One Under*


“So how are you doing?” The oncologist says, ushering us into his office.

“Um well I’ve been having these headaches,” I say.  “Ever since the start of the radiotherapy and…”

“Can you describe where?” He says.

The headache has vanished.  Now can’t remember where it is, other than in-my-head-somewhere.

“Not sure,” I say.  “In my head somewhere.”

“What part of your head?” He says, looking concerned.

“Is it OK if Mum sits a bit closer to us?” I say.  Mum is marooned across the room where am sure she can’t hear anything.

“Of course,” he says.

“You can move next to me, Mum,” I say.

Mum looks dazed.  Motioning to her to pull her chair closer, I try to remember where the headache is.

“Sort of at the back of my head,” I say.  “So I thought that maybe it’s to do with the uncomfortable neck position in the machine because, well, it hurts after radiotherapy and they make me hold my chin up and…”

“Yes, I was about to suggest that,” he says.

“Or I’ve finished the codeine so it could be withdrawal from that,” I say.

“Well that sounds possible,” he says.  “Obviously we’re here in the cancer hospital but I don’t think it sounds like a brain tumour so…”

Argh, I think.  Hadn’t even considered the possibility of a Brain Tumour.  The oncologist seems to think it’s just a tension headache caused by the radiotherapy neck position and that it will just disappear after the end of treatment.

On the plus side: have found a mirror at the treatment centre in a room which doesn’t have a loo in it:


Have stopped wearing the post-surgery bra as everyone at radiotherapy thinks is time not to wear tight things against delicate irradiated skin.  So am back in a training bra.

It’s raining and foggy outside and the fluffy monster is safe and warm in the house.  Well, as warm as one can be in this house.  You can see him in the attached photo.

Happy Wednesday everyone!
*2007.  By Graham Hurley.  A DI Joe Faraday detective novel.

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