Six years ago today..

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa la la la la, la la la la (fa la la la la, la la la la)
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la, la la la la (fa la la la la, la la la la)
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa la la la la, la la la la (fa la la la la, la la la la)
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol
Fa la la la la, la la la la

15th of December 2014

It’s difficult to forget this day 6 years ago. My last day of radiotherapy 20 days of radiotherapy and a total of 40gy

GY Gray is The new international system (SI) unit of radiation dose, expressed as absorbed energy per unit mass of tissue. The SI unit “gray” has replaced the older “rad” designation. 1 Gy = 1 Joule/kilogram = 100 rad.

40GY is classed as a medium to high exposure on the body mass but to your neck it is extreme. Mine was to the right of my neck. The radiation ☢️ area was dangerous as it fell close to my spine. The radiation poisoning was also excessively high, covering roughly 8 inches Square. It took out hair growth, caused long term gum issues, destroyed multiple nerves and skin damage. To this day hair will not grow in this area.

The treatment started on 17th of November 2014 and ended on the 12th of December 2014

But all that is mild against the news I got from the Radiologist Oncologist. Following my last treatment I meet the consultant Radiologist on the following Monday. He was not in good form.

Monday 15th of December 2014 Met the consultant who did not look impressed. He pointed out that they had done all they could, that the real effect of the treatment would kick in within a few weeks. I asked what to expect over the coming weeks and his answer was “enjoy your Christmas dinner because you’ll be in here for New year” I was taken back by this and quizzed him further. His answer was “There’s nothing more we can do for you, you have about six weeks and we will help as much as possible” and with that he got up and left the room. His registrar was still in the room, I was slightly in shock but asked her when would the consultant be seen me again and the answer was “when your admitted in a few weeks””

The above was part of my article https://hlaiblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/radiotherapy/

We left the hospital and on the way out the door I looked at Anita and said you know what they just told us, she said yes. I clearly remember saying “well he is wrong”

Six years later I can most definitely say he was wrong.

I can still feel every day of radiotherapy, looking back I’m still surprised that I never hit the panic button. Just to recap on that. This type of radiotherapy is targeted radiation so no one else can be in the room. My head was secured to bed by bolts holding a face mask in place

The unit that I call a bed is like this

The room is about twice the size of a standard double bedroom but the walls are 20 inches with concrete & lead. Everything is controlled in another room. When the doors close you know your alone. They give you an alert button to press incase if panic attacks or basically fear. As above I have no idea what stopped me pressing the button on the first day as it frightened the life out of me but I never did press it. I know a few people who did and basically the team stop everything instantly and get to the patient within seconds.

After the second day I felt more at ease. By the end of the 4 weeks I was fine with it but the effects of the radiation to my neck was unreal. It was deep red or deep purple in places and it hurt like hell. My balance was bad and I had to use a walking stick.

This was my first of 3 terminal diagnosis. This was the only one that I maintain was down to a poor medical decision. To this day I have not had the “pleasure” of meeting the Radiotherapy Oncologist again. But I remain hopeful that we will at some point meet.

Anyway 6 years later and I’m in medical isolation not with cancer or cancer treatment but for a change to protect me from COVID-19. I have been isolated since April 9th. and thank you very much for that one Mr Coronavirus. I had decided in October to write a book about my experience with Lymphoma but after completing the introduction I decided not to continue. One of the key factors to stop was really down to radiotherapy. I would have most likely ended up been sued for naming names. Added to the fact that most of the book would have been included in all my previous articles. But I really enjoyed writing the introduction which I intend to add to the start of my blog pages. The book was going to be named Beating Lymphoma My Way which will now the the starting article of both the website and WordPress post. I will publish the article on 1st January 2021 and I can promise you a really great read.

For now I will finish this part of the article but I will leave you with the thought “They are not Gods and sometimes they do get it wrong” and because they can be wrong we get to “Die another day” or basically

“Never Say Never Again”

Rest in Peace Sir Sean Connery 1930 to 2020 (The real James Bond)

Happy Christmas everyone I hope you all have a wonderful and safe time

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