A date with a Linear Accelerator

Well my radiotherapy treatment has started, so far I have had two sessions. I started on Thursday 4th April and it went well. There was only a 10 minute delay from my appointment time, which was a HUGE bonus compared to waiting for chemo. Mum came with me which was nice as I hadn’t asked anyone to come with me as I was told it was a lot quicker and easier than chemo and as it happens every day Mon-Fri I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone.

I was called through and taken to Room 11. As I walked in, I saw this massive machine that just looked like a massive Kenwood mixer! I said that to the nurse and he laughed and said it gets called a lot of things and not all of them are polite 🙂

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He talked me through the process that I would go through, so it was basically strip to the waist, lie on the bed, position my arms above my head into the holders, they would then draw marks on my body where they put the small tattoo dots. Then they would line me up with the laser markers, the nurses would do this and I had to try not to help them, and once this was done then I had to stay as still as possible until the end of treatment.

He advised that I should buy some aqueous cream and to keep moisturising the area as I may end up with some form of burns/sore patches. He said people who use the cream regularly tend to heal much quicker. He said they used to give it to patients but with cut back they couldn’t do that anymore.

So it was time to get going, so I had to strip off and lie on the bed. They then raise the bed right up to about 5ft off the ground. Putting my arms up into the holders felt a bit weird but I settled quickly, they then drew on me and lined me up against the laser markers. A bit of prodding and pushing and I was lined up correctly. They advised me that I would have some photos done first then the treatment would start. They showed me which part of the machine was the photography unit and which part did the treatment and they advised when the radiotherapy was being given I would hear a buzzing.

They then left the room and as they leave they hit a button which starts the machine.

Next the machine moves and various parts move above and around you, I recognised them as the camera so was trying not to move but also see what’s going on at the same time 🙂

Next the main round part of the machine moved above me and its hard to explain but there are all these moving parts inside it that move about to form a hole the shape of the area it needs to target the it buzzes and then the shape changes, it buzzes and it keeps moving and changing shape. I found it fascinating to be honest.

I couldn’t feel a thing, which felt bait strange especially as my boobs were covered by a piece of paper towel and I kept thinking how does it not burn the paper lol.

After a while I started to get a cramp in my right shoulder blade, it was hard not to move as it got quite uncomfortable.

After about 15-20 minutes (I think) they finished and basically it’s get up and go!

I felt fine, I was relieved that it was a stressors treatment, no pain or needles as I have to admit I’m pretty scared of having needles stuck into me at the moment.

I had to go back on Friday and although I had a 40 minute wait to get treatment it still felt like a diddle compared to chemo. The treatment took a bit longer as this time they had to keep coming in and putting these marker things on me between each does. This was fine but I got an itch on my nose and it was driving me crazy but I couldn’t move 🙂

After a while it was over and I had a good rub of my face and made the nurses laugh as they’d noticed me twitching my nose 🙂

So that was my first two treatments… 13 more to go and so far it’s been pain free. I seem to have a big dip a few hours after treatment and get really really tired, they warned me about this and they say it will get worse the more treatments I have.

Well that’s it for now xx

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