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  • Writer's pictureA. Murphy

Birthday dragons

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

On the same day as my fertility treatment I had my first radiotherapy session scheduled. I think it's fair to say that it wasn't the best birthday I've ever had. The effects of the fertility procedure were catching up to me so I was feeling pretty nauseous and I was extremely worried that I was going to be sick whilst I was clamped onto the table via my mask (which now thankfully had eye holes).

Luckily I was not.

Then the machine decided to break down! I was lying there when one of the techs came in and told me that one of the leaves (at least that what it sounded like) had gotten stuck and they had called an engineer to come and fix it. Basically the leaves were the small parts that moved within the machine to shape the beam of radiation they way the techs wanted it. As this machine was not used to doing such a large area it was playing up. I lay there for well over an hour, feeling sick all the while and not happy in the slightest. Additionally, the fertility treatments I had been doing had made my face a little puffy which meant my mask was tighter. My head was pressed against the table and after a while it really started to hurt. Soon it was incredibly painful and I could do nothing to relieve it. However, I endured it. I kept telling myself that the machine would be fixed soon, the treatment itself was very quick, so if I just waited, if I could cope just a little longer then I would be released.

I still came close to caving. When it was eventually done I was simply desperate to move my head around. The techs apologised for it taking so long, but I didn't blame them. It's not like it was their fault.

I went home to finally celebrate my birthday. My nausea was more under control and I was ready for birthday cake. Alas, this was not to be. My dad had made a wonderful Chinese meal and I distinctly remember eating duck and pancakes which was my favourite. Then I received a message from my aunt. Apparently they had a dragon cake for me. A dragon cake? What did that mean? A cake with dragons on it? In the shape of a dragon? Anyone who knows me understands that I love dragons, in fact I have a collection, so whatever this cake was I was sure I was going to love it.

I was not disappointed. It was shaped like a castle turret with a magnificent blue dragon on top in front of a pile of gold and the words "Happy 22nd Aislinn" written across the bottom. It was one of the best things I had ever seen.

It was a mighty shame that I could not eat any of it. Only a few minutes after my aunt, uncle, and cousin had shown up with the magnificent cake my nausea got the better of me and I had to run for the closest toilet.

Not the best birthday by long shot.

(My mum had also made me a cake and I couldn't eat either!)

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Ooh feeling squeamish, tubes being pushed ....argh , and then phew, you mention a cute puppy. A writer’s clever ...and very welcome.... trick. Thanks Aislinn



Wow. That’s some cake .... if you’ll excuse the American phraseology. What a stunningly beautiful piece of art, as well as loving kindness. If someone deserves it, that’s YOU Aislinn. An inspiration, as are your mum and dad. Many truly happy birthdays to look forward to Now. And should you even get an inkling that theres Another spectacular cake planned, please can I have an invite. I’ll fly down on a dragon!

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