Wednesday, April 18, 2012

So what is radiation like, exactly?

I didn't know what radiation was like before I started, either.  Now after 7 weeks of treatment I feel like I'm an expert.  Here's how every day since February 28 has been:
Step one: check in at the front desk in the basement of Prentice and scan my barcoded card.
Step two: get called back to change, dress down from the waist up and put on the oh so stylish hospital gown.

Step three: head back to the vault where the machine is and chit chat with the radiation therapists.
This is similar to the radiation machine at Prentice.  It's crazy big.

Step four: verify my name, date of birth, and area of treatment.
Step five: lay down on the plank, put my arms up, get raised up a few feet to where the arm of the machine is, and lay still while the therapists line up the machine.
Step six: lay still while the laser is on, 20 seconds on the left side and 20 seconds on the right side.

Step seven:  get lowered down, get dressed, head home.

It typically took 15 minutes at the hospital and one hour total.  Everyone in the radiation oncology department are total pros and everything is run like a well-oiled machine.  They also could not be more pleasant, and I really got to know them after seeing them day in and day out.  I'll miss chatting with all of the nice people, but I won't miss having to go in every day.  That's radiation in a nutshell!

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