Now for the home run with my radiotherapy treatment.

 When I started the radiotherapy treatment, I really thought the 30 sessions were going to be one massive schlepp. Just the idea that I had to trek to the GVI Oncology unit at Rondebosch on a daily basis for more than a month and a half was a mental irritation. But time has really flown. I will just be attending for one more week and then this part of my journey will be done!

I will be receiving a "booster" during the last week. During the booster session, the radiation targets only the area where the breast cancer tumour was. Besides being permanently coated with corn flour, I am sporting new ink markings to demarcate the zone. The area has become darker, but there are no other visible signs of the trauma this area was subjected to. I have also experienced being more tired, more listless and sporadic burning sensations in the breast area. But, so far, so good, as they say.

Doctor Ryno Holshauser with Bilqees, Jessica and Carla.

I quite enjoy these visits to the oncology unit. Doctor Ryno Holtshauser, whom I meet once a week, has a lovely personality. He doesn't mind chatting about any topic I choose to raise. I chatted about Clive Rice who travelled to India for specific cancer treatment and the fact that Clive Rice returned, walking and looking healthier. Sadly, Clive Rice had passed on due to other complications. I remember Doctor Holtshauser saying that we have to see what happens over the next five or ten years. He also mentioned that there is so much research that their medical reference books are falling behind.  I like his attitude and I think that the younger doctors are more open and willing to discuss what is happening in the world of medicine.

The receptionists are also cool and love to have a good chat. Bilqees, Dr Hart's receptionist, had me in stitches on one occasion when we were exchanging advice on all the aches and pains we have, the best fast-food outlets to pick up a meal for the family when life gets too busy and the high cost of organic foods that all of us feel we need to eat more of.

Saronica and me. I don't know what happened to  the sizing of this pic, but we look rather broad here, lol!

Then there is Saronica, the receptionist at the radiation centre. Saronica knows everybody who comes to the treatment centre and she is always available to make small talk. She is an amazing person. She has been travelling by public transport to Rondebosch from Bellville for more than a decade and spends about four hours on the road. As a mother of two teenage daughters, this sacrifice is huge. I hope her employers value her commitment to her job.

There is a sense of familiarity amongst us who come for our radiotherapy the same time every day. There is one lady who is always accompanied by her family or friends when she comes for her session.  When I arrived there the other day, my companion had just completed her session.

"Wela," she said, greeting me with a warm, broad smile. " I beat you today. I'm done already."

"Yep," I said. "You have outsmarted me today, but I will get there." She left and I joined Patrishca who had come to escort me to the now familiar room with the single bed, monitors, radiation machines and light music.

As much as I enjoy the positive vibes and the lovely folk at the treatment centre, I am looking forward to next week when my radiation chapter closes.


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