Radiotherapy Journey Part 2

The Borromean Knocker – Radiotherapy: Week Three

Notes of the knocker –  Breast Cancer with a Lacanesque Tune


MUSE – Sunburn
–  Monday 14th December 2015  –  Now into the swing of things my arrival at the hospital seemed routine. So let’s begin the third week with some selected melodies! Rather than the shocking fluff of “random” though suspiciously on theme radio tracks, this Radiotherapy Play List is not for the faint hearted. Perhaps it will reveal a few ideas that cross the minds of a significant percentage of our breast cancer collective conscience.

MUSE – SUNBURN – Come waste your millions here, secretly she says.Another corporate show, a guilty conscience grows.And I’ll feel a guilty conscience grow.She burns like the sun, and I can’t look away. She’ll burn our horizons, make no mistake. Come let the truth be shared, no one ever dared.To break these endless lies, secretly she cries. I’ll hide from the world behind a broken frame. I’ll burn forever, I can’t face the shame. And I’ll hide from the world …

14breastBlue Oyster Cult – Flaming Telepaths

Tuesday 15th December 2015  –  Have you ever wondered why each hospital has a separate radiotherapy building? This is where my crazy imagination visualises the flow of daily out patients from the start of treatment to its finish. Like following the cheery Pied Piper –  convinced by the statistics that we are doing the right thing.We have to believe that it is going to make us better.Whilst it feels like Hobson’s Choice!  So believe!

BLUE OYSTER CULT – FLAMING TELEPATHS –  I’ve opened up my veins too many times.The poison’s in my heart and in my mind. Poison’s in my bloodstream. Poison’s in my pride. I’m after rebellion I’ll settle for lies.Is it any wonder that my mind’s on fire.Imprisoned by the thoughts of what to do…

15breastpinkThe Cure – Hot Hot Hot!

Wednesday 16th December 2015 –  Here again the persistent theme of denial is the tonic. Juxtaposed by obligation and making the right choice.   In 2014 “Robert Smith and Co” played two, epic, three hour sets at the London’s Royal Albert Hall for The Teenage Cancer Trust.  Let’s embrace music and boogie! Afterall it is “The Cure”.

THE CURE – HOT HOT HOT! – The second time I saw it strike I saw it in the sea. It lit up the fish like rain and rained them down on me. For a second that boat was still afloat, then everything went black. I left it underwater and I never went back. Hey hey hey!!! But I like it when that lightening comes. Hey hey hey!!! Yes I like it alot. Hey hey hey!!! Yes I’m jumping like a jumping jack. Dancing screaming itching squealing fevered. Feeling hot hot hot.   

Leonard Cohen – Who By Fire? 16breast

Thursday 17th December 2015  –  Who in solitude? Who in this mirror? Who am I?

No Going Back –


Queens of the Stone Age – Burn The Witch


Friday 18th December 2015  –   No matter how alone we feel we are 1 in 8. 1 in 8 women and 1 in 870 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. Most invasive breast cancers occur in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast. No matter what we think whilst we are bound to the rads machine with our hands above our heads we are 1 in 8. There are agencies there for us.  There are people who will listen. We don’t need to keep our mouths shut.  Get in touch remember we are the 1 in 8, fancy a chat?  Call The Haven.

Sheryl Crow –Radiation Song 

18breast19breastSaturday 19th and Sunday 20th December 2015  – You may not know that Sheryl Crow is amongst some well known &  famous breast cancer survivors.



