Saturday, April 29, 2006

Radiation Simulation

Went for radiation simulation. It took about an hour. I lay down on a flat, hard board with my arms above my head, holding on to two handles. There were no arm rests, so I just had to hold on to the handles and keep my arms still. They didn’t tell me ahead of time how long I’d have to hold this position or anything about what to expect.

After a while, my arms went numb and started slipping off the handles. The radiation therapist said I had to keep perfectly still the whole time but I was afraid my arms would slip off and throw all the measurements off. She finally let me put my arms down for a little bit.

At one point I took a deep breath to get my strength up and she called out in a panic that I had to keep still. If a deep breath was enough to throw off the measurements, how accurate could they be after I’d moved my arms down and back up? OI!

And the radiotherapist kept running back and forth from the simulation room to another room off to the side. She just didn’t seem to know what she was doing. And the markings on my chest afterwards looked like my 3-year-old daughter had drawn all over me. There were big, thick lines, some with crooked lines next to them, as if she’d done one marking, then re-did it. I lost all confidence in this radiation team. I need to find another.

Another reason to find another team -- the radiation oncologist hadn’t even talked to my surgeon yet before doing the simulation. And he was only in the simulation room for a few seconds in the beginning. He didn’t actually do anything -- just looked at the markings the radiotherapist had made and said “okay”.

These doctors seriously need a lesson in communication skills. So many of my worries and questions could be answered if they would just talk to me about what’s going on, what to expect, what I need to do, etc. What’s the matter with these people?!?!?!? “Treat the patient, not the disease!” Haven’t they ever heard that before? Sucks to have cancer, but it really sucks to have cancer in a country where people have ZERO communication and social skills. Bitch, bitch, moan, moan. Hey, I’m allowed. I have cancer.

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