My intense fortnight of radiation therapy is over and I’m recovering. The nurse sent me home with the advice that the first week after radiation is usually the worst – “but perhaps not for you because you’ve already had your pain flare.” I didn’t even know a pain flare was a thing. (Nor did I want to know!)
Anyway, I think my hip and lower back pain has been lessening, but I’ve had a sore upset stomach, which was predicted due to radiation damaging my intestines. Fatigue is the other expected side effect and I spend half of my time asleep. I’m happy to imagine that my sleepy time is healing time, and soon I’ll be better.
You know how Janet gave me a chemo- (not Nemo-) themed cake for my celebration after chemotherapy, well look at the perfect cookie she found to celebrate the end of radiation. She bought it in the Mater Mothers hospital cafeteria, but it looks like it has a radiation target near the left hip (as I did).
And in the mail from London was this gorgeous pop-up card Helen made and sent to me – perfect for the occasion.
Anemones have been on my mind.
Did you know
… corals, sea anemones, giant clams and some other creatures have microscopic plants within their body tissues, actually inside their cells? The plants are one-celled algae called zooxanthellae and it is a mutually beneficial partnership. The plants use nutrients from the animal’s waste and fix the sun’s energy to make carbohydrates to share with their host animal. The give-and-take in this relationship is controlled by intricate chemical messaging. In 1985 I worked with a team of chemists to find out more about this system in large tropical sea anemones – yep, the same type that Nemo lives in.
Yesterday I attended a celebration for my former boss, Prof Ron Quinn to honour his significant contribution to science. In the last 30 years he has led some amazing research, especially setting up the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD). I was thrilled to meet Professor Sue Berners-Price who is internationally recognised for her work developing the platinum-based drugs that are so effective for ovarian cancer, and other great scientists who have been extracting bioactive compounds from natural plants and animals and increasing the options for medicines to help us all. Ron’s current work includes analysing traditional Chinese medicines to find out more about their active ingredients.
A correction: I asked the radiation therapists again and I was not zapped by 2 simultaneous beams (one under the bed). The intersecting beams are produced consecutively from the same source although the gantry does take a low angle and shoot one time from under the bed. (I have edited last time’s explanation.)