Radiotherapy Planning Meeting

Yeah…that’s what the letter said. What they didn’t say was- we’ll make you wait for an hour, you’ll see the dr, get almost entirely undressed, because we didn’t warn you there’d be an examination and you turned up wearing a DRESS, get drawn all over with a felt tipped pen, have a CT scan in your knickers (again because you wore a dress), and then get three tatoos on your boobs so we can give you the radiotherapy… πŸ˜€

Luckily, the dr turned out to be good old Dr Abram, my regular oncologist. We normally see him at the hospital where my chemotherapy is given. They don’t have facilities to give radiotherapy, so it is done at a bigger hospital in Belfast. The centre itself is very big and brand spanking new, and the staff seem lovely.

They really should have told me a bit more about what was going to happen today in the letter they sent with my appointment. I just thought I’d be having a chat with the dr and signing a consent form, or something.

The tatoos are absolutely minute- one on either side under my arm at the side of my boob, and one in the middle of my chest. I knew they gave you three tatoos but somehow alwaysΒ assumed it would be on my right boob where they need to give the treatment.

The CT scan was apparently to check the location of my heart and lungs. They drew more stuff on me before that. It’s very undignified lying on your back in a pair of knickers, getting your boobs drawn all over with your hands in the equivalent of those leg stirrups they used to make women in labour use… πŸ˜€

The tatoos weren’t particularly sore, a bit like getting an injection. It did confirm for me though that I will never have a real one. Mine are more like Phoebe in Friends- “The World as Seen From a Very Great Distance”!

The treatment itself will start in about three weeks. It will make me feel tired and my boob feel sunburned, but I shouldn’t be sick or achey they way I am with the chemo. It will take place every day Monday to Friday for four weeks.

Other big news- my hair seems to be growing back!!! I am so pleased, I didn’t think it would start to grow back for months yet, but I guess the taxotere isn’t as hard on hair follicles as the FEC, I will take it where I can get it, ha ha!

So, that’s your “cancer update” for this week! πŸ™‚

16 Responses to “Radiotherapy Planning Meeting”

  1. January 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    All I heard were “tattoos on my boobs” and everything else kinda went in one ear and out the other… πŸ˜‰

    Technically they ARE getting an injection, ya goof! A really shallow one, actually. I’d imagine very small ones would feel a little like a bee sting and that would be it. I only have experience with the one big one.

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but my boobs really aren’t too pretty these days, what with the surgery! πŸ˜€ I suppose it is an injection. Can’t say I’ve ever really thought about it! You want more, so I guess it must be worth it if you’re in to that kind of thing. I don’t even have my ears pierced! πŸ˜€

  2. January 7, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    WOW girl! that was a lot for one day, and to not know…..ick! I’m glad things are a go though. get this stuff over with. πŸ™‚

    Sometimes it’s better not to know beforehand- I’d probably have got all worked up about it! πŸ˜€

  3. January 7, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Good for you sweetie, a month on and I can’t even see my 3 tattoos now!! (Get used to them drawing on you each time you go for a session!)

    Start putting the aqueos cream on NOW!

    And once again how different they do things in each county – at my planning they did the tattoos etc and I have never ONCE had a ct scan! My heart and lungs don’t seem to be affected thankfully!! Give me a call if you want to chat. Lots of love. xxx

    It has never stopped amazing me how different our treatments have been! I will go and buy some aqueous cream- where do you get it? A chemist?

  4. January 7, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    I don’t have my ears pierced either…

    They always say, sunlight makes your tattoos fade so keep them out of the sun and/or slathered with sunscreen. So I guess if you don’t like yours, topless sunbathing is in order.

    Tell Ian he can mail me the check. πŸ˜€

    Seriously, they all fade over time, and yours are so small and likely so shallowly done they’ll be gone in no time, as Heidi said.

    My God, topless sunbathing in Ireland would make headline news!!! πŸ˜€ Even if it wasn’t the middle of January and hovering about freezing…

    I didn’t know they’d fade! Yaya!

  5. January 7, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Another step closer for you… πŸ™‚

    Counting the seconds!!!

  6. 6 Bernadette
    January 7, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    PICC line – – – gone.
    Hair – – starting to grow back.
    Lying on your back – – relax.
    Boobs exposed – – so what.
    Knickers on – – better than off.
    Tattoos – – – will fade.
    Radiotherapy – – finished in 4 weeks.

    Suzy darling – you’re nearly there, keep the champagne on the cooler. XXX

    I think your post is better than mine, Bernadette!!!!! πŸ˜€ Thank you! xxx

  7. January 8, 2009 at 12:46 am

    I love coming here and seeing good news and progress! Treatments every weekday for a month. That sounds pretty intense. I could possibly be projecting your previous treatment onto this round of treatment though.

    I’m so happy about your hair! πŸ˜€

    I’m sure your little tattoos will fade and you won’t even know they were ever there! (I’ve gone to great lengths to make sure mine hasn’t faded in almost 14 years.)

    The “every day” bit is a nuisance, but it’s only for a few weeks. It’s all the way across town from where I work, which is the biggest pain.

  8. January 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    They should have given it to you at the planning meeting for free!! Its cheap stuff anyway, huge pot is only about Β£4.00. Put it on 3 or 4 times a day from now on and then once treatment starts, if you get itchy then don’t put it on that bit x

    I’ll definitely get some on my way home, m’lady! πŸ˜€

  9. 9 Pamela
    January 8, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Hi Suzy. Hope you and your family had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to a happier and healthier new year! So glad to hear your treatment is nearly finished and the hair is coming back. How’s Robbie getting on in his new bed? I wouldn’t have a mission of getting Anna to sleep in a bed yet. Think she’ll have to remain behind bars for some time yet. Your wee man must be much more mature.

