Gearing Up For My Radiation Treatments
It took me a little while before my radiation treatments started. After the diagnosis, and after I had completed all of the examinations they needed I was ready for the radiation.
At least I thought I was ready. But what did I know about it? Well, actually nothing, exactly nothing! So what about now? Ask me now.
I know now what I am sharing on this site. So let’s begin to un-peel this onion, for you. Here is everything I know about the radiation treatments I received.
Please remember I am not for or against any prescribed treatments. To my best observation, it sure looks like every patient has their own diagnosis and treatment plan. This is what I experienced.
The Pre Radiation Measurements
So about two weeks before my actual radiation plan started I came to the Sands Cancer Center and I had a session where I was measured.
Well what exactly is this? I had to disrobe and lay down on a bed surface which is actually the same size as the bed that I laid down on for each treatment.
In this article you will learn.....
This took about twenty minutes of time and was a separate visit to the hospital and the cancer center. They measured everything they needed to know about my size and mapped out locations for all of the radiation beams to be used.
The Radiation Treatments Started
My first radiation visit was scheduled for a Wednesday. My plan called for visits every day Monday-Friday. I also was told that the number required was 27 visits.
Everything is well planned out and you just need to show up every scheduled visit.
So I put my time in and the treatments started in August and ended by the middle of September that year.
What a Radiation Session Is Like
Usually, you will wait for a few minutes in the patient area. You must always check in with the people at the front desk. They will then let the radiation techs know you are there. Your arrival is announced.
A lab person will then show up say hi, and then lead you back into the radiation room. This room is actually a very large room.
Your radiation bed is in the middle of the room.
It will take a couple of minutes to get your shoes off and then climb onto the radiation bed.
Once I was on the bed I needed to get down to just my underwear in the lower portions of my body.
So I wore sweatpants every day, so that I could lift up my hips and pull them down to just my underwear. For me, the radiation was being directed at a tumor near my anus, so my groin area was the target basically.
Then I was covered up by the tech with a light blanket so that my private’s area was not exposed, plus the room temperature in this room is rather cool.
Then I was told that I had to lay as still as I could for the duration of the session that day.
The bed as you can see in the pictures is very narrow and it is very flat and rather hard to lay onto for 20 minutes.
After you are set up then everyone will leave the room except you. You are the subject of the radiation gun at that moment in time.
They Leave the Room, It Begins
With all of this being new, I paid extra attention to everything that was going on around me. The session was around 20 minutes in total. I believe the actual radiation was somewhere around 16-18 minutes. At first, that seemed like a long time.
The machine turns 360 degrees all around you in that time span. The machine is quiet except for starting and rotating into the next exact location.
Then there would be a quiet period then a noise from moving then quiet then another noise that came as you were actually being shot with the radiation then it clicked a few times then dead silence. Very quiet, then it moved a small increment again.
After the first session, I took a headset and used my MP3 player to listen to praise and worship music or music from the late sixties and seventies that I really enjoy listening to. It made the time go by faster for me.
It was easier than just laying there hearing all of the sounds of your treatments being done.
During these radiation sessions, they (the equipment) always reminded me of the Disney movie from 1986, called the Flight of the Navigator.
In this movie, there was an alien with the “light shaped head” who was the Navigator.
That character in the movie always was remembered by me in comparison to the radiation machine’s radiation shooting area….
My Top 5 Radiation Treatment Tips
During these sessions, I came up with 5 top tips for the radiation treatments, that I would stress to pay attention tofor another person going through what I went through.
- Trust the program, be relaxed and take instructions well
- Show up. It is a process. Stay with it. You will not want to stop and go from day to day. Wanting to stop today, that is your emotions, but you made the decision to do this, so just do them.
- Pray and Trust in the Lord. He will take you by the hand and be with you.
- Stay Hydrated, if you need salves, or ointments use them. If you have anti-nausea pills take them. keep on top of any side effects, both medically and with your attitude. You will very easily get dehydrated so keep drinking water, it will help a lot.
- Read Positive Books
- The Bible-The New King James Version
- The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, and 4 great books by Pastor Robert Schuller. The books by Pastor Schuller that are great are
- Tough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!
- The Be (Happy) Attitudes: 8 Positive Attitudes That Can Transform Your Life
- Move Ahead With Possibility Thinking
- If It’s Going to Be, It’s Up to Me: The Eight Proven Principles of Possibility Thinking
Putting positive in can only help you remain positive in your mind as you are trusting the treatments to do their thing.
The NKJV, Holy Bible, Larger Print, PaperbackMove Ahead with Possibility ThinkingThe Power of Positive ThinkingTough Times Never Last, But Tough People Do!If It’s Going to Be, It’s Up to Me: The Eight Proven Principles of Possibility ThinkingThe Be (Happy) Attitudes: 8 Positive Attitudes That Can Transform Your Life
Getting Through Radiation
So I found that getting through the radiation treatments was very tough emotionally. You had to stay focused all the time on just getting through the next session.
Trying not to look to far down the road. During my 27 sessions over the 6 weeks plus that it took, I did have two updates on the treatments.
Doctor B as he was called said that the radiation was doing as they had hoped. It was shrinking the tumor and he also said that I seemed to be handling the side effects pretty well.
I simply would say “yes prayer does work”, as I smiled at the word of the report.
Was I that confident, well yes and no. Since I had never been through this before, I fully trusted the medical team with my treatments and I fully trusted God with my life. Was it easy, no, but it was do-able.