Thursday, March 5, 2015

Radiation Begins

Rudy began radiation yesterday.  It turns out, he'll have two 14 day sessions.  They'll be weekdays only.  The first session targets two areas in the lower back / pelvic region.  The second session will target his chest / back.  Today, he had the second treatment in the first session.  It took only about 10 minutes.

Yesterday was his first treatment and it took longer.  They let Nancy and I go back with him as they set up.  They took time to explain how things work.

The above photo shows the radiation machine.  There may be a proper medical name for it, but I don't know it.

Once Rudy lays down in the mold made just for him, they line up all the marks on Rudy in the laser crosshairs.  The photo above is not lined up yet, but it's close.   Then they adjust specifically to target the areas they've chosen to go after.

The entire machine rotates.

Information they need is shown on large screens.  Also, they can see and hear Rudy from their room, safely away from the radiation.  The door into the radiation room is super thick - about 10 inches I'd guess.

They do what they can to make the area cheerful.  There are elaborate murals and fun music is playing the whole time.  The funny thing is, it's music you want to tap your toes to, but once situated for radiation, you aren't supposed to move a muscle.

Rudy's two nurse / technicians were cute as could be.  I wish I'd gotten photos of them both.

The radiation treatments haven't hurt and he doesn't seem to be having any issues from it that he can tell.  This is however, the worst day of his chemo cycle.  Tomorrow likely won't be much better. Today, he has been so tired that taking a shower was a major ordeal.  Nancy made him a casserole with cornbread.  Susan baked him muffins.  He hasn't had either yet.  When we got home from radiation, he sat in a chair for a few minutes without even turning on the TV.  Then he gave up and went to bed.  He's still asleep.

He's been having side effects from the pain meds.  He's incredibly groggy on them.  They take his appetite away, which is not good since he's dropped 13 pounds from his recent vomiting episodes.  There more annoying side effects.  We both hope he doesn't have to stay on those long.  He's particularly eager to stop taking them so he can drive his hotrod again.

I sure hope all this pays off by knocking that cancer back down.  I also pray that the immunotherapy starts soon and turns out to be easier and more successful.