    Robbie is so mature that he spent two hours screaming last night because he couldn’t have a bottle of milk. πŸ™‚ He’s doing okay in his new bed- just okay, not brilliant! I’ve been meaning to email Aidan to say happy new year to you all! Hope Christmas was a good one!

  10. January 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Bernadette has terrific points all. I remember reading once that your hair starts growing back almost immediately after treatment’s done, even if you have treatment after treatment. I always thought that was great proof that the human body’s resiliency is a force beyond our understanding…like our emotional strength. Like yours. Despite the indignities, it’s almost over!

    I know! In a week’s time, I will have had my last chemo treatment! Woo-hoo! πŸ™‚

  11. 11 Emma C
    January 8, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Have you not seen recent media on aquaeous cream? It is being hailed as the new wonder cream. I have used it for years on my excema. On the hair front, my friend Anne-Marie has just today had her short crop bleached, haven’t seen it yet but why not go outrageous while you can!

    I haven’t seen anything about it! Cool that Anne-Marie got her hair bleached. I am sure I will need to do something soon on account of all my grey hair!

  12. January 8, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I just scheduled my “treatment planning session” and I will be sure to wear pants!!! Thanks πŸ™‚

    I am almost up to “Bart Simpson” hair.


    I yearn to have Bart Simpson hair, lmao! I am so glad your treatment has been going so well! xo

  13. 13 Leigh
    January 9, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    The end is in sight, such great news and a fab start to the year. I have used Aqeuos cream for years – over the counter, cheap as and truly great stuff, it was on our “kit” list as new student nurses to try to keep our hands intact.
    A little bit more info might well have helped but think of the stories you are racking up to tell your grandkids too !! ” I remember the time I had my boobs tattooed…..”
    Seriously though, you’re almost there and I couldnt be happier for you , see you all soon xx

    I imagine my grandchildren will have priorities and that hearing about their grandmother’s jugs will not be high up on that list. Thanks though, I will remember your suggestion when I want to humiliate them… πŸ˜€

  14. January 13, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Hi Suzy! I had my radiotherapy session today and it was almost identical to yours, including it itty bitty teensy weensy tattoo session. Except I wasn’t allowed to wear my knickers. Had to go nekkid, under two gowns, one tie in front and the other in back. I was sure I’d gotten it wrong, but that’s what she said. They pulled one of the gowns down a bit for the scanning and marking and taping.

    Good luck with it all, I am also getting a wee bit of hair, very short, but thick little 1/4″ things. Grey, unfortunately, so will have to run for the hair dye!

    Weird that they made you take everything off- I’d have been freaked out! I don’t know how much more grey I will have got now, but will be relentlessly dyeing my hair as soon as there is enough to dye! πŸ˜€

    I will definitely check in with you guys later- sorry for not being around and thanks for dropping by- xxx

  15. January 13, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Suzy ~ now this is an ORDER. Do not – I repeat – do not feel like you have to drop by the Board. You have enuf to deal with and lots of IRL support. We will stop by here if we want to see what is up with you!!!!!!!! I promise!!!!!!!!!

    I wasn’t freaked out at all, but would have liked to keep my “knickers.” Laughing just cause here in the US we call them underwear. I love how we both speak English but have so many different words for things. I should correct myself, you had them first, we changed them I suppose. BTW, when my Mom was little, knickers were the little short pants boys wore. Language is soooooo interesting.

    There’s this little friend of my son’s whose greatgrandparents are from Ireland. I was explaining how maybe they were familiar with Gaelic, most likely not as somehow most of the Irish ended up speaking English, bummers right? He was looking at me blankly but I love roots stuff. I do know Gaelic has come back strong, at least over here thanks to Michael Flatley and Celtic Woman :@)

    There are some areas of Ireland where they speak Gaelic as first language, but they are very small pockets on the north and west coast- everyone speaks English! Sorry to disappoint! I only know a few words of Gaelic, and nothing you’d really use on a day to day basis, unless knowing how to say “Kiss my arse” is high on your list of commonly used phrases… πŸ˜€

    We mainly call knickers pants here- just to confuse you even more- I called them knickers in my post for more comic value, but I guess I succeeded for the wrong reasons! πŸ˜€

  16. 16 Skry
    January 17, 2009 at 7:07 am

    Bernadette makes a very good point. In fact a list of good points! The big countdown to you finishing with all of this is on πŸ˜€

    I thought that you had your ears pierced, but now that you mention it I have never seen you wear ear rings. I have piercings as you know, but I think that I’ll draw the line there. Boob tattoo’s are definitely not on my To Do list! However face tattoo’s are VERY popular over here.

    Male: http://www.ralphmag.org/BG/maori-face-tie373x385.gif

    Female: http://www.ralphmag.org/BG/maori-face-woman350x387.gif

    And yes, the women usually have this tattoo if they are going for authentic tribal Maori tattoo’s. It’s strange as it looked like a goatee to me at firat, but having seen a few of them now they are pretty much second nature.

    Still, I’m thinking you are happier with your boob tatt’s πŸ˜€

    Yeah, I think I will stick with the titchy ones, thanks Keith… πŸ˜€

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