The gimp

So, I’ve now had my first two radiotherapy sessions – yesterday at 3pm and today at 8.40am.

Not much to it, really. I’m in and out within 15 minutes, and half of that is the setup.

So far, the hardest part of it is the mask, which is so form-fitting that I wonder if I could open my eyes inside it. It fixes you in place and contours to every curve on your face, to the degree that might be claustrophobic if I had to wear it too long. On top of that, my nose is plugged, and I wear a mouthpiece with a narrow breathing tube in the middle of it.

It feels like I’m wearing a gimp mask, more or less, complete with a mouthpiece. But, it’s okay, as the actual treatment lasts no more than 6-7 minutes.

It’s a curious experience laying with this contraption on your head as the radiotherapy thingy does its work. There’s a lot of whirring, and through my eyelids, there’s flashing lights discernible, blue and white. I don’t actually feel anything, not yet anyway – that will come. There will be a cumulative effect. Over time, I’ll develop a sunburn in the area I’m targeting, and the patch of beard there will likely fall out. And the mouth ulcers.

I’m told I’ll start to feel something after about two weeks, though some feel a difference after just a week. The longer, the better as far as I’m concerned.

Tomorrow I start on chemotherapy. That’s from 9.30 for four hours, a break, and then my radiotherapy session.

From Monday I’ll be taken to and from the hospital by ambulance transport. Yesterday Cheeseboy chauffeured me. We detoured to a chemist and click and collect at Bunnings on the way back, and it was good to be out. This morning he dropped me off, and another friend picked me up. It’s a lovely sunny day, and on the way back, we stopped for takeaway coffee from a cafe in Elwood. These are the small pleasures I look forward to these days. Enjoy them while I can.

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