Yesterday I had my 15th session of radiotherapy and my second of three doses of chemotherapy. (I should have had radiotherapy today, but the machine’s broken, a piece of news hardly likely to inspire confidence. It’s bad enough being shot by a ray-gun, finding out it’s dodgy is worse.) But that’s me at the halfway stage with radiotherapy.
I also had my halfway appointment with the oncologist. He always seems a nice guy, but he’s probably too used to giving bad news. In my case it was really a matter of no news that I didn’t know already. My throat’s swollen from the treatment which is why I’ve lost my voice. And that was about it really.
The oncologist also gave me what’s probably the standard prescription for people at my stage of treatment – strong mouthwash, anti-fungal mouthwash (a common risk with radiotherapy in this area) and Fentanyl patches. Fentanyl’s much stronger than morphine and just as addictive. So withdrawal’s something else to look forward to. It’s also a none-too-subtle warning about what’s in store.
Apart from that I’ve got almost perpetual hiccups from the steroids I get after a chemotherapy session. You can now see where the rays hit my face from where the hairs are disappearing as the follicles die. I’ve now got an accidental goatee.