March 11, 2013 (Mon) – Measure twice, zap once (OK, 15 times)

ComboBrain Zapper

Today I went in for my very stylish fitting. I wish it had been for the tux I will be needing in a few months, but it was not quite the same. In order to direct the radiation exactly on the same spot each time, they have to set up a laser-guided coordinate system so the beams know where to go. I thought they were only going to prepare for possible lung radiation, but they opted to go ahead and set up the one they will be using for my brain treatment next week. The pics were courtesy of the technician who had to document the set-up for their own records. He said sure, he’d e-mail me all the photos. Cool guy. The other pic is of the huge radiation zapper they will be using on me next week for the brain treatment.

Unfortunately the pictures of my lung setup were less than appropriate for prime-time viewing so I will save you from that experience. But the cool tattoos I was expecting to get, kinda as my red badge of courage, were quite a disappointment. You can’t even see them. Just four little indiscriminate dots hidden in my chest freckles. Hope they can tell the difference.

The brain setup (above) was very interesting. It reminded me of the old days when you blew up a balloon, wrapped it in string that had been soaked in starch, and when it dried you popped the balloon. The difference being I was hoping he did not plan on popping my balloon. With the bite-down device I had to use, it also reminded me of the scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest when Jack Nicholson was about to get his treatment from Nurse Ratched. I told the technician if he approached me with two small paddles, I was outta there. Apparently once my treatment is complete, I get to keep the formed mask. Got my Halloween costume worked out. I know what some of you are saying: “But what about the dress?”

As for the treatment plan, as it stands now I will begin the lung radiation therapy tomorrow (Tues) and continue for 15 business days. It’s unfortunate that this means I finish that aspect of my treatment on April Fool’s Day. Hmm, I might have some fun with that. And the brain radiation will begin next Monday and go five days straight, and then be done. I hope. That means next week I get “two-fers” every day. Nothing like getting two fuzzies with one stone. I guess I get treatment in one room, and then walk next door for the other one. I suppose I’ll have even more of a radiant personality than I do now.

Also still planning on the oral medication route but that will not be confirmed until…

…tomorrow when I finally see the UCSD lung cancer specialist. She is the one that might have a clinical trial available to me and the oncologist doesn’t want to start me on anything until she sees me just in case the drugs he proposes might make me ineligible for any possible trial. Tomorrow will be key in terms of finalizing my treatment regimen. Can’t wait to get that settled, and get down to the business of zapping these guys.

Thursday morning I go in for the very detailed MRI scan of my brain which will allow the radiologist to pinpoint exactly the location and size of my tumor upstairs, to then be used in conjunction with the head cage setup above next week for the actual treatment. I should get out of there in time to make my Rotary luncheon. Hmm, guess by then I’ll have a radiant and magnetic personality. And some of you only thought I glowed.

Business as usual. Day at a time.

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5 thoughts on “March 11, 2013 (Mon) – Measure twice, zap once (OK, 15 times)

  1. Hey Craig….If only I had kept my borowed Burka from my mosque visits in the Middle East….would have made a great “dress” for your Halloween costume. Yes, your glowing, magnetic, and radiant personality, not to mention your humor, will help you pull through this lousy chapter of your life. Can’t wait to read Ye Ol Dreaded for 2013….. I am sure theme ideas are already swirling in your head. Hang in there my “old” friend. Xoxo

    Reply
  2. Well written so all can follow! Good luck today. When they said “today is the first day of the rest of your life…” Who knew how right on a statement! Hang in there; the healing finally begins! Hugs and prayers… EZ

    Ellen Knight 858 774-1589

    Reply
  3. I laughed when I read about your irradiated pee. Went through the same thing in 2005. Made me wonder about all that radiation going through the sewer system. No wonder rats are so huge and hard to kill. My advice if your hair falls out 1) don’t lay down on flannel sheets (not that you need them in San Diego) because it will look like there was a cat fight in your bed 2) you might want to do a preemptive strike by shaving your head as the first signs come or you will look like some crazed zombie 3) hats with flannel are nice and soft on a bald pate. Always thinking of you and your family as you go through this one day at a time. Your wit and humor reminds me a lot of my daughter and even myself as we went through our own cancer treatments. That is really the only way to go!

    Reply
  4. Your humor is fierce, and you are one hardcore dude, Craig – keep laughing as you tangle (or is it tango?) with Fuzzy. Nuke the bastard. Courage and strength, brother.

    Reply

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