I was referred back to London for my cancer recently and was scheduled in for two radiotherapy sessions. I had to go in on a Friday to ‘plan’ the sessions – this meant chatting over what was going to happen, side effects, to mark the areas on my body and take photographs. The radiographer and doctor also decided on the size and shape of the insert that goes on the machine and strength they would apply.
Guys Cancer Centre is a huge building right next to the main hospital – it’s super modern, light and welcoming. Theres a little coffee bar at the bottom as well as several different sections where you can get help for whatever your needs are. Theres even a shop selling accessories for those who have lost, or are losing, their hair.
The two radiotherapy sessions were on the Monday and Tuesday of the following week. To be honest, I was frightened out of my mind on the Monday so the video below is made up of clips from Tuesday.
The radiotherapy machine is huge and gets adjusted to press very gently against the area of the skin it is treating. I felt absolutely nothing – the only way I knew something was happening was the ‘radiation’ light flashing. The machine made no sound – in fact the only scary sound is the sound the door makes as it electronically closes behind the radiographers, and again as it opens to let them back in!
There are no windows in the room, but the radiographers can see you via little cameras in the corner. You can see them setting up ready for your next ‘patch’ because the computer screens are linked – you can see the mouse moving as they draw up the details and pictures.
Kim Debling is a Hampshire, UK based designer and Director of her own company Kestrel Design Ltd. She is mum to Rose and Harvey and wife to her best friend Steve. She’s fighting off Stage 4 Lymphoma and sharing her story along the way, mainly via YouTube. Kim is passionate about being happy, mental wellbeing and in particular art and creative pursuits as therapy during tough times. She teaches online at Udemy, has published books and has art and printables available for sale.