So now that the dreaded chemo is over, it is on to radiotherapy. But before we leave the subject of chemo, there are still a few comments to be made about the effects of the bloody thing.
First off, my fingers are still numb and there is a lack of circulation in my feet. This causes a strange sensation in that my feet feel cold and wet.
I still keep getting aching sensations in my legs, as well as tiredness. I have been told that the effects of the Chemo could last a few months.
The strangest side effect is with my fingernails.
Having researched this online, I have found that this is not uncommon for those of us who have had Docetaxel.
Symptoms of Fingernail Disorders During Chemotherapy
Nails may darken or turn yellow, become brittle and crack easily. Six or more high-dose cycles of taxanes may cause nails to fall off. Dark or light lines (Beau’s lines) may develop across the width of some of your nails. Nails may develop a concave, spoon-like shape. Infections under your nails are also possible. If your nails are becoming loose, they may become quite painful.
Self-Care for Nails During Chemotherapy
- Use clear polish to help keep nails strong
- Avoid artificial nails and colored polish, especially dark colours
- Wear gloves when washing dishes and gardening
- Care for nails and cuticles gently
- As Beau’s lines grow beyond nail bed, cut them off
- Increase iron in your diet
- Cut back on or avoid caffeine
- Try taking vitamins for hair, skin, and nails
- Wear comfortable shoes that allow adequate room for your toes
Some of this advice is useful. When I have worn nail polish, I have chosen tartan in the past. Avoiding caffeine is not an option broheim!
As everyone says, Radiotherapy is a cakewalk compared to chemo. (Although I am not sure what a cakewalk is)Oh hang on
Here is a short intermission. while I have a butchers.
Stop press. A Cakewalk was a 19th-century public entertainment among African Americans in which walkers performing the most accomplished or amusing step,s won cakes as prizes.
“Its origins in slavery and the plantation south, the Cakewalk was the sole organized and even condoned forum for servants to mock their masters. A send-up of the rich folks in the “Big House,” the cakewalk mocked the aristocratic and grandiose mannerisms of southern high-society. Much bowing and bending were characteristic of the dance, which was more a performance than anything else.”
My treatment is at St Thomas Hospital at Westminster Bridge. This is the nearest hospital to me that has a Radiotherapy unit.
My first appearance at the Radiotherapy Dept, involved a chat about the ins and outs of the treatment and the side effects.
Then it was off for a CT Scan for what is called Radiotherapy Planning.
To make sure that the radiotherapy is as effective as possible, it has to be carefully planned. Planning ensures the radiotherapy rays are aimed precisely at the cancer and cause the least possible damage to the surrounding healthy tissues. The treatment is planned by a specialist doctor.
On your first visit to the radiotherapy department, you’ll have a CT (computerised tomography) scan taken of the area to be treated. A CT scan takes a series of x-rays which build up a three dimensional picture of the area. At the same time therapy radiographers will take measurements from you which are needed for treatment planning. This session will usually take about 45–60 minutes.
The radiographer’s measurements and the information from the scans are fed into the radiotherapy planning computer to help your doctors plan your treatment more precisely.
Marks may be drawn on your skin to help the radiographer, who gives you your treatment, to position you accurately and to show where the rays are to be directed.
At the beginning of each session of radiotherapy, the radiographer will position you carefully on the couch and make sure you are comfortable. During your treatment you’ll be alone in the room, but you can talk to the radiographer who will watch you from the next room. Radiotherapy is not painful, but you will have to lie still for a few minutes during the treatment.
My treatment started on 26th November and I have only a week to go.
I shall mention my treatment in more detail in my next blog, but I must warn that it will have a massive rant about the 53 bus from Plumstead Station to Whitehall (Horse Guards).
Love n Peace n a video of Ask Aspel