I'm beyond ecstatic that my 6 weeks of radiotherapy finished 3 weeks ago after my malignant parotid tumour in the right side of my face was removed back in early November 2011. http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/fighting-cancertoday-is-tough
The side-effects were luckily very low scale - a sore throat that made me need to eat soft foods only after 5 weeks (other patients had this after week 2 and lost 15% body weight through their treatment), sore and irritable skin on the RT entry point that flaked off after 7 weeks and is now baby soft, hair loss at the back of my head where the RT exited, - and I was really lucky that they only got tricky after coming home from London where I got first class treatment at the Royal Marsden in Chelsea on a machine called Carlyle.
I'm back home in hilly Ludlow for 3 weeks now and this morning went out for my first post-treatment ride. Jeepers it was fantastic. Because the right side of my face droops after they took out the facial nerve, I get a good Lake Garda quantity of tears building up as my blink doesn't work properly. That made vision up to six feet a bit tricky, but so long as I focus on something more than 6 feet away it wasn't too bad. As the facial nerve graft from my right ankle takes over the next few months years, this should improve. I stuck to the fireroads and it was pretty straightforward.
Weight loss was about 7lbs, but as I put on 7lbs before the RT started by eating cream cakes and rich food, it's mostly evened out.
I've been using a turbo trainer 2x 15mins each day for 2 weeks now and it's made a big difference. It's helped keep me positive, upbeat, and has flushed a lot of the bad stuff out of my system and helped me absorb the food that I'm eating. At first after coming home I could only manage soup, but as I sniff the air right now I can smell potatoes dauphinoise, sausages, and peas. Nicely.
Many thanks for all your inspirational messages over the past 4 months that have helped keep me going. While going through my RT I would often come to stw.com and read about what you were all doing with your lives, and it helped me keep going when things got tricky.
If you see any Alaskan Puppy race jerseys at Mayhem this year, or one of the CRC marathons or just out and about with a big smile and a droopy right side of the face, that's me. Please say hello as I power past you up the hill.
My wife Lara and son Rowan, as well as family and friends have been incredible and to them go my warmest love and thanks for helping me through the dark days. It's all shown me how lucky I am to be alive and living in such a fantastic place, surrounded by such wonderful people with incredible spirit and love.
Life goes on.