I just had the planning session today, had troubles staying in position because of my arthritis in my shoulders and arm joints. So I asked them "what do you do with someone who has REALLY BAD arthritis" and they said that I have to take Tylenol before each session, which makes sense of course.
So the planning session was a little frustrating for everyone involved... glad to hear that I am past the worst session and into the shorter ones!
The planning meeting was dealing with the unknown; that's always stressful.
The first five sessions were daunting as I had to attend on my own. There were different radiographers involved on different days, partly because they had to use different machines on account of breakdowns. Some of the older radiographers were extremely clinical in their manner, which meant I felt very isolated. We all know the bed is very uncomfortable, and if you have osteoarthritis and a numb and rather sore upper arm after surgery, you can easily fuse with the couch and be disinclined to bounce straight off, as some radiographers seem to expect.
Part way through the programme, I did have a little blub with some of the younger radiographers, who were extremly kind and sympathetic, and checked how I felt the following day. Although we can all be very practical about the need for the treatment, we are having to lie in a very vulnerable position, with arms firmly fixed above our heads, and exposed torso positioned with extreme accuracy. Psychologically, that can be very difficult, especially as it's day after day.
By the last week I did't really mind any longer. My last rads session was almost 6 weeks ago, and I've forgotten about it. I'm more concerned now about side effects of Anastrozole and the various longer term consequences of reduction of oestrogen.
Just to say that everything JaneBelinda has told you is spot on, it’s almost exactly the same for me, car parking, speed of treatments, etc , - once they get you ‘measured up’ for those first couple of appointments, it all gets very rapid! The radiographers are great, very reassuring, kind, relaxed and professional, they will get you through this..
I only have one session left, tomorrow, and I can honestly say that the daily trek has been the hardest part. It’s not a total breeze, but it is very definitely not that bad either !!
Keep your spirits up, once you are started it’ll whizz past..
Best of luck, and hope your daughter is pleased with her GCSE results !
Aliand I am on day 8 of 15 today, with a break on Bank Holiday Monday. Apart from the slight drag of leaving work early to get treatment at the end of each working day I actually do t mind it at all! Absolutely painless and quite interesting to partake in really. Before rads start I was measured up and a few tiny tattoos...again not too difficult to go through. They let me keep my gown, which I bring in daily, along with my time schedule, so I could plan and work out what times I need to leave the office etc. My hospital also punches your car park card so you don’t have to pay. Every day I just walk in to the oncology unit, get my card punched and just go to the waiting room for rads as the rads desk closes at 5. No faffing or checking in...they just come out and call your name... get changed, on with rads and out. All done and dusted within 20 minutes max assuming I get called on time. So far only a couple of running late schedules, but that’s to be expected at the end of the day. I chose end of day in case I got tired. I run a small busy company so taking days off is simply not an option for me at the minute but everyone is different.
Now, I just get on with it...another daily routine like brushing my teeth 🙂
1 Buy soft comfort bras. I recommend Jojoanies, 4 pack for £20 off Amazon
2 Get some Aloe Vera gel and keep in the fridge. 7.99 plus another for a penny at Holland & Barratt
3 Tell your husband and kids that you expect and deserve some pampering at weekends... Even if it’s just a coffee and cake treat in town or a nice walk (keep up with the exercise!)
Please don’t feel too daunted...the time really does fly!
If it's any comfort to you at all, I found the planning session the most difficult of the lot. I walked out of the oncology centre, started dry heaving and crying. This is the woman who was told she had breast cancer in her lunch break and went back to work for the rest of the afternoon! The treatment sessions were shorter and there were half as many people in the room for starters. I think I'd sort of been ignoring the whole cancer business and suddenly it seemed very real. Good luck, I'm sure you can do it.