As so it starts…


Well I’m now officially a cancer patient. The aforementioned radiation therapy started last week and I’m now on course for finishing the first week of 6 sessions.

There are still another 16 to go though, daily except for the odd day off for equipment maintenance, Christmas and New Year etc. There’s quite a club of older men about the same age who gather daily in the L.A. area. L.A. stands for linear accelerator, and it’s basically gamma rays focused on the afflicting part of the body, in my case of course the prostrate gland. The rays only focus on the gland itself, but don’t ask me about the science; Google it. Anyway they (the specialists) reckon 22 daily radiation therapies will be enough followed by brachytherapy. I hope so. So, to the routine: the appointment times are precisely set, 12.36, 17.12 and so on. I have to arrive 40 minutes before the treatment, so I have to leave home at lesdt 30 minutes before that; it makes for a long day whatever time of day it is. On arrival, you empty (bladder) and then 30 minutes before radiation you drink (in my case), 450ml of water within 5 minutes.Apparently this goes straight to the bladder (I can vouch for that) so that by the time you’re lying on the radiation gurney, you are bursting to go. After drinking the water, I get changed into dressing gown and slippers, keeping shirt pants and socks on. Then wait. And wait. And I’m needing a pee. And even more needing a pee. At least the time comes and a radiographer takes me through and I lay on the gurney having shed dressing gown and slippers. The radiogs line me up, manhandle me into place, call meaningless (to me) numbers, and then I’m set. The machinery rotates around my body stopping at 120° intervals and firing for 15 seconds, and does this twice. That’s it. No pain. No burning smell. No internal pain. Nothing. Then off the gurney get dressed and out to the main waiting area, find a changing room and get dressed into street clothes. I’m free to go.

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About cliverh

Retired aerospace engineer, first with the Royal Air Force and then BAE Systems. Now enjoying a variety of activities and not getting bored. I was a Games Maker Volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics and a volunteer at the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. I intend to blog about what interests me.
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