Last night was quite agonizing. After the second day of radiotherapy treatment, the so-called side effects started to kick in. There was a bad headache, stiff jaw, as well as a dull ache that got worse into the early part of the night. Thank goodness it only affected a part of the night, before I fell asleep. I remember walking into the treatment room feeling triumphant. I removed my shirt promptly so that they could fit the mask on me - the mask that extended to my shoulders. And there I was: positioned and ready for the second dose of radiation onto that bloody tumour.
The sound of the machine was really cool. Some kind of drone began, followed by a high pitched tone that signalled (I think) the shot of radiation. I imagined that I was placing that tumour under some sort of laser that zaps it with malice intent, so that the tumour dissipates into nothingness. I felt nothing much during the treatment - just some slight heat. The 'side effects' only came into the picture later last night when I was closer to my bedtime.
There was a mix of fatigue and that dull pain that night. And that mix was quite the combo - cannot sleep, but want to sleep, you know? And when the doctor mentioned stiff jaw at the pre-treatment briefing, I didn't expect it to be that stiff. Nevertheless, there were a number of things to be grateful for. Just like the first day, there were friends and family members who asked about my well-being. It was nice. And despite the slight fatigue and the onset of some side effects, I could still complete a bit of research work for my thesis, and the best thing: my boss at work told me to embrace the rest because I needed it! It was a simple statement but I guess that kind reminder gave me quite a bit of a push.
The need to rest is real. It's time to take things easy for a bit, so that repair and recuperation can take place for a better tomorrow. (Or a better treatment dose at 12 noon later.) OK la. The daily journey to National Cancer Centre Singapore is a bit of a pain. Oh well - 10 more sessions, and it'll be over. And I'm thankful for that.