CSN Login
Members Online: 20

RADADTION

connie_62257's picture
connie_62257
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2008

IM GETTING READY TO GET MY MASK MADE FOR RADADTON AND I WAS JUST READING SOME OF THE STORY ON IT....IM SCARED

MLC53's picture
MLC53
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

connie, yes it can be a scary thing, but you can get through it. i was scared in the beginning too, my rad doc prescribed ativan for me to take daily at approx 1/2 hour before the radiation treatments. it helped to relax me quite a bit. i got finished with my radiation in june and am now in post treatment recovery.

connie_62257's picture
connie_62257
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2008

thanks for the repley.. they made the masks today an it wasnt as bad. im just glad that part is over it will be about 2 weeks now when i start the radation.. good luck on your recovery... and thanks

BugHunter's picture
BugHunter
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

Hi Connie,

I wish someone had told me what they were doing when they made my mask! They just laid me down and went at it. What will most likely happen is this:
1) they will get you set with your head in the cradle on the linear accellerator table.(sp?)
2) The mask is a plastic with many holes (slots) in it. It will be heated so it will stretch and then will be fit over your face and in my case all the way to mid chest.
3) with your head in your new mask and attached to the table, they will take several series of pictures to be sure you are properly lined up so the radiation will contact the exact same spot every time. For me the whole shootin match took about 45 minutes.
4) BE VERY SURE that you are comfortable on the table as they can NOT let you up until all the pics are done or they will have to start over from the begining!
Don't sweat it, it will scare the snot of you the first time but trust me, after a treatment or two you will all but fall asleep on the table, really nothing to be scared of, just got to get use to it!

Wishing you all the best during treatment and recovery~!
Please keep us updated on how you are doing......

BILL

connie_62257's picture
connie_62257
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2008

i got my mask made today. they did just as you said but i got an iv in and they shot me with some dye then ran me thru the scan i do have a port but they didnt want dye running thru it.. but thanks alot for your repley it helped a bunch..

BugHunter's picture
BugHunter
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

OOPS!
I'm sorry Connie, I forgot about the dye part! Glad it went well for you!

BILL

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I don't blame you at all for being afraid. Despite what others will tell you, and have told you, depending on your personality this might be the scariest part of your cancer 'experience'.

I agree with the respondent who advised having your doctor prescribe something to calm you down. In my case, it was valium. I took it, religiously, one hour before, and as time went by, was able to wean myself. But I tell you, in my case, anyway, that took quite awhile.

Also, my mask was not applied in the same way as described by others here. Maybe I was at an old-fashioned hospital (or that I was so freaked out I didn't notice what others have noticed :)), but what happened was that I was laid down on a board, and they applied a hot, wet, substance to my face and upper torso, sort of like papier mache or melted fiberglass.

It did not come with holes pre-cut for eyes or nose or anything of the sort that I noticed at the time. In fact, while they made eyeholes while the thing was still hot, only later did cut out breathing holes for my nose and my mouth.

If you are claustrophobic to any degree, I strongly advise that you get something in advance to help you with it.

Other than that, it's a breeze. :) I asked them to play music for me, and I used the music to measure my time in the mask every day. That helped me to focus on something other than the event itself.

I have a web page on here, and I try to describe the experience as honestly as I can on there. Please read it if you have the time.

Obviously, we all have our own distinct experiences with 'THE MASK'. In the end, you will be happy that you went through it, even if you are never happy with the experience itself.

In the meantime, also be advised to take precautions against burns to your face and, in particular, your torso. I used something called biafine (sp?). My wife is an RN and a wound care specialist, and she insisted on this. She would apply it the night before, and then immediately following the rads. Always check with your doctor first, of course, but see about something like this that you can use to avoid burns: this is PARAMOUNT!!!

Otherwise, just lie back and enjoy your personal tanning salon, my friend! :)

Good luck. My thoughts are with you.

Take care.

connie_62257's picture
connie_62257
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2008

mine mask was white and it had a lot of hoes in it i guess they gave me something they put an iv so they could put that dye in but i slepted all the way home and the rest of the day ill see how i feel when i get my first treament if im still nervis like i was today im gonna ask for something it was scary . im glad that part is over now i just got to get thru radation... thats for the repley

3_Putt
Posts: 19
Joined: Sep 2007

It's really not as bad as it seems. I was given Valium, but after a couple of treatments I stopped taking it and I'm as claustrophobic as they come.

Here a some pics of me and the mask. Scroll down and you'll see them.

http://www.howstom.com/fullstory.htm

I was only on the table for a few minutes. I would count 14 clicks of the machine. From the time I parked the car, till I was back in ready to go home was usually no more than 20 minutes.

I was lucky. The cancer center was in a separate building and I could park right near the front door :)

connie_62257's picture
connie_62257
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2008

im 2 hours from where i get my treaments ,,barns cancer center st.louis mo .,, and it takes a few min to get to where i have to go . im just glad that part is over they didnt offer me any thing but i think they gave me something to relax me..lol i slepted all the way home the the rest of the day..... thanks for the repley they say i will only be there an hour tops..

mom674
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2008

hi. i had my mask made last week. will have first of 30 next week. i'm very worry about reactions. also, my 1st of 2 chemo treatments is next week too. i'm trying to be positive but really want to go hide. sdvice?

nwman7
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2007

Connie; I have had two 30 day radiation treatments; 4 masks. MAKE THEM; NO INSIST THAT THEY TRY TO PROTECT YOUR THYROID GLAND AND SALIVARY GLANDS. YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE LONG AND NEED A GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE.WRITE ME ANY TIME. I HAD THE PORT PEG TUBE ETC.IHAVE MADE THREE YEARS AND I WISH I HAD KNOWN THOSE FOOLS WHO CALL THEMSELVES DOCTORS WERE GOING TO DESTROY MY SALIVARY GLANDS AND THYROID NEEDLESSLY. TALK TO THEM ABOUT MY WARNINGS!!!!!!!

BugHunter's picture
BugHunter
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

I think you are being a little unfair to the Dr's. In many cases there is no way around doing some damage to surrounding areas. Any head and neck radiation is going to have an effect on salivary glands, some more than others and the thyroid is always at risk in these cases. I have to think your Doctors did everything they could to avoid damage, but sometimes it is a "casualty of war" if you will. I know how easy it is to become bitter at the treatments and those who preformed them but there is no need to stoop to name calling and scaring people about to go through all of this just because you didn't get the exact outcome you wanted. Trust me, we ALL have a very dry mouth and more thyroid check ups than we wanted, but as for me, I will deal with it as it has me alive and able to be here today.

Just my two cents worth,

BILL

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network