Final stages and looking forward…

Back from holiday this week.

It was a wonderful break. I was a bit ‘angsty’ for the first few days until I got a phone-call from the hospital to tell me my radiotherapy planning appointment would be the day after I got back.  I was then able to relax and put all life at home to the back of my mind. Wonderful.

We did nothing but go for nice ambling walks into the town where we were staying, ate nice food, drank really nice wine and chilled for the whole two weeks. No exercise apart from some sea swims (no longer than 30min) and walks.

Since I’ve been back I have merely walked the dogs. There hasn’t been any organised form of exercise just yet but I think my body is happy enough with that.

My radiotherapy planning appointment involved speaking to a very lovely oncologist who discussed how radiotherapy works and what side effects I may expect.   The most common side effect will be skin irritation and I have to stick to a protocol of moisturising with a cream given to me by the radiotherapy team. It also means I need to avoid any exercise that might irritate the skin further – such as swimming in a chlorine pool. (Will need to ask about open water but think I might have to rule out any returns to swimming just yet.)

Technically I probably could jog but it might not be comfortable.

I’m relying on doing some gentle spinning on the turbo just to keep me sane but I will listen to my body and let it tell me how much it can cope with.

Radiotherapy starts next week for four weeks (or 20 sessions). As far as I understand – it will be three weeks of radiotherapy to general area and then one week of ‘boost’ radiotherapy where they target the operation site (ie where the tumour lay) specifically. Unbeknownst to me they have left some little clips in the tumour bed to identify it easily on scanning so that they can be very exact when they target their radiotherapy rays. (Isn’t medicine is amazing?)

I feel ready for it. I’m trying to decide if I’m anxious but I really don’t think I am. I want to get it done. I want to move on.

As regards moving on, I think it’s important to move on from it all mentally too. It hasn’t really been the easiest of rides and actually the mental side of it all has possibly been the hardest.

I’ve joined different internet forums in which you get advice from other people who have gone through very similar situations and they’ve been so helpful. I’ve been able to manage my expectations and learn some hints and tips for getting through the whole cancer treatment and for that I’m very grateful. Once this is all finished though, I don’t know that I can stay on those forums. I’ve thought about this very carefully and I want to focus on my future. I don’t want to be constantly thinking about it or have it forever at the back of mind. To be fair, it will probably always be at the back of my mind regardless, but to continue to talk about it on internet forums and the like will not be conducive to moving on. For me.

In a similar vein, apart from this post and possibly a post during or after radiotherapy I don’t think I’m going to keep talking about cancer.

What I will do and what I will talk about is health and fitness and living a good life. Living the best life.

I will likely talk about my next sporting goals and in an effort to give something back I will raise money for relevant charities. I feel that is what is going to work for me.

Looking forward – I can’t wait to get back to the drawing board and rewrite myself. Whilst I’ve been given the extra time this season I might try the Maffetone method (a friendly LTC colleague suggested it). However, it means my maximum heart rate works out at 133!!! So get ready for some very slow sessions appearing on Strava over the next few weeks. No slagging please.

That’s my update for now. Feeling strong. As always thanks for all your support, you are all legends. 🙂