Message from Jessica on Day 1 of treatment

29 days left. I completed my first radiotherapy session today. It was a breeze. Much, much easier than expected. The horrid bit is being pinned down with a mask (I’ll try to post a pic) molded to my face. No way to open eyes or mouth yuk. The good bit is you can connect your phone to the sound system. My man Stevie and his Golden Lady, from Innervisions (back in the day) got me through in no time.
I was expecting the opposite. When I had the mask fitted last week, it felt like eternity. Lying still, in silence and darkness, with no sense of time passing. So I had a spontaneous visualization: there I was, in one of Felix’s xbox games, set inside my brain. Facing me were lots of tunnels, representing the different pathways in my brain. Inside the tunnels were grey, faceless soldiers – just like those plastic toy soldiers kids have. I lay there and zapped the buggers. Each time I moved onto a new tunnel, I turned quickly back to zap one that had sneakily hidden. And once I was 200% sure I’d cleared a tunnel, I painted it in a special super-strong paint to ensure the soldiers could never, ever come back.  I knew I’d feel OK about letting Felix have COD one day.
I have to do a total of 30 radiotherapy sessions spread over six weeks. Ed came with me and got me to draw a thick black line through today’s session on my appointment sheet. Mmm.
Tonight I take my first anti-nausea pill, followed by chemo pills. The theory is you sleep through the worst. You have to take them with a large glass of water. The kindly nurse said I may have to visit the bathroom in the night. I explained my gender and age and said this was where the benefit of life experience might come in.
Dr Iwamoto’s office is working on the funding for the immunotherapy. We hope to add that in next week and I’ll take it intravenously, fortnightly. Which, my Yankee friends, is a useful word that for some inexplicable reason didn’t seem to make it through customs from The Other Side.
Thank you for the delicious meals that are being delivered. And all the volunteers to accompany me to and from radiotherapy. And all the other crazy, wonderful and life affirming support y’all are giving me. I’m thinking of going one better than Cindy Adams. Only in Park Slope, people, only in Park Slope. xxx

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