Radiotherapy

I will be having 15 sessions of radiotherapy which I will document here inc any side effects
I have been told of the risks to my particular treatment and the effects this "may" have on my immediate health as well as any possible risks to my future well being.
I think the thing that stood out as worrying was that due to where the treatment is to be focused increases my risk of stroke by 50%. Secondary cancers are another risk in later life (20-25 years) due to radiotherapy. But hey I am still here so all bridges may be crossed when reached. 
 
Thurs 6th May 2010 Session 15 (final treatment)
My final treatment was a strange affair as I walked slower and allowed a little respect for the disease and the place I was being treated at. I felt a tad emotional whilst I was left alone having the treatment....but soon continued to count and focus! Mouth sores abound but I did sleep a bit better last night. I have been told that foe several weeks things would still be reactive as the treatment does carry on working for some time so I shall now update the notes section to tell of my recovery.
Turn me over I'm done!

Wed 5th May May 2010 Session 14
Mouth sores wake me through the night and I sometimes have to rinse with water and reapply the oral medicine. Salty water is also being used to help with the healing process. Did I mention only one to go!!!
Tues 4th May 2010 Session 13
Same old with mouth pain moving around my tongue. Smaller ulcers popping up all over inside the mouth and a particularly sore one on the jawbone joint inside my mouth. Very little skin reaction still. Beard still falling out in treated area.
Mon 3rd May 2010 No Treatment
Mouth ulcers are stable as no treatment for the last 3 days (bank holiday today). I noticed that of the limited beard hair that had returned after chemo, was now falling out in the area being treated with radiotherapy. The hair loss is always accompanied by pain at the base of the hair.
Sun 2nd May 2010 No Treatment
Much of the same with ulcers in the mouth and not much of anything else.
Sat 1st May 2010 No Treatment
Mandy commented that a distinct line of the treatment area could be seen but no itching, peeling or soreness is evident. The mouth pain increased again with new ulcers on the inside of my lips.
Fri 30th April 2010 Session 12
All the discomfort is around the mouth area with more and more ulcers popping up. The throat is now becoming more raw every time I swallow. The Radiologists' remarked that my skin was now becoming more pink but I could not really notice this.
Thurs 29th April 2010 Session 11
The pain in the mouth area woke me early and on inspection it seems the pains on the tongue are large ulcers. The special medicine of paracetomol in a suspension liquid does work quite well but not long enough. No other problems to worry about but the mouth rates high enough on that front.
Wed 28th April 2010 Session 10
The medicine is helping with the pain of the tongue, throat and mouth but the night time is quite troublesome as the pain killer wares off I find myself awake at various times. No redness still which I am greatful of and non of the itching that can happen. Only five treatments to go!
Tues 27th April 2010 Session 9
Mouth problems increasing but seeing a doctor has helped with a liquid pain killer being prescribed that coats your mouth and throat to allow swallowing. It works for a period but anything at present is a good thing. 
Mon 26th April 2010 Session 8
Mouth problems are starting to get very painful indeed. The tongue is now very tender on the right hand side underneath. The lining of the right hand cheek is very sore and pain occurs when swallowing. I try to keep my throat healthy with plenty of fluids being passed but it is quite painful.
Sun 25th April 2010 No Treatment
Increasing discomfort to the tongue, jaw and internal cheek area. I have also suffered from heartburn but think this is a left over from my chemo.
Sat 24th April 2010 No Treatment
The mouth is taking the brunt of the radiation as my cheek, jawbone and tongue all reacting to the radiotherapy. Tongue is stiff due to the swelling and soreness.Fri 23rd April 2010 Session 7
Again uneventful with little to report apart from the increasing soreness in the mouth relating to the side and underneath of my tongue.
Thur 22nd April 2010 Session 6
Everything going OK with the very dry mouth, sore tongue and now what feels like the start of a sore throat coming on the only notable side effects so far. No redness of the skin and for the first time the staff asked how I was going on with any side effects that I may have. To be asked now and again is reassuring. 
Wed 21st April 2010 Session 5
My times for appointments is staying better and so to are the delays. No redness, itching or soreness. The dry mouth is getting worse as the saliva glands take a battering. I hope this lack of saliva will become normal after treatment. I have a sore spot under the tongue.
Tues 20th April 2010 Session 4
Everything went better today although the swelling around the neck and jaw has popped up again! More staff were on hand today and it showed as waiting times were reduced to about 20 mins. I have been given a better time for tomorrows appointment so I hope to miss any traffic...as long as they have staff on! No signs of skin burn but I do keep applying the cream as told.
Mon 19th April 2010 Session 3
The swelling has stayed away so far. I arrived at my appointment 20 mins early but like most of my appointments they run behind this time it was another hour on top of my allotted time. It was clear that they were understaffed and my question about the swelling in my neck were met with "reading off a card" responses. The treatment was uneventful and this time I counted the time I was zapped for. Two lot's from top with the first being 15 seconds and second being 6 seconds. Next lot after the machine moves was 8 seconds and 6 seconds. No signs of redness yet but plenty of specified cream is being applied.
Sun 18th April 2010 No Treatment
The swelling and slight pain in the neck area has gone down a little resulting in a puffy area. Doing a little homework suggests this could be what is called a lymphoedema or oedema. I also have a dry mouth which is more troublesome at night and first thing in the morning. 
Sat 17th April 2010 No Treatment
A reaction has been noted which I must mention to the radiographer. A swelling has come up under the ear and at the original lump removal site. It is sore to touch. I have been applying cream to the area undergoing the treatment to stave off any sunburn issues due to my fair complection.
Fri 16th April 2010 Session 2
Appointment time on arrival was 14:40 but due to delays I got in at about 15:20. The process is quick with about 15mins from start to finish. The radiation only lasts for 10 seconds in one direction and 10 seconds in another. Most of the time is taken up by getting my body into the correct position and the mask fit securely. 
Thurs 15th April 2010 Session 1
Uneventful with no discernible side effects. This pattern should be the same for at least 7 days. At which point I hope to have few side effects. Carol my radiologist is a young woman and seems quite nice along with the two helpers who get me into the correct position on the table.

This is the mould made to house my treated area which is on the right side of the neck just under the jaw bone. The mask holds me securely in place so that treatment is given to the exact same place every session.

 

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