So, What's Radiotherapy Like Then?

Lie back, gown down, naked from the waist up but clothed from there down to my shoed feet. It really is most remarkably comfortable. Even my raised arms get cushioned rests that not only bear their weight but also bring my hands together without a hint of pain or even effort.

Two sounds compete. One, the background whirr of presumably the air conditioning, whose breath occasionally registers on my skin and makes me feel even more comfortable, if that were possible. And two, the radio, one of those commercial stations with music that is pretty much guaranteed to offend no-one but will probably inspire no-one either.

Radiotherapy: Half Way Through

Two weeks in, I have reached half time in my radiotherapy. I almost expected someone to run in with a tray of quaretered oranges to deliver a pep talk. But no such luck.

I have to say, oddly enough, that I am rather enjoying it. I make a daily trip on a bus that takes less than an hour to a lovely hospital where I lie down on a comfortable bed while supportive, good-humoured and non-judgemental staff give me a totally painless, non-invasive, ten-minute treatment. And despite cautions from others who have been treated elsewhere, I don't even have to sit around waiting. They pretty much treat me as soon as I get there. 

There is a series of rooms, each with a  Linear Accelerator (Linac) machine (pictured), and in Bart's they are named after planets. At the beginning of htis week, I was in Saturn; for the last couple of days I have been in Venus, which has filled my head with a Banarama song. You may be relieved to know that there is not a Uranus, not even for colorectal cancer patients. 

Clickbait and Miracle Cures

Another day, another headline, another cure for or cause of cancer. Brown toast causes cancerturmeric prevents it, apparently (follow the links for a balanced account of these claims).

Thousands of people affected by cancer click the link, wanting to read some rare good news, wanting to gain at least a little control over their or their loved one’s fate.

Knowledge is power, and of course anyone facing a life-threatening illness – and anyone interested in human progress – wants to read about new insights, new discoveries, new hope. With the pharmaceutical industry driven by marketing-for-profit, it is little surprise that people do not necessarily trust the medical establishment and want to look at other options.

Some of the reports are informative and useful. But sadly, much is exaggerated, flimsy and tenuous, fronted up by headlines that function as clickbait.

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