Friday, 31 January 2014

On Day 33 it's time to think of the side-effects I've actually had from radiotherapy.   They certainly aren't as horrible as they were painted before I started.

Dissociation.  Nobody even mentioned this as a possible side effect but my friend, who was treated earlier in this year for pancreatic cancer had a similar experience.  I got to feeling that Alcuin Edwards was a fictional character I needed to keep an eye on but that person was not 'me'. It was as if I was watching a holo of my life rather than experiencing it myself.  This MAY have been a symptom of ...

Fatigue.  I get so tired, as indeed do nine out of ten people with cancer of any type whether as a result of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormone treatment, or the cancer itself.  Sleep and rest don't make this fatigue go away.  All that works is trying to keep active even when you don't have the energy, the concentration or the motivation.  I feel like a dead man walking, not a zombie but a lych, still walking around through pure force of will.

Irritated rectum. Pain, itches, burning, the whole nine yards, mixed in with a bad case of the old farmer Giles plus constipation AND diarrhoea (although not at the same time).

Irritated urethra.  Feels like I want to pee when I don't, ibuprofen helps with this but it's mixed with...

Increased Passage of Water.  I have to pee more often during the day and added to that I have to get up several times in the night to pee, which of course exacerbates the fatigue.

And finally...

Incontinence.  It's only once or twice but I have leaked urine once or twice over these weeks.  This is embarrassing but I've always been able to clean up before anyone notices.

On the whole though, the effects have been minimal.  I'm glad to say, especially if it turns out to have killed the cancer, Radiotherapy is well worthwhile.

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