Chapter 8: Radiotherapy

18 November 2017

Dear friends

I’ve now finished radiotherapy – 15 quick (10 minute) sessions over the last three weeks. It was delivered by a massive, very high tech and very expensive (£1m) machine in an equally expensive to build radiation proof bunker (see the pic of me mansplaining the machine to my nephew). It blasts photons at near the speed of light at the tumour which mess with the DNA of the cancer cells to kill them.  I’m not really sure what a photon is, so I’m not entirely sure what that sentence means.

Going every day was a chore but obviously necessary and the side effects were fairly modest, certainly much less worse than for chemo, and promise to wear off fairly quickly. It’s mainly been feeling knackered and I’ve had some nausea which has kept me awake a few times. But it all was to be expected. As ever, our friends in the NHS have been ever so nice and friendly in delivering the treatment (although the oncologist was a bit scary).

My understanding is that the oncologists want to give the treatment as long as possible to have an effect. For that reason I won’t be scanned until February to find out if it has worked. So watch this space. Or ignore it if you prefer.

While in the oncology waiting room yesterday, I imagined instead that I was in an ontology waiting room wondering what an ontologist did. Do they treat those who don’t know whether they exist? Cure people from talking out of their arses? Prevent me from making up terrible pseudo-philosophical and unfunny jokes?


Nigel x

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