Saturday, 2 March 2013

The man in the ( iron ) mask


Masks seem to be everywhere at the moment... for me, anyway. I'm currently half way through my four-week radiotherapy treatment, which goes some way to explaining the serious lack of blogging here in the last couple of weeks.


During these last two weeks I've been driving over to Cheltenham Oncology every weekday for my treatment. This involves lying on a not-all-that-comfortable table, underneath a Linac ( linear particle accelerator ) machine, with a mask strapped to my head.


The mask has been fitted exactly to the contours of my face and has markers placed on it which, with the aid of lasers, ensure that my head is in the exact same position every time I receive a dose of radiation, and only the specific area is targeted. It's a very strange and claustrophobic experience, not painful, but certainly stressful. Another patient I've been talking to has said he gets so claustrophobic he has to be sedated for every session. Luckily, I don't feel that bad... but trying to juggle this schedule and trying to work as well has proved to be too much for me. I've given up work for the next three weeks at least, so fortunately that added stress has gone. For now.


Yesterday morning, after my treatment, I called in to a nearby Asda to get some breakfast, only to be confronted by the latest installment in David Bowie's Lazarus-like comeback... namely, the above NME cover. It did make me chuckle. ( I actually just typed the word "maske" then, instead of "make"  -  this is getting a bit obsessive now... )


I've been very lucky all through this process that I've had wonderful support from my friends and family, without whom etc. etc. Sarah and the kids have naturally been worried by all of this, and things have been quite stressful on occasion, but their love and support is what keeps me going. And a big shout out for my very good mates, Glenn and Kevin ( neither of whom will probably read this... ) who have been, and continue to be, the most loyal and understanding friends anyone could possibly have. Cheers, guys!

Hopefully, with all this free time I'm going to have now, I might even get back to regular blogging. I've still got all those movies from 2012 that I never got round to reviewing, and the second part of my
Death Planet Commandos origin story to post here. But then, dear reader, you've heard all this before :-)


9 comments:

Richard Bensam said...

At this point, it's clear medical professionals are now going out of their way to make these therapies as comedically unpleasant as possible. "It's absolutely vital that you undergo this treatment wearing a clown nose and holding a single feather clutched between your buttocks. I assure you, this is necessary for medical reasons. If the feather touches the ground the procedure will not work. Oh, and please try to relax."

cerebus660 said...

Ha! You're not far from the mark there, Richard...

To be honest, every professional I've dealt with over the last few months had been unfailingly kind and caring but, when they tell me to "relax", I sometimes feel like saying "How can I f***ing relax with all this going on???!!!"
But then the moment passes...
:-)

Kid said...

Sounds like a nightmare. Hoping the result will be worth the discomfort, as I'm sure you do also. Think positive.

M. D. Jackson said...

Well, masks do make dull and unattractive men seem mysterious, sexy and super-hero-ish. I'm surprised they're not catching on as a fashion statement. I'm surprised I don't wear one, but so far I've managed to resist.

Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. I'd send more tangible stuff, (maple syrup, Kokanee beer, moose antlers, that sort of thing) but postage is expensive.

Take care. Be well.

Edward Grainger said...

Glad to see they haven't zapped your sense of humour. Rooting for you at this end of town - let me know if you crave company or need a lift. Reluctant to turn up unannounced as I've no idea how much it's tiring you out.

Glenn Lander said...

Just to say I have read the blog lol, we'll get you fixed mate. Take care.

cerebus660 said...

@Kid
Thanks Gordon! I do tend to think positively but at the moment I'm more up and down than usual. As you say, it will all be worth it in the long run.

@Mike
You don't need a mask, mate - you're far too handsome! Not sure about that Jack Mackenzie, though...
Thanks for the offer of moose antlers. Intriguing!

@Edward
Thanks for the support, and the chat on F/Book this afternoon. Hope to see you soon, mate :-)

@Glenn
Good to see you here, mate! Didn't think you had time to surf the net nowadays, being a big time rock 'n' roll star :-)
Thanks for the support as ever and I'll see you very soon. Thursday, in fact...

Kal said...

I like anything that turns you into a tragic figure of woe. What about a Phantom of the Opera mask or something imple like a domino mask with cap and top hat.

cerebus660 said...

Works for me :-)

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