schedule in rest days but I’m not sure I have another one until mid-November! (So apologies to anyone I see in the mean time if I’m tired or have to cancel or if I’m just a bit less engaged than usual!)
Generally, though, there’s not very much new to report – I’m trying to keep to doing trips out and things while also trying to pace myself. Finding the right balance between doing things and resting is hard but I’m trying to listen to what my body is telling me and prioritise accordingly (obviously anything medical needs to be at the top of the list!) I’m doing alright at the moment but continue to appreciate thoughts and kindness – even if I don’t reply to you please know that I do notice and appreciate these things!