I've been quiet for the past few weeks and I've had good reason. I've never felt so ill in my life and that's down to the end of my radiotherapy treatment. My specialist said ''we don't call it radiation poisoning'' but yeah, that's what I had: full on radiation poisoning ...
It really was pure hell. My throat was burned to a crisp both inside and outside. Yes, ok, I've always referred to the radiotherapy as 'beams of love and light' but the radiation builds up in your cells and what I considered to be love and light became darkness and pain at around week five.
"I wasn't capable of working, just filled myself with Morphine to stave off the pain and slept most of the time. I couldn't do anything else!"
Because my throat was burned on the inside too, I couldn't eat and it got to the point where I was being fed with Ensure TwoCal through a feed tube called a PEGG line that goes directly into my stomach. It was hard to do as you have to fill up a 60ml syringe, connect it to the line then push the gloopy liquid in.
I had two spells in hospital because of all the symptoms I was suffering. I slept for most of the time and when they offered me pain relief I just took it because my neck and throat was in so much pain. Thankfully, the nurses at Talbot Butler in NGH were super professional the entire time and ensured I was fed and given the right drugs at the right time, so when I eventually got home, putting together a schedule of medications was easy.
Two great friends have stepped up and have been looking after me. Kirsty and Julie have been taking it in turns to be nurses for the day, feed me through the PEGG line, get all the meds into me when needed and keep my mood buoyant.
"They've given up so much of their time to look after me over the past few weeks and I can never thank them enough!"
Thanks to them, I've gone from lying in bed with searing neck burns to completely off all medication within two weeks. The external burns have healed, I'm feeling a lot less tired, am drinking all the Ensure TwoCall drinks properly rather than having them pushed through my PEGG line and internally, my throat is much better.
My recovery is nowhere complete though. I still have razorblades in my throat most of the time and my saliva glands aren't working at 100%, but I am beginning to get a limited sense of taste back. Based on the recovery of the past few weeks it's only a matter of time before I can fully enjoy food again.
A huge thank you to Kirsty and Julie for going above and beyond. I wouldn't be feeling as well as I am without them and a girl couldn't ask for two better friends. Now it's time to get back to work! I have a lot to do ...