After about 5 months of waiting, testing, imaging, and waiting, I’m happy to say that my Stereotactic Radiosurgery is complete. It will be many months and a number of quarterly MRIs before i know if it worked. They say I might have some headaches, nausea, localized hair loss, and several other side effects. Then again, I may have none. In any case, whatever side effect I have won’t happen for one or two weeks. So, as far as I’m concerned, it’s over and it’s time to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Those of you who know just how verbose I can be will be happy to know that I’m too tired to write tonight. Instead, thanks to the camera work of my loving assistant, Patt, and what little retouching I felt like doing tonight, I’ve prepared a little photo essay. So, here goes:
Patt and I always park down near the waterfront and take the tram up to OHSU. Here we are arriving at the Koller Pavilion where the radiation medicine department is housed.
The first person we met with was the RN, Angel. She is very sweet except she’s the one who has to tell me about all the potential side effects. Before my radiosurgery I was taller than she (Kidding!!!)
I did not get to see my Radiation Oncologist until after the procedure. Perhaps that is why my head does not look like it is on straight. At least hers is.
After Angel, my angel, told me everything that could happen after the session, we went into the room with the linear accelerator. Here they told me about the machine and what they would be doing.
Yesterday I mentioned that there was a whole team of people who would make sure everything went well. Here I am with the other members of the team: the Medical Physicist and the Radiation Technicians.
After laying on the bed, they gave me my Freddie Kruger mask (my term, not theirs).
Then they put it on and locked it down….
…and adjusted it. (Is she, like, petting me???)
Finally, before they kicked Patt out of the room, they showed her how they use the imaging to determine the location of the beams.
Then they booted Patt out of the room so we have no more photos except the one that I’ve chosen not to include, when my face looked like a friggin’ waffle after they took the mask off. (You know me, I have no shame, I’ll probably end up posting it one day. Not now.)
There is not much to tell you about the procedure itself. They ran 4 radiation cycles, each in an arc. it took about 45 minutes. I felt fine afterwords. I got to take my mask home as a souvenir.
My angel, Angel, mentioned one other possible side effect. It’s not likely, but I may experience some short-term memory loss. So before I forget that I wrote this I’d better…. uh….. shit.