Skip to main content

Radiation

Radiation, Part 3 of my treatment has arrived - April 30, 2019.  Can't believe I have already had 7 months of treatment, all healed up from surgery, and now ready to Hammer On with the next thing up.  I feel pretty good, sure I have the pain of two 10" plus scares across my chest and I've been attending physical therapy to regain motion of my left arm, but my mind is focused. 
   I've met with my Radiation Oncologist and another round of people added to my cancer team.  First up is "Simulation" in which they get me into the position I will be in with arms over my head, form an air cast around my body and make a series of 3D scans and CT like slices through my body to be able to plan the radiation.   I'm also introduced to the "ABC" technique in which I take a deep breath, this allows my diaphragm to pull down my heart away from the chest wall and while I hold my breath for 30 seconds, the radiation beams hit my chest wall.  O'h I also got three permeant tattoos on my chest to help them align my body to the radiation machine every time. 
  Next up is Dry Run where I go into the Radiation chamber.  I call it a chamber because I enter through a least a 3' concrete wall and I'm the only one in the room with this very cool machine.  The techs are in another area outside the room and can talk to me over the intercom.  I'm alone, in a still position with a breathing tube in my mouth and silence.  Well not exactly silence there is the buzzing from the machine and the beats of my favorite music... the chamber is equipped with Amazon music, so I can listen to whatever I want because I'm the only way who can hear it.   
Radiation Machine - Infinity
Air Cast built around my upper body

ID badge for Radiation - written with Hammer On so I see that slogan every day

Radiation Waiting Area - Garden

  Next Up, Radiation 1, with a total of 25 treatments aimed at my chest wall and another 5 aimed just at my former nipple and lymph nodes area.  Here we go, I get in my position, EDM music by Above and Beyond playing I begin taking deep breaths. The machine rotates to fraction 1.  The tech comes over on the intercom, take a deep breath... 30 - buzzing from the radiation machine begins 25 - 20 - 15 - 10 - 5 buzzing from radiation machine stops 4, 3, 2, 1 and breath.  There ends up being 4 fractions or positions in which the radiation machine aims from.  Within each fraction is 2-3 beams of radiation each, so I end up holding my breath for up to 12 times.  In the first two fractions they place a piece of plastic and Brass Bolus and on my chest wall which helps to get the radiation closer to the skin surface, they actually said they wanted to burn my skin.  The whole procedure from when I walk into the door to leaving lasts 20 - 40 minutes.  After that I return to the dressing room and spread a cream called Calendula over my chest wall and repeat every 4 hours.  My Radiation Oncologist said lets keep Radiation boring - you come in, lying down, breath, put your cream on and repeat.
    At this time of writing I've done 9 treatments, and I've kept it boring.  I'm very intrigued by the radiation machine, it's called "Infinity" and the tech behind it.  I apply the cream every 4 hours even the weekend and continue my PT daily.  My skin is reddish in the radiated area and I've listened to Above & Beyond, No Mana, Tiesto, Ghost Voices and Kendrick Lamar.  Worst side affect - napping, I can't make it by 2pm in the day and my body needs it rest.  HammerOn

3D model of my body - radiation fractions (4 colors) and area they are zapping
(left) right scare can be seen (top) breathing tube in my mouth

Slices of my body with Radiation fractions (4 colors), red is very intense.
(left) cut a chest wall (middle) cut through rib cage
(right) frontal with heart in view holding breath technique away from yellow radiation zone 

Positioning metrics that align with tattoos on my body

Radiation 1 - Infinity 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Day 0

It was September 12, 2018, there I laid in the Ultrasound office, just me, on the white paper looking at the ceiling, thinking. I already knew. The next day, my mind was racing with multiple thoughts, remembrance of family, history, past images and friends all flowing in and out. I knelt at church crying, full of tears, asking why is all of this in my head. But something happened the days after and when the biopsy confirmed Cancer, I felt my mind leave my body. I would see and feel something off to the right and my attitude changed, my mind started thinking about solutions. Solutions developed over the weeks into things that I could do to keep my attitude positive and my mind going, even if my body didn’t want to respond. I began writing words and phrases surrounding my name on a blank piece of paper. Words can’t really describe it, perhaps it was my Dad, a 16 year Cancer Fighter acting as Heaven Guardian Angel looking over me, communicating to my mind spiritually in a way that as…

Jackpot

It's Tuesday evening, October 23, 2018, the world around me is in the lottery $1.6 billion buzz, while I'm thinking about my next treatment and looking back on Chemo Round 1.  Round 1 started on Friday, October 12, 2018 which was pushed 3 days because I had a stomach virus, yeah so puking before Chemo, how fashionable of me, a friend of mine with Cancer called me an over achiever. 
    As I sat there on Day 1, my head filled with what they call the "Fog" it filled within my head, my arms and fingers, a somewhat tingly feeling all over.  Other than that, I sat there in my chair talking with my wife, looking out the window and carrying on a normal day.  Well, the new normal.  I just have the mindset to put one step in front of each other and HammerOn, if I sit there and sulk it ain't going to get me anywhere.   

My medications are prescribed below for the Days 1-4.
Day 1 - Chemo "AC" (Doxorubicin called Adriamycin "A" and Cyclophosphamide Cy…

Thumbs Up!

The day had come, Feb 6, 2019 - 5.48pm, my first breast MRI scan since I began my treatment in October 2018 for Stage 3 male breast cancer.  This is what they call the "scan" it's pretty huge for cancer patients as it shows how the cancer is.  I had had trouble with the first scan, getting overly hot as I lay face down wrapped in blankets in an MRI that I didn't lay on my back for.  So I knew going in, I would just be wearing a gown and try to get as much airflow around my head to make me more comfortable.   I had just finished my 14th cumulative chemo about 1 hour before, armed with another IV stuck in my hand right hand for the MRI contrast, I had the technician snap this photo of me standing beside my machine, with my cell phone on the safe zone as no metal is allowed in the room.  I gave the "Thumbs Up" with my left hand. 
   The scan, went great well sort-of, I was definitely cool and had good airflow around my head, so I didn't have to stop the…