Hi! I'm on my third day of radiation treatment and my second day of chemo. The radiation hasn't been too bad. It's definitely fast! Today, I tried to time how long it takes: the radiation process itself lasts only 30 seconds for each half of my brain (one minute total). You can add in another minute for the machine to switch from the right to the left, roughly three minutes for me to get positioned on the table and locked in, and maybe two minutes for me to get off the table and hobble out the door. The whole radiation process from start to finish takes a whopping seven minutes, including time spent in idle chatter with the radiation therapists! I still have to ask the doctor how much radiation I'm actually getting. I'm not sure if I'll understand the technical explanation, so Kelly told me I should just ask how many bags of microwave popcorn it would cook up.
As for the chemo, I can only say my hopes for a nausea-free experience ended pretty quickly. It's nothing like biochemo--so far, anyway--but if you think I act distracted the next time you talk to me, don't take it personally. I'm simply trying to will myself into not vomiting all over you.
I'm posting some pictures of the radiation process. The first is of the radiation room. Once I'm on the table and locked into place, the table slides under the arm of the radiation machine and the circular mechanism on the underside of the arm drops down to apply the radiation, first on one side and then on the other. The second picture is of the much ballyhooed head mold. The tape--and more particularly the lines on the tape--indicate the area that is radiated. Every time I look at the head mold, I think of Han Solo in "Empire Strikes Back." I don't know why because there aren't many similarities between my plastic mesh head mold and the solid carbonite block in which he is imprisoned. I'm guessing it's just a delayed manifestation of my boyhood desire to be like the captain of the Millennium Falcon. : ) The third picture is of me on the table, locked in place. If you look closely, you can see me smiling for the camera.
In a random aside, I'll probably watch some football this weekend. Nebraska plays USC in the big game of the day. In case you don't know, I've never been a big fan of Coach Callahan. But I may undergo a conversion if the Huskers manage to eke a win. Notre Dame also plays Michigan on Saturday in what is undoubtedly the most pathetic meeting ever of the two winningest teams in college football history. At least Notre Dame has a chance to win this one.