First week was harder than I thought it would be. But it was capped off with the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk so all in all, a very good week. Kelsey surprised me with a lot of unexpected guests and it was great to see everyone together in support.
This is what my face looks like after treatment. I have to wear a mask to stabilize my face during radiation. It’s white plastic and has little holes all over it to allow for breathing. They made it in two parts and when I lay down on the table, they seal the two halves together. It’s tight. The first time they put it on me, I thought I couldn’t breath. I have to calm myself every time and just focus on breathing slowly. The other thing is I’m laying face down so it makes it that much harder to breath.
The actual x-rays only last for about a minute, but I’m in the mask for 30-45 minutes. I’m also supposed to lay on my hands to prevent any additional movement. They have music playing so that helps, but I’m also wearing ear plugs so it’s muffled.
Treatment is 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Each day they zap my brain from two different angles. There are three angles total, but they rotate them around to avoid as much damage to healthy tissue as they can. This is also where proton comes in to save some more healthy brain. If I was doing photon, it would have to exit my brain and would almost certainly exit from my temporal lobes. That controls short term memory among other things.
Unfortunately, radiation has to enter somewhere so I won’t be without any loss. Hearing in my left ear sounds like the worst of it. I’ll have temporary side effects including fatigue (already feeling it week 1), hair loss (the mane is still looking good), loss of appetite (nothing yet, sort of). While I haven’t lost my sense of taste yet, I have already been feeling nauseous. Dr Rockhill says with the part of the brain we’re treating, that’s expected. It kicked in Thursday and last through the weekend so we’ll see how week 2 goes.
Here are some pics from the walk…