Wednesday, June 3, 2009

radiation 101

Hello everyone
Radiation is really quite a trip.
It is more like a conveyer belt!  You get changed into gown that will expose your little area of interest. They escort you into the room that has a sign on the door that says BEWARE EXTREME RISK OF RADIATION...or something like that. You lie down on the table, they always situate me too high up on the table and then have to "haul" me down the table until the the little lights line up with my "little tattoes".   I gather that I MUST be shorter than anyone else there... They also tape my shoes together???
Then they leave. Then this machine goes around me and the sound is just like when you get an xray, but it lasts a lot  longer.  This happens from 4 directions, then the machine moves back, I roll over, and "try" to cover up my butt in the process (the same one that they have just lined up the tattoes on), and every day they tell me to wait until the table gets down before I try to get off. (I think they are afraid I will fall off the high table, but when you are short you get used to getting off high things carefully) That all takes 6 minutes and then someone else comes in.
On Monday we arrived early by an hour and asked if they might squeeze us in as my bladder was full then and would not likely be full an hour later. So they did.
Then I got to thinking....I wonder if they ever get the wrong patient. WHAT if I get radiation to my brain....or something else unexpected?
So the next day, I asked them, if they ever get the wrong patient. ( I guess that was a little "forward" of me). They said that someone would have to do it intentionally it would be so hard to do. They have my photo ID that comes up with my "recipe" that tells the machine what to radiate.  So I felt better.

Ken and I are hanging out in our van this week, one thing about chemo and radiation, there is a lot of nausea associated with it, and I have a tendency to "associate" the nausea with my surroundings. The restaurant next to La Quinta, is a great restaurant, great salads and meals, but we went there the night after first chemo and I cannot stand to go in there now the place just nauseates me....
I am starting to feel that way about La Quinta., we are having fun staying  in the van. We have been staying out at Riverbend hospital, they have plugins for Rvs.

I had my appointment with genetic counsellor today, and found it extremely informative.
I went in there with the concern that my sister and I both had a endometrial neoplasms, hers more of a precurser, mine full blown, and that my mother and grand mother both had breast cancer. My understanding was that the BRAC 1 and BRAC 2 gene defects  also involved the endometrial cancer, but apparently this is not the case and the breast cancer is only significant,(as far as genetic testing is concerned)  in women who develop it at a younger age.  So it is unlikely that this is genetic, related to my mothers breast cancer. HOWEVER there is another genetic gene defect called the "lynch syndrome" that involves endometrial cancer and bowel cancer.  I have a cousin on my fathers side who died last year age about 49 of bowel cancer, and my sister and I both having this endometrial cancer/precancer at a young age could be related.
She thought it would be worthwhile to test for Lynch syndrome as it would alert family members to test more frequently for bowel cancer.
So that was somewhat interesting.  Not that I want to have another colonoscopy..........ever..  :)

peace and love
janet bates
jankenb @

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