Sunday, 29 November 2015

Stirrups - Yee Ha!

It's been 6 weeks since my final Chemo and 3 weeks since having a Herceptin injection on its own for the first time. Did anything happen to me after my jab? Sure did! After I got home my feet blew up like balloons!!! I did the right thing and elevated them and slept with them on pillows and then just hoped it would go away. Which if course it did not. Phone call to the hospital and the Doc assures me that it is not Herceptin but the Chemo which has caused it. Three weeks on and my feet are still swelling up whenever I sit down. Walking and lying down are fine! I can also produce a rather lovely “cankle” look when my ankles decide to join in the swelling! Will see what they say on the ward next week when I have my next Herceptin jab. Just to moan a bit more, I have joint pain and stiffness too at times and it can be extremely difficult to get out of a chair if I’ve been in it for a while. I'm assured this will start to ease. But if you were to see me without my wig on and just my fuzzy bit of grey hair fluff, I seriously look like a 90 year man slowly creaking out of a chair!!! Yes man, not woman!! My hair is growing in a weird baby fine fuzz, male pattern baldness kind of way, also my nails look like they may be falling off soon, the joy of after-effects of Chemo!! Meanwhile I have been for another Echocardiogram, it was disappointingly ordinary, even the chap doing it was gentle and not like Cruella who attacked my ribs last time! More excitingly I have been for the set up appointment for my Radiotherapy treatment. Lee and I met a lovely lady in the waiting room who was unfortunately metastatic (got secondaries), but she was a joy to talk to. Lee was nattering away to her, while I got changed into the hospital blue gown, which had velcro all over the place and once on, couldn't quite contain my boobs, which I feared would break open the velcro at any point! I sat back down next to Lee rather gingerly for fear of exposing the Mitchell Brothers to our lovely lady, not the done thing really. They called me in and asked me to lie down on the scanning bed. 
There are attachments on there which look like stirrups, ladies you'll know what I mean (not the horsey type), but they are above where my head will go! Oh no, I can feel an inappropriate comment just waiting to escape from my mouth, regarding getting my ankles over my head, but thankfully I managed to refrain. Turns out the stirrups are for my arms so they are out of the way when the x-ray beams start to hit my boob. The very handsome young male radiographer tells me he is going to place my arms in the stirrups, then he takes hold of my sexy blue gown and rips open the velcro on my shoulders, takes my arms and places them above my head then rips open the front of my gown exposing my bosom. All I can say is I'm glad it was a very cold room!! He was a very nice young man!!! Ha ha!! His female colleague then set about my boobs with a marker pen, I think they wrote “stupid old trout” on my left one, but it was upside down so I couldn't really tell. I was slid in and out of the machine a few times and zapped at some point. When the lovely young man re-appeared he asked if I had any questions so I asked about my heart, as my Oncologist had said the Radiographers need to ensure they don't zap my heart, now my lump had been directly above my heart so…? He reassured me that the direction of the beam comes in at an angle and so misses my heart, it will catch a couple of my ribs and a bit of my lungs but that's all. Great, I think?!!! Now it was time to get tattooed. Oh yes, all ladies in the BC club get three free tattoos when undergoing radiotherapy. One in the centre of your chest and one down each side, so they can line you up to the machinery correctly. I steadied myself for this, as I have got “ink” already so I knew about the pain, but it was just one quick scratch at each site, nowhere near as bad as other stuff I've had done over the past six months!! It's just a boring black dot, a bit like the schoolboy thing on a knuckle. It's not big enough to even turn it into a flower!! That was it, all set up and done. They just needed to give me my start date, which is 8th Dec, which means I will be having Radiotherapy all over Christmas! Ding dong merrily on high!!! But yet again how can I complain? It's a tiny inconvenience compared to what it is doing for me. As I walked out of the room, they told me I can keep my sexy blue gown for the duration. How lucky am I? Now why has that young man run away?????