Were you actually being sick, or just felt sick?
No I was, I was never actually sick, but it was that sort of bilious feeling in one’s stomach which is really debilitating and the worst side of it was because of this and the indigestion, I couldn’t sleep. And of course you know you then got tireder and tireder, and more debilitated and everything appeared to be rather black at that stage. So once I started managing to get some sleep things, the situation much improved.
So you actually felt very uncomfortable?
Yes, yes well I didn’t feel, it wasn’t, I didn’t feel much pain as a result of this, it was this indigestion which was, I think actually a build up of wind, and I’m sure it was, a build up of wind in, in below one’s sort of rib cage, and round to the, to various parts in one’s tummy. And that combined with the nausea was very, very uncomfortable actually.
Could you eat anything?
I did eat, but my appetite obviously wasn’t brilliant so I lost more weight, but now I suppose, my treatment ended on 26th May so it’s what, July, nearly 7 weeks now, I suppose after the treatment and I am feeling much better now. And I’m trying to put on more weight. I do find I get tired.
I’m actually talking to; I did go and ask, there was a very good symptoms manager, and also a sort of psychiatrist who’s attached to this particular unit. And I did have some word with them, counselling, because I wanted to try and tackle this from two areas, a) the physical side but b) the sort of psychological side. And he said I think it was very appropriate word, he said, “Well the word convalesce has actually dropped out of the English dictionary now, and people they finish their treatment and immediately feel they can sort of get on with their daily lives,” And he said, “After your treatment where effectively you’ve had six weeks radiotherapy in three days, you know, your body really has taken a hammering, and if you think what sort of hammering it’s taken over the last three years it has been pretty substantial. And so you really must take care of your fatigue and pace yourself accordingly.” And he said, “The difference between fatigue and tiredness is that tiredness you wake up refreshed when you fall asleep, and fatigue you wake up feeling exhausted.”
And you’re still feeling a bit like that?
I still feel a bit like that. The trouble is if you have a fairly sort of full on life here and it is, it needs a conscious effort to sort of slow down and, but I, I really think it is important because if this fatigue starts getting the better of you, you then get depressed and you know, emotional and life looks a bit, looks rather black.
And they did say actually one of the, one of the side effects of this Cyberknife is that you, you can get very emotional, so that is, I think people need to be aware of that. I’m not, and certainly their partners or people looking after them need not to be worried that they, it is just the side effects of it which will disappear as time goes on.
Did they mention any other side effects?
The other side effects so they said were, were basically, nausea, nausea, fatigue and I think those were basically, basically it. Obviously different people behave in different ways and in my particular case I had the added one of indigestion.
Does it affect the skin at all?
Ah, yes, and they said that if you had been irradiated before it could affect the skin, in my particular case it, it didn’t.