Got to love a late Easter Bank Holiday Monday! The man cub has had to work so the cub and I get to spend the day as a twosome. It takes me back to maternity leave and our precious time being a two woman team. We ruled the world! She has way more chat and way more sass as a five year old now, but I bloody love spending one on one time with her. Work and house get forgotten as we spend an afternoon in the park (in a bizarre outfit of shorts and a fleece as the weather is that deceiving sunny but chilly level).
We had a wee chat earlier about the fact that I am back at hospital tomorrow and that Daddit (I absolutely love this naming from her) will be taking me out of the house before she even wakes most days. She got a wee bit upset. She still associates hospital with the scar on my boob and the fact that I lost hair (so no positives there!), so isn’t keen on the fact I am going back daily for a period of time. When I said it was only ‘four weeks’ she responded with ‘that’s absolutely agggggeeeeees mama’. Cheers pet. I know that. I was just ignoring the fact it was bloody ages!!
Bed beckons as I am about to deal with another Day 1. But this one marks the beginning of the end. I’m nearly there. I cannot describe the trepidation but relief at the same time. The countdown is real.
6.10am – Morning!!!! Day 1 of Radiotherapy!!!
Good god, I hate an unearthly hour. I have never (and let’s be clear WILL never) be an early bird. But here I am, perky as a button, making sandwiches for the man cub after being showered and dressed ready for the next stage. A new hospital is about to welcome me for 20 days. A new Reception desk, a new waiting area and certainly a new ‘room’ that I am going to become best friends with! I also have to get through my dad driving me like a child again. Hmmmmm.
So, dad turned up at 7am, 10mins after the cub had managed to wake herself up (I’m going with she had a sixth sense of anticipation!). She launched herself at him as he walked through the door, still smelling of sleep and sour breath and PJ dressed! The happiness of this helped me though. If she could deal with the happiness that she was going to see her daddit every morning, maybe it might take the edge off her dealing with the fact it was because I was going to hospital? I’m going to see if this might work!
Then we set off. Let me explain – I am an absolute pain in the arse of a passenger driver in any instance. The man cub spends a lot of time while he drives telling me to stop hitting the ‘imaginary’ brakes. So as I got in the car with my dad, to drive me twenty odd miles to a new hospital, in rush hour traffic, I should have known I was in bother. Real bother. (P.P.S. My dad is also now in his 70’s. Smarter and brighter than I am on a good day but (hmmm) always a chance there could be an off day).
We set off from home, and within ten minutes, I was ducking (IN THE CAR!) from a bus that could have taken the car out as we pulled in front of it, cringing at the blatant cut up on a merge lane of another car (seriously if I had been them a lot of expletives would have been issued) and mild whiplash as we stopped at an ‘Amber’ light very promptly. As explained this is local rush hour traffic and I need to get across all of it to get to the chosen hospital that will deliver me rays. So I smiled nicely. And internally exhaled loudly. I spent a lot of the inward journey wondering how for 20 days I could make this work while retaining my sanity – could I book a hotel room (maybe a YHA – cheap as chips?) and just ‘live out’ for a few weeks? Maybe I could ‘hire a car’ – surely that would be cheap?! Maybe I could get on my dads insurance and just drive myself?
Do you know what. All of it sounds ungrateful as F. And by the time we had got to the hospital I had a strong word and sucked up any negativity with my dada’s driving and went with appreciation. I was there. I was at the hospital. On time. And I was about to start my first radiotherapy session. Bring it on.
So, what radio (shortening this as it is a long word to type each time!) sessions look like – they are short. Swift. Impersonal. Pain in the arse. Give your body over to professionals. I have to strip half naked. Then the teeny weeny tattoos that I now have need to line up to a laser machine. To get this alignment I need to lie on a gurney (feels like it might as well be) with arm and leg stirrups. I need to be in a perfect position each and every time this position needs to be maintained for three to five minutes. A lot of numbers – length, breadth, height, width, up, down, left and right, are read out. These all have to be in pure alignment. All of this while I am half naked from the waist up. Good God, I thought having a child was the last time I would just hand my body over to medical professionals. How wrong I was.
But I still have this journey. I am absolutely determined too. I am so close now.