All Battles Leave Us With Wounds

Posted: August 22, 2010 in Advance Prostate Cancer


On Wednesday the 28 July I started my radiation treatment. I called into the hospital down into the basement and register at the same cold receptionist that was there the last day I called. I then went on my way to the desk outside the radiation machine. This is where it all happens and these are the people who run it. They told me to take a seat and they will let me know when my time comes. I walk back to the seating area. You would know we were all for treatment as a few people had the signs of the effects of chemotherapy. Everyone was drinking water. The whole place felt like sitting outside the head masters office waiting for our punishment, everyone was quite.  Occasional someone would say something, but no one wanted to talk. After a while one of the staff approached me and told me to go to the toilet and after that start drinking my six cups of water. Once I have done that I must not go to the toilet until the radiation treatment is over. She then told me she will call me when it was my session.

Someone in the waiting area then said to me. Is this your first time? I said yes. It will not be long before you are finished, everyone nodded in agreement. All sort of things were going through my mind. I still felt I should not be here. This is not my life. I am not going to end my life like this. Having to drink six cups of cold water in twenty minuets and I can tell you this, is not pleasant. Indeed the thought of it now makes me sick. But that what I will have to do each of the thirty seven times I have to go into that place. It was not long before it was my time. I was called by a nice lady and led into where the Radiation machine was. I felt this horrible feeling inside telling me this was the end, and it was the start of the end for my man hood. I was told to take out all mechanic objects from my pockets and also take of my shoes. When that was done, I had then to walk over and lie down on a steel and glass table. I had then to pull down my jeans and underpants. Then kitchen tissue was put over my privates temporary and I was then asked to put my feet into two slots that were made for them. After that I was ask again to reposition my pelvis area on the table for them. I then lay back onto a head support and then the tissue was removed. I felt very vulnerable in that position with people touching and lining up there eyes very near to my privates where the marks that were put on my body, However, I will have to get use to it. That what cancer takes from you.

I had to lie stiff while they lined up the lasers with the pin marks on my body, then cold gel was put above my pubic hair for a scan device to line up my prostate with the outside pin marks that the laser now new of. This will make sure that the scans that were done a month ago that showed where the cancer cells were will line up with the radiation gun once it fires off. All the body tissue DNA in its line of fire is interfere with including the cancer cells. Most of the body tissue will repair itself. As I said early on, all battles have a cost. But life is better than death.

Anyway, after a while the staff left the room and I have to lie still there on my own. You soon start to understand this is radiation and that why there is no one with you. I am aware of what is about to happen next, But try to hold back fear is my next big step. As the machine moves over me, I now know what this baster cancer has done to me. This is real and as the radiation starts I know my life will never be the same again. All you here is a hissing sound and plates that are used to guide the signal. They are moving all the time. It stop and goes all around you for twenty minuets a session. You feel nothing at all. over time you will feel the side effects it will cause. After that time, a lady staff member comes back into the chamber to lower the bed for you to get off. Before you pull up your pants you will have to clean off the gel. Then go back to your chair and make yourself respectable again. At first, this takes me a lot of get use to. I find as I get older I revert back to as I was when a child. I just do not like taking my cloths of in front of strangers.

As I leave, I felt very emotional and all I wanted was to get out of there as fast as I could. I think I was grieving for the lost of my man hood and what this will mean for me in my future life. I also felt used and a bit down. Over the next few days it got worse emotional wise for me. I ask God a number of times why he put me through this. On Thursday I kept to myself, I could see in the eyes of the other people there going through this, that they understand why. I did what a good well train dog would do and went into auto pilot and on leaving to go back to the lodge I was asked by the nurse to give a blood sample. That put me over the line when there was more interfere with my body again. I just broke down and cry. It was all to much for me. The nurse did her best, but only I could come to terms with this. I went back to the lodge a broken man and cry a lot.

A number of times in my life when I have been in despair, some thing would happen inside me to get me out of it. At 4am I woke up and new why I had to go through this and how to take it on. This was a battle between me an an invader and I have to take him on. This radiation machine is my weapon I will use. Each time I go into that room he will now go through the hell he has put me through. That how I get through this. The fight still goes on and I am now feeling the side effects of the Radiation. I have pick up an bug from my bowls that have caused me to throw up and it is going on now for a week. I have also the runs. On Wednesday 18th August. I was given penicillin and antibiotic to cure this bug, but it made it worse. On Thursday morning I woke up with a very loud noise coming from my my stomach. From that moment on, I went twelve times to the toilet. It was hell.

The Lodge closes during the week ends and I have a two and a half hour drive home. All I get in sick benefit is €195 Euro a week and my fuel cost per week are between €48 to €53 per week to and from the hospital. The rest I have to live on. How was I going to get home. I did not have enough money for the Travel lodge. I then went over to the Hospital and demanded to see the consultant who was treating me. The head nurse took me on, but I clipped her wings very fast. I had asked to see him a week ago and she never told him. I asked why? She told me she was not his keeper. Well that was like a red flag to a bull. We had words for all to here and I did get to see my consultant.

By the time he call into see me, I had cooled down. I wanted to stop the treatment for two weeks until this diarrhoea had cleared up. He told me that would not be a wise thing to do as the cancer had spread to my pelvis area and that why I was receiving more radiation than most people. He also said it was very advance and we will try to control it and buy time. I told him I did not think I could have pick up a bug as I am meticulous about keeping myself clean and the food I eat. He told me it had come from inside me, that he was expecting it later on in the treatment. Part of the side effects are, that my immune system will be effected and weaker.  My bowl walls are damaged from the treatment. In time, it should repair itself. Again cancer scores another hit on me. He gave me some thing to slow down the diarrhoea, but not stop it, as it was important for my body to clear itself out of what was infected it.

He then said that he new what I was going through and it was not fair, as you have looked after yourself well. Well that broke my armour coat and I just broke down. I told him about the financial position I am in now and how in the past I once was doing very well until I met the wrong person in life and from that day on everything went wrong. My business shortly after that went next as I had lost my confidence, followed by my present employer CIE medical discharging me with no sick pay because I am a part-time driver, even though I work a full week. He put his hand on my shoulder and said I will do everything I can for you and I would not put you through this if I did not think we have a chance. You will get through this and my advice is, you need someone to help you through it. After taking the two tablets in the hospital, I did not need it any more after that. I have backup tablets, if I need it. Things are not so bad now as it has settle down but not completely gone. I think that will not happen until some time after my treatment. I only hope now that it will not bring on other problems. Time will tell.

It been a hell of a week and I love Fridays. All the staff in the Hospital seem to have change towards me and were so so nice. It makes a big difference as you know others care. Even the staff on the radiation machine were kind to me. I have to keep telling myself that there is only one bad thing here, that is the cancer. Everyone here in Galway Hospital are doing there best to fight this evil.

After my treatment each day, I try to go for a walk around the hospital no matter if it rain or shine, as I think once your body is under attack, it need you to keep it moving until it settles down. Well I was on this dale routine when the sky’s just open up and let me have it in full. I started to hum to myself the song, Singing in the Rain. Let it rain, I carried on. Once I got back to the lodge, I change and after a cup of tea, I hit the road for HOME SWEET HOME.





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