Radiotherapy Journey Part 1

The Borromean Knocker – Week One & Week Two

The knot of the knocker –  Breast Cancer with a Lacanian 



 Prep Day – Today began a month of no return. To use Hook’s Law, it is the point where the elastic limit is reached. The moment when any additional force (no matter how small) is enough to permanently stretch the spring. A spring that has been stretched past its elastic limit and will never return to its original shape. Note the hue of blue dye as a reminder of the SLNB which took place on October 8th 2015. See the chapters on my cancer surgery.
Anyway today, I was introduced to the radio therapy staff. Prone in my gown I lay, whilst cold, metal rulers were used to measure distances. The machine whirred and whizzed. Photographic images taken. Preparations were made. I was tattooed with three tiny dots  because tomorrow radiation begins. Da da da…

springs2 2


DAY ONE – In dignity I walked the forty minutes to the hospital. Nurses whisked patients from the out waiting room to a changing area. Once inside I tentatively lay on the machine. My gown was parted to allow the technicians time to double check the distances. I lay still, stiff as a board. The tingles along my leg were a sign of tension and anxiety. The area of the aerola contracted as if responding to ice. Background music, Ellie Goulding’s Burn played nonchalently as I bit my lip. Hoping that radiotherapy doesn’t burn.


DAY TWO – I walked to my ten o’clock appointment. The technician required a stool to give her enough height to lean across and check my measurements. Her clip-board casually placed upon my legs. The machine was “a bit out” so the procedure was halted. Re-measuring to be “closer to the lung” it sounded a little shocking, but hey. Again radio music accompanied the process this time it was INXS New Sensation.3breast Later in the evening, yoga, without the chaturangas gave some quiet head space. OM indeed!


DAY THREE – It was all a rush this morning so I hailed a taxi. Yesterday’s felt tip markings were still visible across my skin. The radiologist marked me again but this time with a thinner fibre tip. X marks the spot.  The music was on cue. Seriously, this time the coincidence was too close to the bone. My tears fell onto the head rest. Annie Lennox and the dulcet tone of The Eurythmics with A  Thorn in my Side, so apt. Humming “Run, run, run, run”  I bought an emolient to nurse my wounded ego and prepare for the last session of the week. 4breast



DAY FOUR – Yes I was waiting in suspense to hear the music for today. Surprisingly I was greeted by a comfortable silence in the room.  All through the week my arm had been held in a vice-grip above my head. Today I risked asking if the angle could be less painful for my shoulder blade. Relief was immediate and the session was over remarkably fast.  No weekend sessions.




DAY FIVE & DAY SIX – My weekend was a respite from the intensity of the daily sessions. However in the middle of Sunday night I was awoken by an excrutiating pain on the ball of my foot.  I was convinced that my poorly breast had screamed out a protest. Sure that my point would be confirmed by a glance at a reflexology map I soon discovered that the part of the foot that relates to the breast is in fact on the bony top part below the toes.

Reflexology for Breast Cancer




DAY SEVEN – No music to accompany me today. No gown either. Yikes, I’d left mine at home. With a smile I was directed to a pile of crisp, clean and folded alternatives. There was no doubt that the show would still go on! In the evening I attended my yoga class. My instructor had been quietly told of my situation. Today she too shared with the class her own shock. The loss of a very dear friend after illness in New York.




DAY EIGHT – How life becomes routine. The breast is grateful for emolient but I take care to shower it away the morning before the next radiotherapy treatment.

sun burn and oil.png



DAY NINE –  Today I had to wait 45 minutes because, “the machines were playing up” on both sites. The wall was damp in the waiting area and resembled a Rorschach Test. I found a study using the Ink-Blot Test as an “Instrument for Evaluating Quality of Life in Breast Cancer Victims” or survivors or thrivers as we are known wall


DAY TEN – “ror-shock” – life is nothing but a  Rorschach Test. It is all perception, gaze and how we interprete our world.Rorschach1               Keeping abreast of things.Rorschach2

What do you see?
    wortvorstellungen - wordpresentations    sachvorstellungen - thingpresentations


DAY ELEVEN –   Second week in the bag. There is a slight pitting where the tissues are more turgid under the scarred area.

keep calm and kill.png



DAY TWELVE & DAY THIRTEEN – As you can appreciate the skin is hotting up a little.  Even though the treatment is on pause the effects can be felt. The breast is starting to feel hotter.