I had my first radiotherapy session on Friday. After all the preparation work to get me to this point, the actual event was a bit of a let down. I turned up, went through the usual regime of being asked for name, date of birth and address, and then was laid down on the bed of the linear accelerator. The nurses then went through the same game of “manipulating” me into the right position, before going into the control room to start the process.
The process itself lasted no more than 5 minutes or so, and apparently was a bit longer than normal because they “wanted to take some additional pictures”. It’s quite funny really – I don’t normally like having my photograph taken, and tend to avoid it if possible, so at the moment I suspect the hospital may have more images of my insides than most people have of my outsides. Anyway, the only noticeable sign of the system operating was a faint warning buzzer in the corridor outside, and a big flashing red sign on the wall. No sensation at all of anything actually happening.
The radiographers then ran me though all the side effects I might notice (itching & soreness of the skin, tiredness, lethargy, diarrhea, cystitis and more) before wishing me a good weekend and sending me on my way. So far the only thing I have noticed is that I am incredibly tired. When I got home on Friday afternoon I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and ended up having a couple of hours sleep. The same thing happened yesterday afternoon too. I suspect this isn’t actually anything to do with the radiotherapy, but rather just that after the last couple of months of running on adrenaline, and with the end in sight, it’s all finally started to catch up with me.
Wikipedia have what appears to be quite a good article on radiotherapy, including a picture of someone positioned in a linear accelerator. You can clearly see one of the registration marks on the lady’s hip, lined up with the machine’s laser (the green line running across her). Looking at her smile, I feel the pressing need to run a caption competition. Just what was being said to her as the photo was taken?!
And finally, as far as I can tell, I don’t glow in the dark yet.