Yesterday I had my first blast of radiation for the week. The machine was being serviced on Monday. I don’t know means if they were able to add a little bit of extra oomf or not.
Anyway, the radiotherapist took one look at me and said: “Your cheeks look very red.”
I tried to explain that I was British and temperatures over 20 degrees, let alone 30 degrees, will have that effect. But, no, he says it means I must stop shaving. Now. He explained it wouldn’t matter as the treatment would soon destroy the follicles so I wouldn’t need to worry.
The thing is, it’s not that I’ve ever enjoyed shaving. One of the joys of being a freelance journalist was that in cyberspace no-one could see your stubble. But being told not to shave is one more little loss of choice.
Meanwhile, in a couple of hours I’ll have my tenth treatment, which puts me one third of the way through. This far I’m suffering no painful effects, although there’s a long way to go. I do, however, have perpetual mild tinnitus, no saliva and my voice is fading fast. I could completely lose the ability to speak for several weeks. Or more. And, I’m told, what comes back could be different. I live in hope. I was never that keen on the sound of my own voice.