Tattoos and Scans

May 20, 2014

I'm aware that I haven't been writing much on the blog recently, but that's because not much has been happening, and that's a good thing.

We’re on a pretty even keel at the minute. I’ve been spending time with the bairns and enjoying feeling relatively normal. I’m still getting tired easily, and have to make allowances for myself. I’m also feeling a bit vulnerable. I took the bairns to Tesco the other day, and it seemed everyone was staring at me. Even Imogen noticed and said “Mummy, that lady is really staring at you”. What can I say to that?

There’s also a few people in the school yard who seem to be blatantly ignoring me. People who I’ve spoken to at length in the past. I don’t know whether they are doing it because they don’t know what to say, whether they think I’ll start crying, or that I’ll just talk about Cancer at length. Fact is, if someone says hello to me, I generally smile, and say “Hi” back. If someone asks me how I’m doing, I’ll probably respond with a “Fine”, (this annoys Ross when I say it to the surgeon, or the oncologist, but that’s another story). Ignoring me feels cruel.

Anyway, things are about to go a bit mental again when I start radiotherapy on the 2nd June. I had a 2 hour planning appointment yesterday where I had everything explained to me. From what to expect during treatment, to what toiletries I’m allowed to use. I also had to get to grips with some breathing equipment and googles. Basically, because the radiotherapy is focused on my left chest near my heart, they use technology whereby I use a mouthpiece and software to control my breathing so that my heart is moved away from my chest walls so they can aim the beams to miss it and protect it. I have to practice holding my breath for 36 seconds. Yikes!

In order for them to set the radiotherapy up, I had to have 5 tattoo dots and then a CT scan to allow them to plan the best path for the beams to hit the bits they need to. I’m a bit disappointed with the dot tattoos if I’m honest. Once all this is over, I’ll get a proper one to cover the scars. I might as well, I’ve already had the first ink, and I didn’t really have a choice in it. If I’m honest, I’ve never really thought tattoos were for me. But, the cancer has taken so much from me, I’m looking at it as a way of reclaiming my body as mine.

So, I’ll be gearing myself up for 3 weeks of treatment. In the meantime, it’s half term, and I get some quality time with my bairns. I imagine they’ll be out on their bikes, at the park and generally having fun. Just what we all need.