Fifteen doses of radiotherapy done, thirteen to go, and I'm still standing. Only because it hurts to sit though. No, actually I'm just kidding. So far so good, I have a few side effects but nothing really bad, and I am still working part time. Chemobrain still hasn't kicked in, at least I can still beat Oren at chess some of the time, although he blames his defeats on absorption through the skin!
Now, I'm going to talk about ladies private parts, so anyone who doesn't want to know should tune out here! Meanwhile, here is a photo of me wearing my new beautiful scarf and hat knitted for me by Anat, my sister in law. It's really cold and rainy here just now, this is now part of my survival kit with a thick angora coat every time I go out.
Now, on to ladies bits, specifically vaginas. If there is anyone in the process of starting radiotherapy to the rectum reading this, I have one good piece of advice; get some thick, sticky aloe vera gel without alcohol in it ( unbelievable that some kinds have alcohol in) and start applying it around the entrance of your vagina as soon as you start treatment. Not before the daily treatment, when the area has to be clean and dry, but right afterwards. Maybe you will manage to avoid what I have, which is a feeling as though someone has stuck a long, thick sharp nail into my vagina every time I go to pee. If I put aloe vera on first, it's much better, almost no pain at all, but only the thick one, forget about natural juice from the leaf, it's not thick enough to stick on.
Other places I spread it include my bum, which is just starting to smart now, and the area between there and my vagina, which doesn't hurt yet but is the only place the nurse expects it to.
So far, that's about it for side effects. My pubic hair hasn't fallen out just yet, but it may be growing a bit slower. I'm a bit fed up about that, I thought at least I was going to get a free brazilian wax. My head hair seems to be growing more slowly, but I can see my roots again so it is growing. No hand and foot peeling, no mouth sores, nothing. I know the second half of the course is the hardest because the effect accumulates, but I am starting to hope it won't be too bad at all, after all it is only three more weeks! Then a few weeks of complete rest before the op.
Today is probably the rainiest day in Israel since records began, no kidding. It is HEAVING it down outside, and it is COLD. Today of course is the day I go for my chest CT and after that radiotherapy, and of course I have to go up and down the road with the worst traffic jam in Israel, Jabotinsky Street from Geha junction to Bnei Brac and then all the way back to Beilinson hospital. It's going to be a nightmare, and I'm just glad that Oren is taking me and I don't have to go on the bus. Tuesday is my day off, and I have spent it mostly in bed until now, in this weather that is the place to be. I really don't want to get up, maybe I can take the duvet with me?
Update; yesterday the internet went off before I could post this. Everything went fine, we got to Bnei Brac early, did the CT and battled our way through enormous traffic jams to Beilinson, then home in the driving sleet and cold, gusty wind. Today snow is falling in Jerusalem and it is hailing outside, Hadera is partly under water and the road from here to Binyamina has just reopened after being flooded. But we will soon be on the way to Beilinson as usual....