Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dummy Run

Had my plan verififcation session at the radiotherapy department on Thursday morning. Essentially a dummy run with the radiotherapists in the room making sure the machine is lining up with the right points on my body, but with no actual zapping happening.

Two petitie ladies in white with cold clammy hands manhandle me into position on the back board. A paper sheet has been lain down, for hygiene reasons I suspect, but it keeps most of my back from being in direct contact with the ice cold metal.

One of the therapists has a pen ready.

"Do you get to doodle on me again?", I ask.

"You get drawn on every time we do this" one explains, "It helps us tell the difference between the tattoos and what are simply freckles".

"Unless we can still see the marks from the day before" the other one adds.

As she starts drawing little lines on my boobs, I lie there thinking about what they must think when they get a patient who is still covered in yesterday's pen marks. I guess they get to learn all about people's washing habits. How unpleasant.

The machine has green lights and is different from the CT scanner. It has a large circular dome that starts off above my torso. I can see my belly reflected in the glass and the green laser line bisects me exactly, going through the centre of my belly button.

The dome moves around me on a pre-programmed trajectory. It circles my right side successfully, as the therapists stand there comparing notes.

"I have 96.2, which is good cover"

"I have 85.8, which makes good cover"

It's all greek to me.

As the machine starts to move on it's trajectory to my left hand side, the lead therapist tells me "It may come into contact with your left arm but if it does, please do not try and move yourself. Let us move you instead."

That was slightly worrying, but when the machine did come close to my elbow, the therapist on my left side just inched my arm over slightly. Whether they adjust the trajectory to avoid this happening to me on Monday, when the real sessions starts and the therapists won't be in the room with me, I don't know. I must remember to ask.

Afterwards, when you stand up, it feels weird to be talking to two women as you're half-naked, getting dressed again. Lying down naked feels okay with medical professionals. Standing up chatting about stuff with your boobs out feels plain wrong.

I clearly could never be a naturist...

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

hi honey! i start my treatments tomorrow. i am having the internal radiation, called mammocite i think. i had a balloon like thingy inserted on friday and it has two tubes sticking out of my side.

here's wishing you well, and me too!!!

smiles, bee