Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

12th April

Further information as promised.
I will try to keep this simple and honest, taking some relevant information from other sources.

The first 2 pictures, I have chosen to try to indicate how the large 'canopy type' part of the machine can move from the position directly above you whilst you are on the bed. It can move in a circle/large arc around you body.
This ensures that the radiation is aimed accurately.

This third picture just looked a little somehow! 

Radiotherapy – (Also known as radiation therapy)
Radiation therapy uses a special kind of high-energy beam to damage cancer cells. (Other types of energy beams include light and x-rays.) These high-energy beams, which are invisible to the human eye, damage a cell’s DNA, the material that cells use to divide.
Over time, the radiation damages cells that are in the path of its beam — normal cells as well as cancer cells. But radiation affects cancer cells more than normal cells. Cancer cells are very busy growing and multiplying — 2 activities that can be slowed or stopped by radiation damage. And because cancer cells are less organized than healthy cells, it's harder for them to repair the damage done by radiation. So cancer cells are more easily destroyed by radiation, while healthy, normal cells are better able to repair themselves and survive the treatment.
There are two different ways to deliver radiation to the tissues to be treated:
·         a machine called a linear accelerator that delivers radiation from outside the body
·         pellets, or seeds, of material that give off radiation beams from inside the body.
The above is from the blog, ‘Both the food and the gardening are keeping me both happy and healthy’.

Below, Wikipedia states……………………………………………………………………………………

Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumour. The radiation fields may also include the draining lymph nodes if they are clinically or radio-logically involved with tumour, or if there is thought to be a risk of subclinical malignant spread. It is necessary to include a margin of normal tissue around the tumour to allow for uncertainties in daily set-up and internal tumour motion. These uncertainties can be caused by internal movement (for example, respiration and bladder filling) and movement of external skin marks relative to the tumour position.
To spare normal tissues (such as skin or organs which radiation must pass through in order to treat the tumour), shaped radiation beams are aimed from several angles of exposure to intersect at the tumour, providing a much larger absorbed dose there than in the surrounding, healthy tissue.

Me talking!
Clearly, the radiation is going to 'zap' healthy, normal cells that get in the way of the beam....the way I see it is...
Imagine a daisy.......the yellow bit in the middle is the cancer, the intention is to 'zap' the cancer.
The radiation rays are crossing over at that point. During the process, all of the white petals, (good healthy cells), are also getting zapped.  The yellow bit, (the cancer),  hopefully, should not repair itself or re-grow, however, the petals, (the good cells), will get zapped, and bloody sore, but will repair.

Still me talking...........
It is clear that internally, a lot of good healthy stuff is being zapped, causing damage.
This is showing it's self by causing an over active bladder, unpredictable bowel, aches and pains, tiredness and lethargy. 
During the treatment...(which actually burns, like a fire maybe, or scolding water), I had difficulty walking, laying, sitting, generally moving, due to the area that was being treated....the vagina.
My lower back very painful it kidneys? Is it back ache? What is it? 
Well, I don't know.
What I do know, is that I didn't have it before radiation, and I have it now, so therefore, it is an effect!
Anyway, the internal stuff, I can't describe as I can the external and very obvious.
That is where I am going now.......this is going to be be honest and graphic, so if you are 'delicate', I wouldn't read on.
OK....Here goes..............

The following are some pictures that I have on the internet of radiation/radiotherapy burns, they are not pretty!

Now, imagine these burns internally....and on the vagina and the crease on both sides between the torso and thighs!
The whole of my vagina was effected, internally, the vulva, lips and the outer edges to and including the crease as described above.
Just another reminder, this is my experience, and I am unable to talk for cancers in other areas, although, someone that I am aware of, had similar experiences when she had treatment for bowel cancer, and now has a stoma. I can only imagine her pain!
On a bright note, my burns are very nearly healed now, and I am able to walk with minimal pain and discomfort.
I would also like to say that the lady I spoke of with bowel cancer, to herself on a holiday abroad recently, and is also recovering from the burns!


Carole said...

Me! *I'm* the one with the burnt bum - lol.

It was sooo painful at the time, not much makes me cry - I'm reasonably tough with a good pain threshold but this radiotherapy treatment is HARD.

I've said it before Carol, but I'll say it again "You did SO very well to complete your course of treatment"
I couldn't get to the end of mine - it was just too d*mn painful - but the body is amazing with its ability to heal relatively fast (once they stop frazzling you daily)

Carol said...

Hi Carole,
I came so close to giving up on a number of occasions, it is hard....and I can assure you, I will never, never go through it again, regardless how many years it will add to my life.
You did well to go as far as you did with it.....where I had it was very bad, but on your bum...I probably would have given up well done you!

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine your pain. I got zapped in a place no man should be zapped -- the area where urine leaves a man's body. I'm in my second week now following 6 weeks of chemo/radiation and this side effect overcomes all the rest. Walking is like dragging a razor blade across my front.

God love you -- yours was much worse.

Carol said...

Hi Anon,
I doubt that mine was worse! The areas that we were 'zapped' in are rarely spoken about....Carole, (the other one with an 'e',) had her bum zapped..........bowel cancer, not spoken about much either. Do you have a blog? Great to hear from you, would love to know more about your 'story'. Hope that all is well with you now.