Next stage of treatment…

I had an appointment at the Linda McCartney Centre to discuss the next stage of treatment. The decision has been made to perform a course of radiotherapy on me. This is the best way to minimise the risk of the cancer returning. I am extremely pleased about this as I do have worries due to the grading of the cancer. I didn’t realise how detailed and intricate it is to plan this treatment for each individual patient. Here is a quick guide to the next steps:

Initial appointment
I will visit Clatterbridge Cancer Centre at the Wirral for my first appointment. Here they will assess the stability of my leg and take moulds. They will then make a ‘cast’ or ‘support’ which will ensure that my leg will stay in place during the sessions. I will also be having a CT scan on my leg to assist with the planning stage.

Once the mould has been created, my leg marked and the scan been completed then the team will go away and plan my treatment. They have to look at how the rays will be positioned to ensure they don’t touch any other part of my body, i.e my left leg.

The treatment will consist of daily trips to Clatterbridge for 6 weeks (excluding weekends) It looks like I can have this at Aintree which is brilliant as its only 14 miles as opposed to 30 miles for the Wirral! The actual radiotherapy will only last approx 20 minutes.

Side effects
Short term side effects are nausea, fatigue and skin irritation in the area where the radiotherapy will be applied. These are all nothing compared to the aftermath of the operation so I am sure I can cope with this.

Long term side effects include stiff joints and the potential that further tumours or skin cancer can occur in the area. The skin cancer/further tumour effects are low risks but are concerns as I am young and these can occur in 20 years or so. Dr Alam reassured me that I will be looked after and they will advise me on what signs to look for.

This is a positive step in my treatment and I am happy that I am eligible for it. I have decided to complete this treatment on the NHS as I need specialists to perform the therapy and it will be difficult to find privately. I would rather be in the right place getting the right treatment as opposed to trying to get it closer to home.

Well thats me for today, I am off to the christening of my beautiful niece Chloe. It will be great to catch up with friends and family.