Radiotherapy Planning, no tattoo but the return of my sparkle!

So after what seems like forever waiting I now have a plan for my radiotherapy! After my initial meeting with my extremely charming Radiologist three weeks ago I have been waiting patiently for my radiotherapy planning appointment and details of when I would actually start my treatment.  Days and then weeks passed by and I was beginning to feel like I had been forgotten.  Having been so incredibly lucky with treatment so far not having to wait at all, I appreciate this must all sound very entitled, trust me I had words with myself and reconciled that I would hear when they were ready and all would be well.

And I did, it all seemed to happen at once.  Yesterday I was having my scheduled Herceptin which I will be having every three weeks until the end of November, I was relaxing having my drugs working on my Ipad when the radiotherapy receptionist called to give me the details of my planning appointment and then all my other sessions.  So having had nothing I then had all the information at once.  Luckily I had my Ipad in front of my to take it all down.  I also feel very lucky to have bagged an early slot for the majority of my radiotherapy sessions so that I can come home and just get back to work, I know that is not everyone's priority but it makes me feel like the cancer is not in control I am!

So today I headed for my planning appointment. I told the boys that this may involve me getting some small tattoos (I have seen some of you on here have had them, small pin points to help guide the radiotherapy machines where to give the doses).  I was all excited to get my first ever ink only to be told the machines my radiotherapists use don't need the tattoos so no ink for me!  Instead I did my usual striptease act jumped on the CT scanner bed and hoisted my arms above my head.  Next came the difficult task of practicing holding my breath without also holding my nose.....I never realised how much I relied on holding my nose whilst doing this before.  It took a few goes before I got this right, but when I did I passed the test time wise, phew!  Whilst I was practicing holding my breath the radiotherapists covered my boobs and upper body in lots of stickers whilst the room was filled with lasers.  It was like a very weird cross over between Mission Impossible and a toddler's free play session.  These stickers and lasers, together with the CT scan will allow the radiotherapy machine to know where to give the dose, oh along with the picture of my boobs which they took, I almost forgot about that bit! 

So into the machine I go, covered in stickers.  As CT scans go it was very quick a couple of minutes whilst I just breathed normally and then 10-15 seconds whilst I had to hold my breath (good job I did that practicing!  Then out I popped and time to get dressed.  The radiotherapist explained about how the timings of my first session will be and how I mustn't shave under my arm once the treatment has started (I had only just started getting any hair back there anyway).  I also need to be careful about which deodorants and shower gels to use whilst undergoing treatment.  I am still using the 'Simple' brands from chemo which is fine so I will continue to use those but need to invest in some new deodorants, I am told Biostem or Pitrock are good, does anyone have any experience with either of these.  She also spoke about the importance of using the creams she will give me following the first treatment, twice a day for all the treatment.  My first one will be a week on Tuesday so I am looking forward to that, well curious more than looking forward I suppose!

In other news several people at work this week have spoken about how I have got my sparkle back.  Which I could see as a bit of an insult, it implies I have looked rubbish for a bit, but I am really happy, it means I am starting to look more like me again after the battering of chemo and I am excited to get Radiotherapy done and dusted so I can put most of the active treatment behind me and continue with my sparkle.  What a lovely way to describe someone!

Take care all xxx

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