Update on my radiotherapy treatment 2021 for melanoma

Update on my radiotherapy treatment 2021 for melanoma.

On Tuesday 16th February 2021 I was booked in at Churchill Hospital Oxford, to start my radiotherapy treatment. 

When I arrived at the radiotherapy department I checked-in at the desk, then another nurse showed me to a room, and I had a short wait. The nurse arrived, she was very kind and explained everything to me. She went through a pamphlet that had information about the side-effects and she asked me if I had any questions. I asked a few questions and she answered them all. She took me into the radiotherapy department room with the machine. I hadn’t seen anything like this before and they explained the procedure.

I had to remove my T-shirt and lay on the table. They kept moving me into position until the three tattoos on my body lined-up with the machine and I had to put my hands behind me and hold onto the grips. They explained what the machine will do and the noise it will make. They left the room and the machine started up, left and right arms attracted out and the whole machine started to rotate round one way and reverse the other way. This continued for several minutes and then the machine stopped, and the nurses came back into the room and said all’s okay, we’re all done.

I left hospital later that afternoon and went home, I suddenly become very tired and aching. I went to have a lie down but a couple of hours later I was still feeling the same. The next morning, when I got up, I felt a bit rough, so I took it easy, had a couple Lemsip’s which seemed to help a little bit. Twenty-four hours later, I was slowly getting better.

On Thursday 18th February 2021 I went back to the hospital for my 2nd treatment of radiotherapy. I checked in at reception and the nurse showed me to the room, where I waited before, then a nurse took into the radiotherapy department. 

There were two nurses waiting for me, they were very kind and helpful, I took my top off and lied back down on the table, to do the same as I did on Tuesday morning. The left and right arms of the machine came out and acted as a guide for the laser to pinpoint the tumour. Then the left and right arm retracted back in and the machine did its job. This carried on for 10 minutes and the nurses came into the room and said it’s all done. I then put my top back on, left the room and went home. I felt a bit rough but wasn’t as bad as I was on Tuesday. So, I had a couple more Lemsip’s and felt bit better.

On 22 February 2021 I went back to Churchill Hospital Radiation Department. I checked in at reception and they showed me to the same room again and I waited.

I was booked in for 1130hrs, as I waited one of the nurses came in and escorted me to the Radiation Department. I had to remove my top, then lie down on the bench so that the nurse could position me for the laser. I was positioned correctly for the machine and the nurses left the room.

The machine started up and the left arm retracted, and then the right arm retracted to align the laser correctly for the tumour. The machine started up left, and right retract it back to the machine then the laser rotated round left to right for about 10 minutes then the machine stopped.

The nurses come back in said it’s all done, this was my last dosage of radiation, I put my top back on and left Churchill Hospital and went back home. That afternoon I felt rough again, I took more Lemosi’s, which helped a bit but the next day I was still feeling rough. 

I carried on taking some paracetamol on the third day, I was getting a little better but that night it was hard to swallow. The next day, I was struggling to drink and eat food, I called the Radiotherapy Department and explained everything to them. I was struggling to eat and every time I drunk something it was so painful. They explained to me that this is part of the side effects, also that the esophagus could be inflamed due to the very high dosage of radiation treatment I was having.

I was also advised to take paracetamol capsules and get some Gaviscon liquid which is better. I bought some Gaviscon which helped a little, but it will take time to get back to normal. The first week I was told I will struggle, and it will get a little worse, but after that, it should start feeling better.

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