Week One.  I had to lie on the same kind of machine as the one that I was on when they did all the marking out.  The radiographers were all really nice and chatted away while they were working.  They moved me and measured out where the laser would zap me, before leaving the room and pressing the button!  This happened 3 times each session at differing angles and then that was it!  It took about 15 minutes in total and wasn't sore at all.  Afterwards it tingled slightly - like the feeling you get if you've sat in the sun for a bit too long.  The worst part was being unable to wear any deodorant or perfume in that area throughout the whole treatment process and at a push I would only be able to use a very mild baby soap to wash with.

Week Two.  I couldn't believe it!!  I could see tiny little black dots on my scalp!!  My hair, slowly but surely, was beginning to start poking through again!  It looked like tiny specks of black dirt on my scalp.  Oh what a truly wonderful sight that was!!  My breast and under arm was more tingly now and below my breast was beginning to get slightly sore.  The radiation burns the skin, just like sunburn, and I could no longer wear a bra as it was too uncomfortable.

Week Three.  Radiotherapy is much more preferable to chemo.  The process itself was painless and although there was the odd side effect, it was nothing compared to the ones experiences with the FEC.  It was tiring travelling to and from Edinburgh every day but it was a different type of exhaustion to that of the effects of chemo.  I began to notice an itch on my left shoulder blade that I couldn't relieve.  The radio nurses told me that when the radiation is administered it has an exit point, as it is a laser beam that travels through you.  The itch was where that radiation left my body.  The red area below my breast was starting to get worse - bit like a sweat rash and quite sore. I didn't like not being able to wear a bra, as being quite large chested I felt as if my boobs just dragged down all the time. I was also beginning to miss a soak in the bath!  Water dries out the skin so I had to be careful as far as lying down to soak in a bath was concerned. My hair seemed to be growing back quite quickly!  I had this soft fuzz on my head and was able to give it a wee shampoo for the first time in three months!!  I was chuffed to bits with that and made a big announcement about it online to my friends!! My legs were also starting to feel a bit stubbly again but there was still no sign of any eyebrows or eyelashes returning. It was a strange look.  You would think that it was the hair on your head that frames your face and makes you look normal - but I felt that in actual fact it's your eyebrows that act as the frame.  Without them it was the oddest look - or maybe I'd gotten used to having no hair other than my wigs!

Week Four.  Ouch!!!  Underneath my breast was quite badly burnt now and my scar area under my arm was hurting from the blasts of radiotherapy.  The nurses told me that unless the skin actually broke and started weeping, then there was nothing I could do except grin and bear it!  How nice!! They gave me these pad things which looked very like a sanitary towel, to put under my breast to keep it from rubbing against my skin.  The whole area was dry and itchy and I couldn't wait until the end of the week when I'd be allowed to slather it in emollient cream!! Amazingly my hair was coming in more noticeably with each passing day and I had a real wee skinhead happening!!   However, it was grey!!!  Oh well!!  It was soft and fluffy and it felt marvellous not to be completely bald!!!

At the end of the four weeks of radiotherapy we had another meet to go to down in Matlock!  I tried to make sure I had something to look forward to throughout, whether it was a big outing like an online meet up or just a nice lunch out.  Sue and I travelled down in the car, managing not to get lost!  When we got there on the Friday night some of the gang were already there, so we went out to a pub for a wee drink or two.  On the Saturday more people arrived and some of them came to our room and even tried on my wigs!  Rosi took a real liking for the bobbed one and it actually suited her!  Mandy took us from the hotel to the pub we were all meeting at.  There was a great crowd there - around 40 folk came along.  Everyone commented on how well I was looking and how my hair looked real and not a wig.  I was pleased about that!  Later in the evening there was a band that came in and played - very loudly!  We were dancing around and singing away, but we couldn't really talk much by then because of the band.  I even managed to do some head banging much to the hysterics of Chewy and the worry of Joanie.  Because I couldn't hear anyone shouting to me, Joanie wrote on a piece of paper - "Jilly!!!   Watch your wig don't fall off!!"  God only knows how it stayed put on my head but I would have been mortified if it had flown off across the room!  It gave everyone a good laugh though!  After saying our goodbyes the following morning we were off home again and back to reality!
Pre Chemo Visit 
 I had to have a pre chemo visit before embarking on the next load of shit!  Taxotere!  Dr Bowman explained to me that with every year that the cancer doesn't re-appear means the better the chances of it not recurring at all.  She also explained that there was the possibility that it may show itself in a different area as a secondary cancer but the whole reason I was going through such an aggressive process was the thoroughness of it all and I would be monitored for any signs of change elsewhere. The start date for Taxotere was given as February 21st so I had to go and get my anti sickness and relaxant pills from the hospital pharmacy in readiness to begin it all again! I nipped in to the haematology ward to see Linda and she was optimistic that the break whilst having radio, would serve to have been a wee holiday for my veins. 

I wasn't quite so convinced!