Radiotherapy has concluded …

After 33 sessions, every weekday for the last six and a half weeks, I finished radiotherapy yesterday. Like everything else on this new adventure,  it started and even though it seemed at times like it would take forever, it eventually ended. And luckily, like all my motorcycle tours, I made it through intact, even if the hair on the front half of my hair didn’t!

My latest hairdo - styling by radiotherapy

It should grow back over the next couple of months, but so what if it doesn’t. I don’t mind it short, much better and more comfortable under a motorcycle helmet, and I would rather be put down than resort to a comb-over!  As you can see (or perhaps are having trouble seeing) my surgery has healed very well and you can barely detect the scar any more. More the pity because I have lost some street credibility! Still a bit of a rough head though but compare this with how it was shortly after my surgery back in late May.

And they even gave me a souvenir to remind me of my adventure. I don’t know what I’ll do with it though. It might come in handy for Halloween and at least there is an opening for beverage intake.

My very own radiotherapy mask

Here’s another view of the mask in action during a radiotherapy session.

My daily radiotherapy session

But allow me to be a little serious for a few moments.

The sessions were each very short.  It took about 3 minutes for the radiologists to align me and approximately 5 minutes for the treatment. My forehead did feel like it was a little sunburnt as the sessions progressed but this was nothing too painful.

The worst of it was the emotional side effects which for me included the following:

  • having a very low mood
  • not being able to be lifted out of my low mood
  • not feeling my usual self
  • not being able to enjoy anything
  • loss of interest in favourite activities
  • problems getting off to sleep and waking early
  • poor sleeping patterns or sleeplessness
  • poor concentration and forgetfulness
  • feeling helpless or hopeless
  • feeling vulnerable or oversensitive
  • irritability
  • loss of motivation, unable to start or complete jobs.
I was at my lowest when I learned it would be at least another two months before I could get my drivers licence back.  At that time it just seemed like everything I was trying to achieve to get on with my life post treatment was too hard.
This manifested itself in not feeling like maintaining my my blog, tweeting or editing and posting some new albums/galleries or testing some new kit (GoPro wifi BacPac) I’ve been wanting to try out for a while.  Some days it ws enough for me to just get myself to the hospital for my appointment.  But I always got there and all the staff of the Radiology Department were simply fantastic.  I am so grateful to them making my daily visits as enjoyable as possible.
If you have friends or family going through their own adventures or challenges with cancer or simply want to know more then the MacMillian website is a wonderful resource.
So what comes next I hear you ask?
Get on with life for the next two months and wait for the effects of the radiation therapy to dissipate.  I’m told this could take several weeks.  In late October I’m due for another MRI then following an appointment with the Oncologist in early November I should know what else if anything needs to be done.  My best case scenario for my drivers licence is late November but I’m not getting my hopes up as six months from the date of my surgery is the best case scenario.  My last telephone call with the DVLA left me thinking it was more likely they would want me to wait 12 months or even 24 months. I’ve sort of got my mind around this now but I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t bitterly disappointed.
I’m still on medication to stop me having another seizure and could be for some time yet I guess but this is not onerous.
So onto my next adventure and some new projects. But no European motorcycle tour for me this year.  Keep your fingers crossed I’m back on the bike before the new year.
But do let me know of any motorcycle adventures you are planning and I’ll help you work out the best tech to take with you or maybe even let you borrow some of my stuff!
Ride safely.

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