10 Days In

Today is day 10. I am sitting in the waiting room waiting on treatment #10. After tonight I will have completed one third of the radiation treatments. 10 of 30 treatments. 2 of 6 weeks. Take that, the man! A couple of thoughts:

  • I have no idea what is actually happening when I am laying on the table and getting blasted by protons. I had thought it was like a Space Invaders type thing – that old arcade game where you had a gun at the bottom of the screen and had to shoot rows of aliens at the top of the screen. I had thought it was like a laser blasting away row by row of cancer cells. But that may not be the case. The doctor told me that the radiation kills the cells by changing the DNA within them – and then they die. So I don’t know – but blasting away rows and rows of cancer cells seems a lot more sexy.
  • There are three different sections of my treatment. I lay on the table, they lock my head in, and blast me in that position. Then they rotate me 45 degrees and blast me again. Then they rotate me another 45 degrees and blast me a third time. The first blasting takes about 5 minutes, the second 10 minutes and the third 5 minutes. It helps me time things while laying on the table. I have found there are landmarks throughout the 20 minutes. As soon as they lock the mask in, it starts itching my nose for about 4 minutes. There is a red aligning laser above my head that shines in my left eye for the first blasting. I know I am headed to the second position when that laser moves off of my left eye. About 5 minutes into the second position I can feel the arthritis in my left elbow kick in. I know I have about 5 more minutes before moving to the final position. The third position is easy to line up – so it is quick. After I hear the 12 pulses of radiation, I know that the technicians are on their way in to unlock the mask and I can let go of the immobilizers with my hands – and flex my elbows.
  • Last night – there was a different music station on. “Stand by Me” got me through the first position, then a blah song or two, and moving to the third position “Let’s Get it On” by Barry White. I thought it was great! It was the first dance song that Jenn and I danced to at our wedding!

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