Thursday, March 1, 2007

My Radiation Simulation

Today I met with the radiation oncologist. I feel so stupid. Who knew there were so many different oncologists? I thought there was only one kind. This is worse than buying bread – wheat, potato, low carb, white. There is too much to choose from.
We got the run down on what to expect. There are some pros to this cancer thing. I’m not supposed to lose weight. That sounds good during Christmas cookie season. I will also loose the hair permanently on the back of my thigh. Yeah! No more twisting around to shave my thigh in the shower. I like this.
They schedule me for something called a simulation. I guess this is where they set up all the computer stuff and try to figure out the best way to zap the football. My girls and I have decided to name the football. If I’m going to live with it – it should have a name. I chose Marvin. I never liked the name and certainly don’t like this tumor. Sorry to all the Marvins in the world.
Back in the far corner of the radiation oncology department is a lowgrade CT machine. A small donut that looks like the younger brother of the main one in the hospital. Off go the clothes. No time for modesty here. I didn’t tell you before the football was now reaching up into my gluteus maximum (yeah, the butt) and down to my knee. Marvin was a nice, healthy, bouncing tumor.
So I stripped. From the waist down. Except for my socks and shoes. And the blowing in the breeze hospital gown. I looked beautiful. Up on the table I went. A Herculean effort on my part and unfortunate for anyone standing behind me. That hospital gown only covers so much.
The first simulation was on my stomach. I lay there for an hour as they manipulated my leg and body. Scanned the tumor. Moved me again. Scanned the tumor. Moved me again. Another scan. You get the picture. It was all a piece of cake until the doctor came out and said we need to protect the anus.
Excuse me. Anus means my butt right. He looked at me and calmly explained the problems if they radiated that area. I would be in real pain every day. So they had to know where it was. There was only way to find out. I said that I knew where it was - and they could see where it was - so why do we have to do this. The CT scan couldn’t tell where it was. I now believe this is an evil machine wanting to inflict harm.
So the humiliation continued from the stomach view. While I was gussied up - butt and leg in the air with my face down in a hospital pillow, I was introduced to another gentleman. He didn’t have a surgical coat on. I thought he might be from billing. Were they going to make me pay before they continued? Half now and half on final treatment.
This guy was the dosing guy. He helped to decide how much I would glow by. Let’s count the number of people in the room I am flashing. The radiation oncologist, the radiation technician, the nurse, the nurse assistant, the radiation technician intern, the dosing guy and the physic’s guy - there may be more but it was to crowded to see.
I am so proud. I think that I may have a broken a record for flashing the greatest number of people - next to that guy from the Oscars.

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