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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Trick or Treat at Texas Oncology Radiation Center!

I posted a link for you the other day describing the radiation process.  Did you do your homework and read the generic, boring text about mask making, radiation set up, and all that fun stuff?  I know a bunch of you aren't readers, much less technical readers, so for today's lesson I've decided to post something the non-readers can enjoy.

WARNING: If you do not have a good sense of humor, please stop here... may be offensive to some who are easily upset when people joke about cancer.  If you read further and get offended, I'm considering it your fault.

And, now I present, Trick or Treat at Texas Oncology Radiation Center!

Yes, you too, can see what fun you are missing out on by not being a cancer patient! (and you don't even have to read!)  Cancer patients receiving radiation to the neck and shoulder area even get a souvenir mask especially made to fit their face!  It might even glow the in the dark when you are done!  How fun is that?
Here they having me lying on the table.  The torture has yet to begin...
Still having fun at this point...
Now you can see the straps they wrap around my wrists and loop over my feet to pull my shoulders down.  Not so fun here.  The straps pull on your wrists the entire time.  If I was just having treatment, they would be on about 15 minutes.  During dry run they were on for a good 45 min to an hour.  I feel like I'm being tortured in some medieval device or being hog-tied in a rodeo.
Next, to make it more fun, they have you don your Halloween mask.  Somehow it's just not as fun as I remember it being as a child.  Maybe it's because no one gives you candy no matter how many times you try to mumble "Trick or Treat" through the mesh mask.
Now they say, "Abra cadabra!" and perform magic to make you float in the air like a magician's assistant.  OK, probably not, but at this angle it DOES look like I'm levitating doesn't it?
The trick revealed.  Above me is the machine that delivers the exact amount of radiation at the exact coordinates they program into the computer every day for the number of days prescribed.  I've been sentenced to 10 this time.
Everything you just saw was the dry run.  This picture shows the "real deal".  This is angle number one, right before I was zapped with radiation.  The machine turned on and stayed running for a total of about 5 minutes.
The machine returning to center before the next angle, as I levitate patiently (as all good cancer patients should!).

Second angle is from underneath lasting another 5 minutes or so.  Then the machine comes back to center and the ride is over.

Ok, enough with the sarcasm, and on with the show....

The truth is, I was actually fortunate enough today to find a compliant nurse who was willing to entertain my crazy picture documentary request and take a few pictures with my phone.  I would have taken them myself, but you will understand shortly why I couldn't. The only one I was able to take was the first one.  Hope you enjoy!

Now you know how cancer patients celebrate Halloween!


  1. Well, I do think you should have gotten candy after all that!

    By the way, yes I did read the long (and not boring) link with all about the mask and how it works and what you can expect.

    But I am a reader by nature. :)


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