The six weeks were over, radiotherapy was over, not being able to walk or talk was over. Ok so I still wasn’t too steady on my feet, but I could now get myself out of bed, off the sofa etc, which to me made me feel so much better than I did when radiotherapy started.
I could now see myself getting better, improvements were happening everyday. Well they had been for the last six weeks, but I suppose I didn’t really notice them as much. The pain in my left shoulder had lessened, so much so, that I no longer had to constantly lie down on my left side to get rid of the pain. This was great, I felt almost real again, like I could do things and be a proper person. Yeah I was still dog tired but I felt good.
When my radiotherapy finished we went to see lovely Frank to have my last radiotherapy meeting with him. He told us that the radiotherapy had shrunk the tumour a little, but not enough, it hadn’t worked in the way they thought it was going to. “So the next step then”, he told us, “is to attack it with chemotherapy”.
We saw my oncologist, Sucheta, who now the radiotherapy was over, would be taking care of me. She explained to us the process of the chemotherapy treatment and that it would last for six months.
Throughout my treatment so far, I had kept telling myself that I would soon be back at college. Looking back now I can see that this was a silly thing to think considering the horrible treatments I was going through, plus the state that I was in. From after my biopsy to right through my radiotherapy I kept telling myself, “you’ll be back next week. You’ll be back after October half term, you’ll be back after Christmas”. I think that it wasn’t till after Easter I realised that I wouldn’t be going back to college that year. I mean how could I? I’d literally missed a whole year of teaching!
Being told that I was now going to have six months of chemotherapy brought my spirits down a bit. The six weeks of treatment that I had already done felt like it had taken ages, how horrible was six months going to be?
I was told they wouldn’t start the chemotherapy for a few weeks, to let me have a little respite. These weeks were great, I was no longer being attacked by the treatment, it allowed my body to get better. Over those six weeks I had put on a lot of weight, mainly due to not moving around a lot and being on steroids. “I used to be so slim and sporty”, I would think to myself, “Now I’m just a fat blob”. I could no longer wear my skinny jeans and was in trackie bottoms all the time. I felt horrible and hated seeing myself in the mirror.
Over those few weeks I saw friends & family, I felt so much brighter in myself and was awake for most of the day instead of being asleep! Of course it all went way too quickly and it was soon time to start the next part of my treatment.