Positive Polly 2.0

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Another week has passed and I must say I am eager to get started with my treatment. I've had a start date of 22nd November which seems like an absolute age away and this week I've started getting new symptoms which I've never had before. 

I had my CT planning scan this week which, I'm not going to lie, I found hard. I'm not sure why. I cried in the scanner. The poor ladies who were with me must have been mortified andni kept apologising and getting told off for doing so. I also attended a hypnotherapy appointment which was interesting. I'm having my first session next Monday and I am working on not catastrophising and thinking the worst is going to to happen. 

Positives from this week include:

1. The nurse who put my canula in before my scan. He was so cute. The staff at the Christie must have special training on how to speak to people.

2. I've gone off work this week. Under duress. I'm lucky that I have a job which means I don't have to worry financially during my treatment.

3. My dog. Who is living his best life now I'm off work. He keeps sniffing my bottom. He must know. 

4. My friends and family are still absolute rocks to me and have not left me alone.

One more week before I get stuck into treatment. I don't know what to expect but I know I can do it. Any tips for getting prepared would be appreciated.

My main goal for next week is to tell my man friend about the situation.  He's the only person in my life who doesn't know. I must admit I'm scared that it's going to be too much for him and I need to prepare myself for that and remind myself that I have so many people in my life who can support me.

Good luck and well done to anyone starting or going through treatment.

Our courage is stronger than our fear. Slight smile

  • Feather 653

    You have had a lot to cope with and I am not surprised that you are off work; you need a bit of pampering time to help you relax.  And you shouldn't ever worry about having a weepy turn during your hospital visits, I for one had several prior to starting treatment, it is just all so overwhelming isn't it?

    Telling your man friend might be easier than you think; if he is worth his salt he will be there supporting you all the way, but I am so happy that you have back-up with friends and family.

    I had to laugh hearing about your dog; our pooch lay on my bed whilst I was recovering and was a bit too interested in the various bodily fluids that appeared in many varieties at the end of treatment.  But she was a huge comfort to me.

    The most important item (for me) was a Sitz bath, cheap as chips on Amazon and so effective at the end of treatment for literally everything; bathing the tender bits, urinating and having bowel movements under lukewarm water ( much less painful and easily cleaned and disinfected).

    And if you are given opioid-based pain relief at the end of treatment (some of us needed it) they can make you constipated so make sure you have a supply of Laxido (stool softener, not laxitive) to take alongside.

    The next 10 days will whizz past - please check in and let us know how you are.

    Irene xx 

  • Hi Polly. I'm a week behind you. 27th November start date.

    I have great support from friends and family but sadly my boyfriend dumped me just as we were waiting for the verdict on the tests.

    I feel very alone and scared.


  • Yardbird forget your boyfriend as you have more important things to deal with and that’s YOU. When treatment starts your time will be taken up with travelling to and from the hospital daily and looking after yourself with lots of rest. The most important thing in your life now is to get through treatment and be with the ones who really care about you.

  • Feather 653 welcome to our group. I see Irene has beaten me to it with the best advice and that is the sitz bath. Some people are lucky enough to have a bidet spray. My husband attached a long hose to our original shower spray and got a bidet spray from Amazon which reaches our toilet which was great for cleaning. Loose cotton knickers and I bought the soft boxer type knickers a size up which were comfortable and didn’t rub. I also bought some harem trousers. Side effects from treatment vary from person to person and can be gradual. I used a skin barrier gel called StrataXRT which can only be bought online which I found great for helping the external skin which once you put it on it forms a invisible barrier which MUST be left on during treatment. The only drawback with this is you have to reapply when you go to the toilet but during radiotherapy it stays on your skin unlike other creams and gels that have to be removed. My radiotherapy nurses told me that the radiotherapy does get through these creams but they ask you to remove them as a precaution. It is expensive but very good. Lots of people don’t use it and have found various creams soothing and the hospital will provide you with the appropriate creams as you get into treatments. Skin usually reacts from treatment around the fourth week and through to the end and a further week to ten days. Mild toothpaste and gentle mouthwash as you may get mouth ulcers. As Irene mentioned the stool softeners and I also stocked up on cranberry juice as you can get bladder irritation or what they call radiation cystitis. Drink plenty of fluids and your taste buds may change.  This week you could consider getting prepared for Christmas early so you can totally concentrate on yourself during your treatment. Good luck and keep in touch.

  • Yardbird

    I see you are new to the forum, so a warm welcome.  I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis and also to hear that your boyfriend didn't stay by your side but I am relieved that you have supportive friends and family.  Whilst none of us are flies on a wall observing a relationship, it seems particularly heartless that your boyfriend chose that particular time to end the relationship and that must have really hurt.  

    However, Jaycee is right, you really need to concentrate on you and once your treatment starts you will be so busy with the daily routine of going to and from the hospital and resting that hopefully he will fade into insignificance.  Being scared is totally understandable, however, the radiotherapy treatment is very short (probably less than 10 minutes) and I got to know every clunk and whirr of the machine and was reassured that it was very brief.  And it doesn't hurt at all, the side effects much later might but the most uncomfortable thing about the actual treatment is holding on to a full bladder!  This is so it is pushed up out of the way during radiotherapy.

    Just about everyone on here have been through or are going through this treatment, so please remember, you aren't alone, we are always here to support and lend a listening ear along the way should you need it.

    Irene xx

  • Thank you. You are right of course xx

  • Thank you Irene. I was not my usual self yesterday. Very low which is how I cam to join the group. I will post in my own right by way of introduction later today. xx

  • Hi there feather 653 - I think you are doing great under the enormous strain of this horrible journey. I agree with the comment about being prepared for Xmas early as you won't be bothered with it with everything else happening.  Don't think you mentioned how you are getting the chemo but if its through a PICC line then get a bum bag to hold it in and attach to your waist.   I also agree about the loose trousers or skirts - I had a week where I couldn't bear anything touching my bottom bits. And think about prepping easy meals. You'll be fine until the last week of radio though. I look back and its like a dream that happened now but I know you will come through it with your positivity!

    All the best! 

    Carole x