“So if you don’t mind, there’s a questionnaire to fill in,” the radiotherapist says as I enter the treatment room. Taking my top off, putting it on the chair, I see the folder which says ‘Aftercare Package’.
“When do you want it by?” I say, taking my bum bag off, putting it on the chair.
“Oh, after the weekend,” she says. “Have you had a good response to your television programme then?”
“I think people liked it,” I say, sitting on the board, leaning back. “Ow, my neck hurts. So the oncologist says that my headaches are caused by the neck position and…”
“Your skin isn’t looking too bad,” she says, looking at my chest. “It’s pink, but it’s been pink since the first treatment. It hasn’t got any worse yet. It can take another couple of weeks after treatment before it really breaks down though and…”
“You got terrible burns last time didn’t you?” The other radiotherapist says.
“Yes,” I say. “But not till after the treatment finished.”
They leave the room. I struggle with my first breath hold but catch it after a couple of tries. The machine whirrs.
“When you’re ready,” the voice says. “Take a breath and hold it.”
Breathing in, I hold it inside the green line.
And as I’m holding my breath, I realise a strange thing. In a few weeks – once my mood has crashed and I’m back at work – I’ll look back on this period as a happy time. All I have to do at the moment is to attend Spin every morning and radiotherapy every lunchtime, whilst staying with my parents. I’m in the up bit of my mood cycle, my brother is here, Seb’s coming tomorrow. There’s been the excitement and distraction of the television programme and its accompanying interviews. Everything is fine.
In a couple of months, when my mood has dropped and I’m back at work, it’s inevitable that I’ll look back on this period as a happy time.
Attached photo is today’s radiotherapy outfit. My favourite trousers from Fit Boutique feature.
Had better run a bath…
Happy Friday everyone!
*2012. By Graham Hurley. A D.I. Joe Faraday crime novel.