I don’t know how to start this post, the whole day was a bit of a blur to me. There are things I remember vividly and things I’m sure I can’t recall at all. This is the point in the story where there’s no longer a linear as such, there’s more of a spider diagram in my mind of the things that happened. So many things happened during the six weeks that I was given radiotherapy and there will be several posts about it all but for now I’m going to let you know what happened on day one.
On the morning that we left, I still had no idea what was going to be happening once we arrived at the hospital. All I knew was that I was booked in for 6 weeks of radiotherapy. Every week day was going to involve radiotherapy treatment and I would have the weekend to rest. I had been given the option to stay at the hospital for this time but I was too scared to do so, I didn’t want to be on my own without my Mum and well I wanted to be at home in my own bed, instead of in a strange hospital in a bed that wasn’t mine. We decided that me and Mum would make the 2 hour trip and back trip to the hospital every week day so that I could be at home. I’m so grateful that my Mum did this for me.
My Grandma and Grandpa accompanied me and Mum up to the Royal Marsden on our first trip and I remember getting into the back of my Grandpa’s car. Again I had to lie down as my left arm still hurt so bad if I didn’t lie on it, and off we went.
We arrived and walked into the hospital, well I was wheeled in! My Grandpa’s first question was ‘Where can I get a good cup of tea?’ Typical of my Grandpa to ask that question, but I knew that he was perhaps feeling a bit frightened of what was happening to his favourite granddaughter (this is a joke we have as I’m the only granddaughter he has, so I tell him that it’s ok for me to make that assumption!) Bless him I knew he was much better off sitting down with a good cuppa and a newspaper rather than coming with us, so Mum showed him where the canteen was and the rest of us made it down to the radiotherapy part of the hospital.
I can still picture the long corridor to the reception of the radiotherapy unit. It sometimes felt like forever to get down there. When we eventually got to the waiting area, my Mum left me and my Grandma sitting there whilst she went and checked me in. As it was my first time it took her a lot longer than usual as there were forms to fill in and such. Whilst she was there my Grandma struck up a conversation with another lady who was waiting for her treatment, whilst I would have never said boo to a goose, my Grandma is someone who can talk for England (just like my Mum) and whilst she nattered away I started to feel really uncomfortable. As I was sitting in the wheelchair I obviously couldn’t lay down on my left side, therefore the pain in my left arm was really bad. I didn’t want to interrupt my Grandma’s conversation with the lady and Mum was still checking me in. The pain was getting worse and worse, I couldn’t bear it any longer and I just wanted to shout out, but I couldn’t do that so my right leg took control and I started stamping my foot on the foot rest of the wheelchair in frustration. Eventually I was making so much noise that my Mum noticed and rushed over, by this time tears were running down my cheeks and I was just thinking, ‘I can’t take anymore of this pain’.
Mum knelt down beside me and told me it was all going to be ok, I felt a lot safer with her there knowing she would look after me and the stamping started to calm down (although I don’t think it stopped!) She helped me move myself so that I was leaning mostly on my left side to try and help the pain, although this really wasn’t a comfortable position and the pain was still coming. Then eventually we were called in to start the radiotherapy.
Me and Mum left my Grandma in the waiting area, again I think she was scared of seeing what was going to happen.