Greetings from Radiationland: Cancer & Me

Even superheroes have to wait sometimes

Even superheroes have to wait sometimes

Warnings: Probable swearing; certain whinging; & at least one tomato reference. Cue song: cheers, Mr Jones. This really struck a chord – you’re a guitarist, I bet you’ve not heard that one before, eh? – when I listened to it yesterday.

Treatment update: I’ve been taking an anti-cancer pill for over a fortnight now. Good news: it doesn’t seem to have had any side effects, unless you count low level mood swings. Of course, given I have bipolar, it’s a crap shoot as to whether any depression or highes are really down to medication. Bad news: I have to take it for five years. Assuming the rules relating to prescriptions stay as they are, this means I’ll pay for the first three years, then have the last two free.

Not all the best things in life are free: ice cream boat, York, 2016

Not all the best things in life are free: ice cream boat, York, 2016

As someone who’s swallowed more prescription meds than Smarties over the last 10 years, a low level dose, 1 x a day pill is not that big a deal. It would be even less of one if Donny became part of Scotland, where prescriptions are free. But that’s for another blog, another time.

Next up on the breast cancer cards is 15 sessions of radiotherapy, beginning later this week. When they first started to talk to me about cancer treatment, back in mid April, I guessed that most of July would be taken up with radiotherapy sessions. I’m neither pleased nor distressed to learn that I was right.

I’ve already been over to Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield for a CT scan, and some (permanent) tattoos which will help the folks in the radiotherapy department line me up properly so the correct bit of the correct breast gets zotted. (1)  The literature said something about how the scanner would make low level noise: this was correct. What I don’t recall the pamphlet mentioning is how, when you’re alone in the room, the CT scanner suddenly does a very short, very loud imitation of the bastard son of a washing machine, and a large fan.

Meanwhile, back at the writing ranch, I wrote my first new fiction in weeks at yesterday’s writers’ group. I also received some useful feedback on my current work in progress, “Sherlock Jones & the Geek Interventionist”. “Geek” is one of the short stories in my upcoming collection, “A Yorkshireman in Ohio”. It’s also the sequel to “Sherlock Jones & the Hound of the Basingstokes”, one of the five stories in my current collection, “Koi Carpe Diem”.

Seize the fish!

Seize the fish!

The link between writing, and my mental health, keeps coming up: I despair, then give up or almost give up writing, then remember how much writing does toward keeping me (comparatively) well. It’s as though someone snatches away my notebooks, pens, pencils, laptop, etc, then I sit and cry, til someone returns them, and I say, “Oh, yes!”

This is followed by the metaphorical equivalent of my hitting myself over the head with the unabridged Webster’s and Oxford dictionaries.

Let’s see you top that, radiotherapy. Then again, please don’t.

Light for the trees: Doncaster, July 2016

Light for the trees: Doncaster, July 2016

(1) “Zotted” = irradiated (North jargon)

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About Sheila North

I am an author and ex-journalist, who has written novels, short stories, and poems. I also help facilitate a writers' group. Check me out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheila-North/
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Cancer, mental health, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Greetings from Radiationland: Cancer & Me

  1. Nimue Brown says:

    Hoping it all goes as well and smoothly as possible.

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