Having had my last radiotherapy session yesterday, I'll be trying hard not to sit by the window at 2.30 p.m. waiting for my taxi which has been coming at roughly the same time every day.
I left The Christie with my mask (if you ask they will let you keep it). I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, maybe put it up on the wall or make some sort of Gormley inspired sculpture. Ringing the bell was great once I'd worked out how to do it. In my defence, I don't spend much time ringing bells so was more than a little bit rusty!! Family joined me for the last session and I left a little teary. Happy tears of relief that it was over - in what seemed like a flash to me.
I thought I'd tell you about how I've been caring for my head during the treatment. A really common sight in the waiting rooms of the radiotherapy suites is a sunburn like flaky red skin affliction on the part of the body being treated. This might be the neck, face, or in my case the head and is not unusual.
I've been using two products and whether through sheer chance or dedicated application have not been affected at all. E45 cream has been my best friend. I've used two decent sized tubs and a tube in the 6 and a half weeks, applying every night and (almost) every morning. There were times when I forgot. That's life.
A favourite and staple Avene product I have pleasingly found another use for during this treatment is the Eau Thermal Water spritz. I use it in summer to cool my face after walking to the office, or to make makeup look more natural and dewy. I'm not ashamed to admit I've been spraying it on my head, and loving it. It is deliciously cooling especially after a hot shower. You may think it is just expensive water in a bottle, and you'd be mostly right but you rarely need to pay full whack as its so often on offer and you know what? It just feels nice.
My scar has been healing well post-surgery but is still very prominent. My mum has kindly re-gifted the Lucas Paw Paw Ointment I bought her in Sydney (you can now buy it in the UK, but you just have to buy it in Australia if you go) as it might be soothing and helpful on the healing front. I'll give it a try and report back.
On a completely different note I thought I'd share the news that I have been asked to record a video about my experiences to be shown at the next meeting of the Manchester Ted Talk Discussion Group. Before surgery I was a regular at the group set up by Craig Millar. Craig is a professional speechwriter and TEDx speaker Coach. Passionate about the power of public speaking I have found Craig to also be a great networker, championing others through this group and on social media.
I am big Ted talk fan, but tend to binge by watching loads in quick succession. The group set up by Craig (which has nearly two thousand members on Meetup) is unique in providing a space for reflection. The group will generally watch a couple of talks and then discuss in a loosely structured way in smaller groups. There’s a diverse range of Ted fans there - some of my group discussions have included a vet, scientist, writer and teacher. We all had different ideas and perspectives and that’s what makes it interesting.
I’ve included below links to a couple of my favourite Ted talks… an old favourite and a more recent find. it’s hard to choose only two. Don't be put off by the straight talking title of the Larry Smith talk. It's a really funny one, and has an important message at its heart.