Thursday, 15 October 2009

Thursday Catch Up

A lot has been going on in the last couple of days, only I’ve been too, too tired to blog it all up for you.

Yesterday I had my first appointment to discuss radiotherapy with my new oncologist, Dr Carmel Coulter, another top breast lady I’m told. As I’m trying to be Chemo Chic on all occasions I wore what I thought was a snappy get-up: a black trouser suit; a black jumper by Bella Freud with the words ‘Ginsberg is God’ knitted across the front; my ‘red skulls’ scarf and Crocs n’Socks. “That’s quite a lot of statements you’ve got on,” remarked Dr Coulter. Something tells me she’s a no-shit kind of a lady. I was quite relieved that I hadn’t worn my Bella Freud jumper that has ‘SEX’ knitted across the chest.

Dr Coulter explained the radiotherapy process. Because I’ve had some other health issues in the past she is recommending that I have the standard five-week course of treatment at a lower intensity, rather that the turbo-charged three-week course that was previously under consideration. First I have to go for ‘planning’. This is when they get their microscopes out and measure my breast. They will then figure out exactly how to direct the cancer-busting rays so that they target my breast as much as possible and avoid zapping my heart and lungs. I completely trust that they know what they’re doing.

Then Dr Coulter and I had a small negotiation. I wanted to start the radiotherapy on the 16th of November so that I have maximum holiday time with Nick. She wanted me to start on the 9th so that I have maximum recovery time before I fly to Australia. We settled for the 12th.

Finally I ask: “So why exactly am I having this radiotherapy?” Dr Coulter looked a little puzzled. I could see what she was thinking: surely someone must have told her this before? They have, but I like to be certain. “It’s the most effective way to prevent the cancer recurring in your breast. The chemotherapy is most effective at stopping it coming back in the rest of your body.”

Next I had an appointment with Mr Hadjiminas. Yes, you’ve been missing him too, no doubt. He gave me a thorough examination with his ‘magic hands’ (as good as any Mammogram in my opinion) and examined my scars. “I hear you’ve been doing a lot of writing,” he remarked. Now I’m not generally one to take on board what other people think of me but suddenly I felt very keen indeed to have the good opinion of Mr H. After all, I am going to have to rely on this man for the rest of my life. “Do you approve? Or not?” I asked in a wavering voice. One thing I’ve observed about Mr Hadjiminas is that he is totally deadpan. One cannot tell what he is thinking. He reflected for a moment then said “I think it’s good.” Well that’s a relief.