Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Simulator

Sounds like the title of an episode of Dr. Who, doesn't it?  Watch out, the simulator is coming!!! Actually...a simulator is a really big shiny white machine thing that they slid me into on a thin little bed thing. It's a non diagnostic CT, so I had to drink bitter raspberry flavoured water first, but at least no iodine injection for this one. It is preparation for radiation therapy.
The place; Davidoff Centre, Beilinson Hospital, Petach Tikva.
The time; all frigging morning.
The purpose; to map the path that the x-ray beams will take in order to try to avoid as much healthy tissue as possible.
The method;lie in cobra pose for 15 minutes without moving a muscle ( not kidding) while a jet engine whizzes round my head and body. Well, it whizzes round for 5 minutes or so, then I wait until the technician is satisfied that the position is good, then he comes and tattoos my sides and right on my tailbone. I always wanted a tattoo, but I was thinking of something more artistic. (Lucky I never did one, they might have got mixed up and irradiated my chin or something.) Then I am allowed to claw my way out of cobra pose and fall gracefully off the bed thing, semi arrange my clothing, stumble out of the Tardis and into the NASA command centre it is attached to. On one of the twenty screens I get a brief glimpse of my hip bones; rather nice hip bones when you see them from inside, without the slight blubber layer. Then I am escorted out to wait for the oncologist.
I thought the actual radiotherapy would start immediately, but the technician explained that the planning stage is the most important part of the treatment; if the area isn't exactly right I will have more side effects and the tumour will get less radiation. For this reason the scans they did today have to be checked by a team of physicists, doctors and technicians, and have to pass a final check which confirms the path the beam will take. This takes 9 days, and so the treatment will start on the 18th of December. This is ok according to the oncologist I saw today. The important thing is the response of the tumour, which meanwhile has responded by saying it wants to speak with its lawyer, and would like its one telephone call.
Today is the first day of Hannuka, Happy Hannuka everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I hate those hospital machines - I had an MRI scan on my back earlier this year, which really played havoc with my claustrophobia.

    Two things struck me (not literally):
    1. Big, fat people would never fit in, or might squeeze in but would get stuck and have to wait until they've lost weight to get back out - I bet the MRI machines in America are bigger.

    2. What if the technician or nurse or whoever forgets they you're in there and switches the lights off and goes home for the weekend? There's no way you could climb out. I actually got quite worried about this.

    Happy Hannuka to you too!