This is a round-up of what happened in the first week of my treatment:
Aug 26, Wednesday morning, 3.30 A.M.: I feels like the winds of the Sahara are sweeping in through my mouth every time I take a breath. Something is definitely happening. The radiation is having an effect. Good, I say. The worse I feel, the better I feel.
Aug 27, Wednesday: Today Beata came with me to the hospital. She is such a lovely, caring, person. She wants to know what’s happening to her pappa. We had fun on the train, she took care of my wallet and phone as I dressed in the Gandhi sheet, and on the way home we had fun on the train again. It seems they nuked me harder today. I feel like I’ve spent a day getting sun-burned on the beach.
Aug 28, Thursday: Went up to the hospital alone today. The radiation session was short — only some 8 minutes. I’m getting used to the metallic smell in my mouth during the session and the heat on my neck afterwards. On my way back I had coffee with Yoko, a former student from London, who lives in Taipei. She was diagnosed with cancer four years ago. I’m having my first patient-to-patient discussions. Reading about cancer, like reading about sex, is not the same thing as actually experiencing it. It’s a strange coincidence that we meet up here in Taiwan.
Aug 29, Friday, 6.25 AM: I’m definitely developing some food aversions, just like pregnant women. Thinking about what to eat for breakfast I can’t for the life of me imagine a fruit milk shake. The very thought is horrific. I used to love those! In fact, I’m not really hungry for anything much. Is this “morning sickness”?
Aug 29, Friday, 5 PM: I was sleeping on the train all the way up to Taipei and all the way back. I slept through the session too although they hit me pretty hard. Diane and the kids picked me up at the train station. I was back home again in a flash. Went straight to bed.
This was the firs week of my treatment. It was a strange week. I hate being “under treatment,” a subject of medical intervention. I want my body and my life back! But of course that will have to wait. I’m OK so far. I’ve lost my will to do things, and my mouth certainly is very dry. But I’m applying all the preparations we bought and I’m OK. Check out the card to the right. The nurses stamp it at every treatment — I’ve done 5, I have 28 to go (LinAiKe, in case you wonder, is my Chinese name).