Ladies and Gentlemen its time for Radiotherapy Planning

Well tomorrow is scheduled to be my last chemo session, I feel a strange sense of relief that its nearly over, then also pretty nervous about it as the last few chemo sessions have made me feel pretty yukky, which is understandable as I knew that the more sessions I had the greater the impact would be.  But I know that compared to a lot of people I am lucky that it hasnt affected me hugely, but then if I look at some of the stuff thats happened, I know it hasnt been the easiest of rides, but the main thing is that I have made it through so far and only have the one to go.

I am hoping and praying that my chemo will take place tomorrow, I am a little nervous as I have had the start of a cold for the past few days, but I am hoping that my white cells must be dealing with it as the cold hasnt progressed into a full cold yet.  I just hope there are enough of the little buggers to get the chemo tomorrow!  So attention little white cells, I want you all present and correct for tomorrow ok!!

Well today is my Radiotherapy Planning day, I will have my first CT scan and then they will mark where the radiotherapy will take place, so that each time I come in for radiotherapy the machine will line up with these dots they put on my body and hey presto I should be out within ten minutes.  Well thats my understanding anyway.

I went in last week for a chat with the Radiotherapy trials nurse, as I have been invited/accepted to take part in a Radiotherapy Clinical Trial. This is paid for by Cancer Research UK which is a cause very close to my heart so I am glad its something for them, as I have done a fair bit of fundraising for them over the past few years.

Well the clinical trial is called Import High and today once I sign to say I want to do it (which I will) I will get entered into the computer and allocated at random one of the following radiotherapy treatments:

IMPORT High is looking at radiotherapy after surgery for breast cancer in women with an average or above average risk of the cancer coming back (recurring).

It is recruiting 840 women in the UK into 3 groups

  • Group 1 has standard radiotherapy of 15 daily doses of radiotherapy to the whole breast and 8 doses of radiotherapy to the area of the breast where the tumour was
  • Group 2 has a boost dose of radiotherapy to the area of the breast where the lump used to be. At the same time a medium dose of radiotherapy is given to the area around this, and a low dose to the rest of the breast. The treatment takes 3 weeks.
  • Group 3 has a similar treatment to group 2, but the boost dose is a bit higher.

More info on the trial can be found here if anyone is interested:  http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/cancer-questions/what-is-the-import-trial-for-breast-cancer

Now initially when I was given my radiotherapy schedule it had me down for 3 weeks, starting on the 4th April and ending on the 24th April so I thought I was accepted for either Group 2 or Group 3 trial, but I found out last week that they just schedule me in for 3 weeks as thats the minimum time I will need radiotherapy, so I could end up with the 4.5 weeks anyway so I was a bit disappointed with that news.  As the thought of driving in to Cheltenham Mon-Fri daily for 10-15 mins of Radiotherapy is a bit pants!  I’d rather the higher dose 3 week schedule and get it over with, even if I do end up with a glowing sun burnt boob lol 🙂

Apparantly I should find out tomorrow what schedule I am on, so will have to keep my fingers crossed.

One thing I am looking forward to is the CT scan today, I have never had one and I have seen it on the tv loads and find it fascinating,  Apparantly they scan my breast to see the exact area that the surgery took place and apparantly there should be some “clips” left in the area the tumour was removed so that the radiotherapy planning can line up with them to enable them to precisely target the right area.  I have to admit I nearly jumped off my seat when they told me that, what do you mean there are clips left inside of me, so I plan on finding out more today!

CT Scanner aka The Stargate!

Anyone else look at this and think of the Stargate TV Series?? or is it just me??? I can pretend lol

I will be so glad when the chemo is over, to start with I found I coped with it pretty well, but now the thought of that toxic crap going into me makes me feel physcially sick.  My right arm is knackered from it, my veins are hard and lumpy, even the main vein down my arm is hard.  They dont tell you about those side affects when you go in.  I wish I had known as I would have fought for either a PIC line or a Central Line if I had known.  I cant stretch my right arm out fully as the vein is quite sore and feels like an elastic band that wont stretch, I have been told it will get better but can take around a year to heal.  So it makes me very aware how toxic that stuff it, no wonder my veins shrink when the needles come out.  They cannot use my left arm as thats the side I had my lymph nodes removed so that arm is shouting hey use me, save the right arm but the Drs and Nurses say Noooooo.

I just hope it all goes ok tomorrow, as I am an emotional wreck when I go in now, I have cried the last couple of times when they are struggling to get my veins for either the blood test or the actual chemo.  I dont like getting upset there as there are so many other people going through alot worse or even new people coming in for the first time, they must be nervous as hell, they dont want to see someone crying as it would upset them, but sadly my control on my waterworks (hmmm I mean tears not bladder lol) is useless, they just keep making my eyes leak lol.  I have no control on them 🙂

Right time to get dressed and prepared for today, lots to take in and I must ask questions 🙂

Toodle Pip!  🙂 xx

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