Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Radiation Mask Fitting & CT Scan

This morning I had my planning appointment with my radiation team.   I was fitted with the mask that I'll wear at each treatment and had a CT scan with contrast dye.

This isn't a video of me, but it's pretty much exactly what happened during my appointment today - watch it!

Just as the video shows, they placed the plastic mask in hot water to warm it up and then pulled it down  to fit over my face.  It was warm and wet and felt really, really weird.  The technicians then used a permanent marker to place a few marks on the mask - these marks will help them line up the radiation machine so it targets the same place each time.  Then they injected me with the contrast dye (the stuff that makes you feel like you peed your pants) and sent me in and out of the CT scanner a few times.

The mask wasn't as bad as I had feared.  I could breathe through it without feeling like I was suffocating, which was my fear.  It was a little uncomfortable since it held my head down pretty tight against the table.  I couldn't move my head at all and I almost panicked, but I did ok.  I don't want to sound like a baby, but I may end up taking some anxiety medicine for my first treatment since I'll have the mask on for longer at that appointment and since I should have a ride that day (I think my dad is coming with me).

This isn't mine, but mine looks just like this.  I'll try to get a picture of my mask at my next appointment!
At today's appointment, the technicians also showed me where I'll go every day for my treatments.  Each day I'll go to the radiation waiting room, change into a hospital gown, and wait.  Each treatment should only take about 15 minutes.

Now that my planning appointment is done, the radiation oncologist and technicians will finish planning my treatment (which should take a few days) and then they'll call me to schedule out all of my treatments.  My first appointment (which will hopefully be next week) will take longer than the rest since they'll make sure I'm positioned correctly and make a few more marks on the mask.  Many patients have permanent tattoo marks placed on their bodies - the technician says they may not have to do that with me - they may be able to place all marks on the mask.  We'll find out at my first treatment.

That's about it for today!  In other news, Josh and I have just booked our vacation for December as a celebration for completing all my treatment!  We're planning on staying in Clearwater Beach, Florida for a long weekend and spending a day at Universal Studios in Orlando.  We are so excited!!

Until next time!


1 comment:

  1. Just so you know.... I think Josh will want to spend all day on the Back to the Future ride!!!!!!