The first day was Monday. Drove down earlier in the day for the 8:45 AM appointment with almost no idea what would happen.
When you get to the cancer clinic, they give you a card to scan in so the nurses know you are there. They call your name or come get you and you go back to the radiation room.
When I went down earlier, they measured me for the “radiation mask”. (huh?)
They fit it over your face and strap it to the table so your head and neck won’t move. Then the radiation machine rotates around your head and whirls and clicks and beams radiation at you.
I swear I was expecting Auric Goldfinger to come out and say, “I expect you to die!”
The process lasts about 20 minutes. They play music while you are in there. My first day the nurses asked me what kind of music I liked and I responded with Classic Rock so they put Journey on. Really? I found a Jimmy Buffett CD in their stack so we have since settled on that.
After that, K and I went over to check into the “Hope Lodge”. This is a place for out-of-town cancer patients to stay, for free, during their treatment. It was originally sponsored by Winn Dixie but I am not sure WHAT happened but when I took the tour, the girl showing me around made it a point to let me know that Winn Dixie DOES NOT SPONSOR THEM ANYMORE. I sensed some ill will and unresolved issues.
They have 48 rooms that are broken up to a small sitting area and a bedroom with two twin beds. Most patients have a caregiver with them so they get the extra bed. There are no TV’s in the room because they want the patients to get out and about. There is internet but only hardlined to the wall. They have a huge kitchen area with refrigerators and freezers for people to bring and cook their own stuff. They also have a 9pm curfew. So as I was talking to the Asst Director and she told us this, I asked if I were at a movie or out to eat, then is after 9pm ok? She didn’t smile and told me that at 9pm they lock the doors and if I were late, I would have to work it out with the night security and they may or may not let me in. Oooooooo K. (I think they are serious about that 9am thing.)
After the tour and check in, on to the grocery store and by then it was time for another treatment. When the radiation treatments are over, it feels like you have been riding in a back seat for an hour or two.
Next up….Fun with Chemo!