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Today's quote:

Monday, March 15, 2021

At my radiant worst!


John Hersey's book "Hiroshima" and his article in the New Yorker magazine is the story of six people who lived through the explosion of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima in 1945. They are suffering from radiation sickness, which wasn't fully understood at the time.

Even after the medically sanctioned and benign radiation that was part of my cancer treatment some two years ago, I was ill, and these people had had catastrophic exposure. I knew nothing of this book as I sat in the radiation waiting room alongside people with visible painful burns.

During treatment I was alone in a room, on a bench that could be lowered or raised by remote control. I had a green facemask strapped over my face to prevent me from moving to minimise damage to non-cancerous tissue. I could breathe but nothing much else. Carefully measured bursts of radiation were administered by medical staff in a sealed booth, equipped with a microphone for communication.

At first it seemed that nothing was happening. Then my skin began to burn and something invisible made its way through me, and my bones ached constantly. I was tired. The six long weeks passed, and finally it was over. The burns on the surface of my skin healed quickly, but I was afraid that the bone pain and lassitude would be perpetual. Cancer is only nice as a zodiac sign.

More than two years on, I am no longer at my radiant worst but the lassitude persists. I'm putting it down to old age. 😂

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