One of the best things about this radiation regimen is that I signed up for an early morning appointment - 8:15 - so I am forced to get up, get dressed, and get out the door earlier than has been my habit since my younger child got out of high school. Yes. I had become quite the slouch, hanging around in my pyjamas until 9 AM on many days. So, these days I am turning over a new leaf, and getting radiated, to boot.
So far, everything is smooth as glass. The Cancer Center continues to get high marks for efficiency, pleasant surroundings, and gracious staff. And more warm blankets too! I have a nifty little barcoded card that I swipe upon entry to the waiting room. My name pops up on a screen, I head for the dressing room, grab a gown, strip, put my stuff in a locker - and before I can settle in with a good magazine, one of the technicians comes to get me for my 15 minutes "in the beam."
Before starting treatments I went in for some preliminary visits which included the "tattooing visit" and the "making an upper body cast visit." The body cast forces me to lie in exactly the same position each visit. The tattoos, of course, show the technicians how to line up the machine to zap the right places. So, when I reach the treatment room, I lie on a table with my body settled into the preformed cast. The various techs shift me this way and that, pulling my hips an inch left or right, my upper body another touch to the side. All the while they are calling out numbers like 94 point 3, 97 point 1. Who knows what it all means. I trust that they know what they are doing. Before long they say they are ready, and with no other preamble, the nuking begins. There is nothing to feel, not much to see other than a sign that shines, saying "Beam On," and before I can get really comfy, the whole shebang is over.
Today is Day 5 out of 33 treatments. So far there have been no discernible side effects. I expect that it will take another week or two before I see the burning or feel the fatigue.