Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Radiation - Day Eleven

Today’s session was slightly different from previous sessions because they took some film of the treatment area to check the measurements. That’s to ensure that the measurements have not changed. They took film from the left side only. The radiation therapist said that the left side was able to capture all the pictures necessary and so the right side was not needed.

I’ve asked the radiation therapists how long the radiation was on my body, but I was told that it’s not a measurement of time. So I’ve been counting in my head each time I hear the radiation machine go on: one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, etc. For the lump above my neck, it’s about 30 seconds. The left glancing field is about 15 seconds, followed by 3 seconds. The right side is about 15 seconds, followed by 2 seconds, then another 2 seconds.

For the left and right sides, the long dose is the radiation being administered at one even dose over the entire treatment field. Then the MLCs (multi-leaf collimators) are adjusted to block some of the radiation to the heart and lungs and the short bursts aim at the cancer area and avoid the heart and lungs. This is my understanding of what’s going on, but I can’t really be sure I’ve got it straight. It’s quite complicated and it’s hard to get a clear explanation from the doctor or radiation therapists.

Still no side effects, other than slight stiffness and tightness in right chest when I move my arms at extreme angles. I felt a bit tired yesterday, but I think that was due to lack of sleep and abundance of active children. So far, so good. Yay.

No comments: