Radiotherapy 1 – CT scans and tattoos

Last week I had my first radiotherapy appointments.

The first on on Monday was a chat about what side effects were and what to expect at my next appointment, CT scan and tattoo, on Wednesday.

The main side effects of concern are skin problems, damage to lung and heart (scarring) and ribs beneath radiated area can be weakened and break with just moving. There is also a risk if cancer in the affected area.

I was also warned about tiredness which can occur for sometime after the treatment has finished. I am the have it each day for three weeks.

On Wednesday I turned up for my CT scan and tattoos. I initially thought the scan was to check if there had been any further growths but actually it is to see where the heart lies. The hear can be moved with breathing exercises so it is less likely to be damaged.

The other purpose of this session is to set up the x-ray bed for you to be perfectly positioned for the treatment. I was placed on my back with my arms in supports above my head, bottom supported and legs. Everything was measured, recorded and then I had the scan. I was marked up and tattooed at four points. The x-rays have to precise so as little an area is done preventing unnecessary damage.

They didn’t do any flowers or butterflies. The tattoos are basically a pinpoint of ink which although permanent will not really be of concern.

I had a second CT scan that day, normally they would have called me back in at a later date but did it because someone else had cancelled. The second one was a breathing in scan. This gave me a taste of the real treatment. They had to get ma back in exactly the position I had been in before as someone had been in after my first scan. That took quite some time. I had to breath in as instructed for 20 seconds. This was tiring. As I have treatment I will have to do this multiple times as the x-ray does it’s thing.

A session should take half an hour.

So this is the next step, I have my last chemo on Monday 22nd Feb, Radiotherapy starts Monday 21st march. Onwards and upwards.

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