Mask

My last day of driving to treatment (or pretty much anywhere) today, so I made sure to arrive in plenty of time for my radiotherapy session:

R19/11

Once that was completed, the radiographers explained that – because I’ve lost so much weight in the past four weeks – I would have to have a new mask made, and then the final two weeks of RT treatment would have to be replotted from scratch.

And they were going to do that now.

So, I had another cannula fitted (when the nurse could find a vein), and I was led to the CT scan room.  I laid back on the bench, and the team soaked and brought over another one of these things…

tommymask1

This was then pressed down over my face and neck and moulded into place.

And it’s an experience I can’t really describe…

It’s like having a hot rubber face hugger water-board you.

(Many congrats to my good pal, Bev, for brilliantly suggesting that Hot Rubber Face Hugger sounds like the title of a Frank Zappa album!)

I then had to lie perfectly still for 20 minutes while the team wafted me dry with bits of card.

My life is so weird right now.

When the mask had set, I required a new CT scan so that my consultant could get straight to work plotting the final ten sessions of Radiographer Super-Galactic Blastoids.  So, I had a contracting dye pumped in through the cannula.

And that’s a strange sensation, too.

Imagine having a hot flush, a dry mouth and desperately needing a wee – all at once.

Then you’d be close.

Oh, and the nurses draw green marks on your face to help guide the lasers that line everything up.  They seemed quite excited that they’d been given a brand new pen to do just this.

Until it wouldn’t wipe off afterwards.

So, with a vaguely damp head covered with green stripes, Kirsty and I set off for home – and another very early night.

From tomorrow (Friday), I’m having to request lifts to and from treatment.  So many people have offered their help, and I’m very, very grateful.  What these wonderful people are doing is amazing, for two reasons…

It’s a long journey, and Kirsty is a chatterbox. 😉

The fab George Kirk will be running me tomorrow (and for the final two Fridays).

As for me – I’ve got a couple of milkshakes to put down a rubber tube, then I’m off to bed.  Strawberry, this time.

The milkshakes I mean.  Not the bed.

One or two folk have been asking why the nutrient milkshakes are flavoured when they go in directly via the peg…

Well, they can be taken by mouth if you’re still able to swallow (which I’m not).  And then there’s the problem of burping.

Trust me.  You want a bit of flavour when it comes to backdraft.

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4 Comments


  1. With ya Tommy!!

    Vanilla burps for me at the time… you have to be there to understand 🙂 And just one thing, there is a little ruck sack with an electric pump which I resisted but once I was had it felt an idiot for not doing it sooner as you don’t need to pump anymore and it works while you sleep too!

    Keep at it, it’s shite but know we are rooting for you cos you can do this despite you will be put to the test more than anyone can imagine! Life out the other side will change you forever in a great way.

    And ensure you keep brushing teeth and using the mouth wash relentlessly .. like every hour or two (ignored the instructions!). Helps to stop ulcers and helps teeth in good shape too.

    GO TOMMY! xxxxxxxx

    Reply

    1. Thanks! I suspect my dietician may put me onto the pump soon; I’m managing five or six milkshakes per day, and she wants me to have eight.

      And, yes – the brushing/mouthwash thing has become a very regular part of the day. The only thing that helps in that area.

      Reply

  2. “The milkshakes I mean, not the bed.”
    That bit made me laugh XD hey, ten sessions left! Time to start. Countdown! You can do it man.

    Reply

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