19 Down, 11 to Go

We were only 30 minutes slow today in proton radiation room 1. Today was an interesting day:

  • Here was not the smartest idea by me: It is oppressively hot here in Philly – complete with heat index warnings and the likes. Before walking the mile to the hospital, I ate a quick popsicle (I am checking out of my apartment on Friday – so trying to lessen the load of things I have to carry and pack in the car) and got bad sugared up. I then walked to the hospital in the midday heat with my backpack on. It was hot and sweaty – sweating through the front and back of my shirt. When I got to the hospital, I saw I had a couple of minutes. I didn’t have lunch, outside of a popsicle, so I thought I would pop over to the cafeteria to grab a quick bite to eat. Right inside the door is the hospital cafeteria sushi shelf. I like sushi. there is one for $5. Yum! I pay and quickly eat my hospital cafeteria sushi and down a bottle of water since I was very sweaty. I head to the waiting room when I start to feel my stomach grumble. I think to myself, “Well that is kind of weird – what did I eat today that my make my stomach sick?” At that time, the buzzer goes off for me to go to the changing room and get changed for the radiation. Also at that time, panic goes off within me. What if my head is bolted to the table and my stomach explodes? What would I do? How much can I purge before the treatments (apparently alot)? What if I am in the toilet when they come to get me for treatment and they have to wait for me? That would be embarrassing. So – I go to get changed and use the bathroom. I almost break the toilet with what seems to me to be sushi remnants. Ugh. I get finished and get changed knowing that I only went through round one of a three to four round battle. I think – “it only takes twenty minutes on the table, I will be ok.” What did I eat wrong…it was eating sushi on top of a sugary popsicle after sweating my ass off. Ugh.
  • So I get called back to proton radiation room 1 fairly quickly. I am feeling ok – it is only going to be 20 minutes. I lay on the table and they lock my head down. I am hoping to practice my napping technique on the table. I hear the machine start to move, and then it stops. Things get quiet for a minute or two. The therapist lady then walks into the room and says, “We are having some trouble with the machine, don’t worry, stay there and hold tight – an engineer is on the way.” There is so much wrong with that statement. First, where am I going if my head is bolted to the table? Second, how can I not worry if the thing that is blasting my brain just stopped working right before it was about to blast me? Third, didn’t a similar thing happen to Bruce Banner? Fourth, do they realize that my head is bolted to the table by a mask that is too close and too tight? Fifth, are they trying to make me claustrophobic when I have just come to be settled with things? Sixth, diarrhea!!!!
  • I hear the engineer in the room talking with the therapists and things get back online in five to ten minutes. I spend that time thinking about my exit strategy if I poop my pants on the table. I long for the radiology department at MD Anderson in Houston – where they have scrubs for everyone. I could just steal some scrubs and walk out of the hospital looking like someone who works in the hospital (like Dr. Richard Kimble…what is that movie reference from???). I could get to a bathroom and wash everything out and walk out with wet shorts on a hot and sweaty day – and it could be seen as sweaty on my walk home. I debated whether I could find a side door to sneak out of or go out through the parking garage to the street or just out the front door. I just didn’t know – but it did fill up a good portion of time.
  • Gracefully for me, the therapy went by quickly. I was done, tired from having my head bolted to the table for so long, and slowly made my way back to the changing room to get my stuff. No worries, everything worked out fine.
  • The music selection was ok tonight – there was the song from the end of Ghostbusters II when the entire city of New York is celebrating the destruction of the slime by the Ghostbusters in the Statue of Liberty. I was also transported back to prom time in high school with the theme song of my junior prom – which I can’t remember what it was off the top of my head.

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