Radiotherapy Week 4

This was my final week of radiotherapy and unlike chemo, time has flown by. I think it helped that all of my appointments were early in the morning, so I could forget about it for the rest of the day.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, this week’s treatment was a bit different as these were booster sessions. The difference was that there was no need for a daily photo of the area to be treated and I didn’t need to hold my breath during treatment as the beam was aimed solely at the scar site on the side of my breast. So for these sessions, the radiographers had to draw dots on my skin every day to mark out the area and then position the equipment so that it was touching my skin. The bed was moved at an angle whereas the last few weeks it remained straight but was raised. The actual set up took longer than the radiation which only lasted around 30 seconds.

On Monday morning, I had my treatment review straight after radiotherapy. Hubby took advamtage of the fact that we were there for longer than normal and went for a bacon roll from a nearby van which he had spotted during the first week. So he was slowly making his way back across the car park while I was trying to explain to the lady who was doing my review that this was part of the ritual.

The treatment review consisted of questions about my skin, my appetite, whether I have experienced any pain and how my range of movement is in my left arm. I was happy to report that I hadn’t really experienced any problems in anything she asked me about, however afterwards I realised that tiredness didn’t get mentioned and yet that’s been the worst part for me. Having said I had no skin problems, lo and behold, the next morning the radiographer spotted that my skin was starting to break down and she promised to keep an eye on it. By Tuesday afternoon it was quite sore so on Wednesday they supplied me with some gel to apply to the area. The gel acts as a barrier – luckily there weren’t many radiation treatments to go.

I’ve mentoned before that there is music playing in the treatment room – well on Thursday I was treated to a Beatles medley. First off was Let it be, followed by Help! (which made me laugh) and finally Ticket to ride. This prompted me to say to the radiographer that I should have a celebration theme for my last session on Friday (Kool and the Gang anyone?) Although she was in agreement, it was not to be as I had 2 different members of the team on Friday so had to make do with listening to Tina Turner instead.

Friday felt strange as I was glad it was the last session but at the same time it felt odd that I wouldn’t need to go back again. This has been my morning routine for 4 weeks and it has been my security blanket. Now what will I do?

Waiting for my final radiotherapy treatment

I guess there’s the small matter of Herceptin next Thursday followed by a blood test and echocardiogram on Friday. I’m not off the hook yet…

In the meantime, a little celebration for this milestone. A trip to the cinema, a Chinese takeaway and a little glass of fizz. Normality is starting to resume.

Goodbye green hospital gown


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