So this radiotherapy thing is becoming realer, and I’m getting more anxious about it. It’s very easy to be flippant about these things when they’re off in an undefined time period in the future, but the moment it becomes real, the flippancy disappears and the anxiety settles in.
I’m more anxious about this than I think I was about the surgery. I’ve had surgery before, I know what to expect (more or less). I haven’t had radiotherapy. Now that I know my radiotherapy date starting I will contact the people I know who have had breast cancer and talk to them about what to expect. I don’t know how alarmist the radiotherapy doctor is being about being a fat woman having radiotherapy versus a thin woman (apparently I have a greater risk of skin cracking due to the burns I will get), or whether that is because I have larger breasts and I’d have that risk regardless of my weight.
Both the doctors who saw me today, the radiology doctor in training and the consultant weren’t particularly personable. Their hands were FREEZING and I got quite cold as they poked and prodded my breasts before drawing on them in texta. I didn’t appreciate their talking about me as if I wasn’t really there, but I didn’t mind being part of a doctor’s specialisation education.
The nurses/radiotherapists on the other hand were absolutely delightful. Their hands were warm, they were reassuring, they talked to me about what they were doing and how long things were going to take. They apologised when they were about to touch me with something that was cold (mostly the ruler they were using) and ensured that I could get up and go to the toilet when I couldn’t wait any longer during the appointment.
So radiotherapy starts on the 22nd of September. A bit under 2 weeks away. I will be going to the hospital 5 days a week (business days) for 4 weeks (barring sickness). I may get very fatigued, I may burns that resemble severe sunburn, I may have none of those things and just have the inconvenience of my days interrupted with a hospital appointment.
I am a bit over the unknowns. My life generally has a lot more certainty in it, and I prefer it that way. But soon things will be back to normal (more or less). I’ll start on the tamoxifen, work through the side-effects, and just be myself.