The rest of radiotherapy Part 2

When we got to the hospital, there was always a bit of a struggle getting me into the wheelchair. I had my own wheelchair that one of my Mum’s friends got for me from the Red Cross. I had been continually putting on weight due to the steroids I had been put on to help me get walking again. There was also lack of exercise, due to me not even being able to stand up by myself. I found this really distressing. I had always been one of the skinny ones and having gone from a size 26-inch waist to a hell of a lot bigger was horrible. I felt disgustingly fat and was determined to get back to being one of the skinny ones again. However, at the time of my radiotherapy treatment there wasn’t much I could do about it and well, this made it harder to get me into my wheelchair. Luckily there was always someone there to help my Mum, to hold the wheelchair steady whilst my Mum guided me into it. Unfortunately, my Dad didn’t seem to think to do this, always leaving my Mum to struggle by herself, whilst he waited impatiently moaning about how long the process was taking. My Dad has a very high temper and if things aren’t done in 2 seconds he will moan and shout about it. I remember one day when my Dad came up with us. Whilst my Mum was yet again struggling to get me into the wheelchair, he started tutting. Once I was seated and comfortable my Mum looked at him and asked him what he was doing. He was rubbing his hand on the side of my Mum’s car. ‘There’s a scratch there’, he said. My Mum has said to me since that she couldn’t believe what he had just said. She desperately wanted to scream out, ‘FOR GOD’S SAKE DO YOU KNOW WHERE WE ARE, WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR DAUGHTER?’ But as always, she kept quiet, to avoid an argument, in which my Dad would inevitably turn the blame onto Mum.
Once we got into the hospital we would walk towards the lifts, now this is something great that my Mum achieved during my treatment. Having always been completely and utterly terrified of being in a lift, my Mum had to overcome this in order to be able to wheel me in and out of it, because of course there was no way in which I could take the stairs!! I remember my Mum’s friend Alison being great with this. In order to distract my Mum from her claustrophobia and also to distract me from the pain in my arm, she always made us both laugh from what was written on the walls of the lift. Two of my favourites came from the list of all the different ward names. There was one called Bud Flanagan, who we imagined to be some kind of American Cowboy and the other favourite was Nigel Trott, who we imagined to be someone who had terrible problems with their bowels. We would be laughing our heads off by the time we got onto the floor where the radiotherapy unit was and I remember a Nurse saying to us one day, that it was so lovely to see happy smiling faces and that she always knew that we were coming as she could hear our laughter all the way down the corridor. We must have been loud as that was the longest corridor I’d ever been down!
When we reached the end of that corridor the mood turned a bit more sombre, I knew that we now had to wait for my appointment and like all hospitals they were always running late. Trying to keep control of my arm and my stomping foot was increasingly difficult and embarrassing as stomping my foot on the foot rest of the wheelchair made quite a loud noise. We despaired with this for a while, until one day when Mum’s friend Alison saved the day. One day on the way up to the hospital she had been talking to Mum, saying there must be an alternative to me having to sit up in the wheelchair. Being a nurse herself, she knew that there must be a side room somewhere with a bed in which I could lie down on until they were ready to do my scan. On that day when entering the waiting area, she pointed out some side rooms and said walked up to the desk and asked one of the nurses if we could have one so that I could lie down. To start off with, the Nurse said no because they might need to be used. Alison however, wasn’t taking no for an answer. We could all see that the all of the four rooms were empty, so Alison stated this whilst also saying that if they had to use the room we were in we’d move to another or go and sit in the waiting area. Bless her she was not going to take no for an answer and we eventually got our way. It made such a difference for me being able to lie down before the treatment instead of sitting in my wheelchair getting all worked up. I just lied on the bed with my eyes closed and with my headphones on, a lot more relaxed and chilled out before having to go and have the treatment.
When going into the radiotherapy room it was always just me and Mum. As you know from previous posts, to start off with it was difficult. As time went on it got a tad easier, I knew I had to lie completely still and that once it was done, I could go and eat my lunch. Every day the same nurses did my scan and we came quite well acquainted with them. It turned out that Mum and Andy (one of the nurses) had a great love for puddings and Andy would always let my Mum know what was being baked in the canteen kitchen that day, I guess it was a little treat that she could look forward to in amongst everything else that was going on.

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