Marking session

I had a week of relative quietness, but things are on the move again. The Cancer Center called me Monday afternoon to see if I’d be available to do a marking session yesterday morning. Luckily, I have an awesome friend who was willing to take my kids with less than 24 hour notice so it was off to the Cancer Center once again.

This was my first time over on the radiation side of the Cancer Center. This was not a treatment. Instead, it was a marking session. That meant I would be in the machine that would be providing me treatment, instead of the CT scanner used for the first set of marks.

The radiation machine. The whole thing pivots. Notice the blue arm holder in the right hand corner for scale.

The radiation machine. The whole thing pivots. Notice the blue stirrups in the right hand corner for scale.

I had to lay down on a table (with a minimum of padding, I might add), tuck my left arm at my side, and put my right arm above my head.

The table.

The table.

No one is trusted to keep their arm still during the treatment, so you have to put it in stirrups.

The tortuous arm holder

The tortuous arm holder

Once I was in position, I was slid under the radiation machine for X-rays and measurements. This was the opportunity for the techs to refine the marks on my skin based on the doctor’s radiation plan. They projected a ruler onto my skin and read off numbers to each other, taking X-rays every once in a while. It took about a half an hour, and all I had to do was lay there, but by the end my shoulder was yelling at me to please move it. I’m just glad I have no pain from extending my arm over my head anymore, or I’m not sure how I would have made it through the full set of tests. I will admit, I did forget my Valium, so that may have helped. Even this morning, I could feel my shoulder muscle complaining just a bit.

I got a new set of marks and stickers – this time the techs used a green Sharpie.

The marks on my side and up through my armpit.

The marks on my side and up through my armpit.

After a few sessions, to make sure everything lines up the way it’s supposed to, I can get permanent marks instead of stickers. Tomorrow’s the big day when I start radiation. I think I’m ready for it, and not completely dreading the seven weeks of daily treatment anymore.

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