Two-thirds through

Yesterday I had my 20th radiotherapy session. That’s two thirds of the way through. But I’m reluctant to celebrate as I always have to bear in mind that the worst is yet to come.

One of the strange things about cancer is it’s such a macho disease. People always talk about “battling” or “fighting” it. You wouldn’t say the same thing about heart disease, strokes or whatever. If there is a battle going on with my cancer, it’s not really me that’s fighting it. The people who are doing that are the surgeons and radiotherapists. I’ll just have to cope with what’s left after the slash and burn is over. (There’s not much subtlety in cancer treatment even now.)

So far things aren’t too bad. If my neck was any redder I’d be married to my sister. But my throat’s not too bad. I can only talk in a hoarse whisper. It doesn’t hurt much though. So I’m still not taking anything stronger than paracetamol. I’ve got powerful patches in reserve. But once I start with those I can’t stop until I go through withdrawal.

I did get a bit of a scare on Monday night. My throat was sore enough to keep me awake, especially as it was pleasantly combined at the other end with the gripes of constipation. (Being full of shit has been a lifelong challenge and career choice for me.) But as one of the common side-effects of the patches is constipation it looked as if I was going to face an uncomfortable decision. Fortunately “Gone With the Wind” took on a whole new meaning and my throat settled down too.

So now I’ve got 10 sessions of radiotherapy to go. That should be two weeks. But there’s a day of maintenance on August 5 so August 13 is probably the earliest I’ll be home in Ibiza. I can hardly wait.

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