OK, most of you are not old enough to recognize that jingle above. If you do remember it, you’re older than dirt. Or at least as old as me.
So today began the “two-fer” treatments. The 5-minute lung zap went as per usual. The new head blasting immediately afterwards was definitely a new experience. Of course the first thing I checked for was to see if the technician was green around the gills from yesterday’s St Patty’s Day. She wasn’t but of course I had to tease her about that possibility but she told me she was a non-drinker. Yes! And I could tell she knew the difference between a meter and a yard. OK, step one complete.
Waiting for me on the torture table was the bottom half of my form-fitting birdcage helmet. It’s really not a torture table, but it could be. Another good thing is that with this kind of treatment I don’t have to change into a butt-crack gown. I get to wear my street clothes. Small favors, right? But I digress.
So I laid (lied?) down on the table and slowly lowered my head into the cage. Imagine that, a perfect fit. Duh. That was the easy part. Then the multiple layer top half was pressed down into position and clamped down hard. And I mean clamped. And I mean hard. I really can’t compare it to anything except for how I’ve heard a mammogram described. Try not to visualize that too much. My face and head were pressed (OK, somewhat smashed) between the two sections so tightly that I couldn’t have opened my eyelids even if I wanted. Picture someone taking a full roll of duct tape and looping it over and over across my head and under the table. That’s probably a better visual example than the less PC one above. Basically I could not move my head an inch (OK, centimeter). But that is the idea. They don’t want me shifting around making for a moving target. Heck, they might accidentally zap the area of my brain that controls typing skills – then you guys would all be outta luck. Or not.
Topping off the keep-the-body-frozen process was the large rubber band they wrapped around my feet to keep my legs still, and the large rubber doughnut on my chest that I gripped with each hand to keep my arms quiet. Do you get the impression they didn’t want me moving? Heck, I was so incapacitated the technician could easily have had her way with me. But I guess that particular procedure was not on the work-order chart.
This one took a little longer – about 20 minutes for the refrigerator-sized brain zapper to work its way around me from various angles. The table also moved to help provide a more clear target. I could have sworn later that the bombardment was happening while the table was moving which blew my whole moving target theory. But the technician confirmed that yes, some of the radiation doses were administered while the table was doing a Linda Blair thing. Thank God for computers. I hope they aren’t Windows based as I have 4 more of these this week and prefer not to have a blue screen of death pop up at the wrong time.
I say the treatment lasted 20 minutes but I can’t confirm that. Why? Wait for it….You know what’s coming don’t you? I fell friggin’ asleep again! I understand that many patients have to get drugged or they go crazy because of the claustrophobia feeling of being so tightly wound. Ordinarily I would put myself in the latter category but for some reason I must have gotten over that fear I developed as a kid when I accidentally locked myself in my dad’s sea chest out in the garage. Ask me about that some day. Otherwise, just like the lung radiation, I never felt a thing.
We (Kim and I) met with the radiologist afterwards to just confirm the game plan and it still stands as of my last blog. Four more days of this double and then an additional 6 days of lung zaps. Then oral medication. Stay tuned.
I discovered a side benefit of all the radiation when I got to work. I don’t have to turn on the lights in my office anymore. In fact I think I will apply for a permanent Energy-Star tattoo on my chest. My Director of Engineering will appreciate all the energy I am saving. Plus, I’ve figured out a way to make some extra cash during the holidays. I can rent myself out to boat owners who can strap me to their masts during the Parade of Lights down in the harbor. Pretty cool, eh?
Speaking of cool, how about that hat my neighbor made for me that I am so stylishly modeling above? I love it!
Tomorrow is day two. Then Wednesday is, er, uh. Oops. I forgot. Day at a time.
Business as usual.