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Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

Hi everyone

My dad wanted me to ask a quick quesiton. He is curious why sometimes his rad treatment takes longer then others. When he asked the tech they told him at times they need to takes films or recap. He is fascinated by the machine and wanted to know in more detail what they are doing. So, I told him I would post the question.

The nurses said he is the only patient that finds the machine interesting and not a torture device.

Le me know if anyone has information.

MarineE5
Posts: 747
Joined: Dec 2005

Puma,

When I was getting the radiation, the Tech would tell me from the start that they were going to take a CAT Scan before doing the radiation. Both were done on the same machine. The CAT scan would last maybe 5 minutes and they would do something and then tell me that the Radiation part was about to start.

I forget now, how many times they did this. I had 30 radiation treatments and I think they did maybe 3 CAT Scans during that time.

My Best to You, Your Dad, and Everyone Here

SIRENAF42's picture
SIRENAF42
Posts: 204
Joined: Oct 2008

Once a week, the would do CAT scans before treatment. This would add anywhere from 5 - 10 minutes to my time. I used to watch the machine go around, with my eyes, until my Radiologist Onocologist told me to knock it off that I needed to look straight ahead at all times. He said less damage to my eyes that way, so I listened and stoppe being so nosey. I would count the movements. I knew it would move 8 times. Made time pass by when Id count them down.

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

3 or 4 times for me, also, Kathy. And tell your Dad I understand his noticing a difference.
I think mine was Xray, not CS. For me, it always seemed to happen on a Friday, and one of the techs would have to come-in the room several times to change the film plate. And did see the Rad looking at several of mine one day as I was leaving.

Tell your Dad he's only got a short ways to go, now- he's gonna be all right, Kathy.

Believe

kcass

Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

Thank you!

I know now that my dad is going to be alright. I am so proud of how well he has done through this horrible treatment. He is so determine to continue to eat and get better. When the doctor told him how wonderful he was doing he told me that gave him the courage to continue this batter.

I think you are right that they are x-rays. That is what my dad thought also.

Kathy

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

My IMRT machine didn't perform CT scans as far as I know. I always had them in a separate facility. Also, I always have the contrast injected (two intervals) for the CT. Are you sure that they are not taking X-Rays and you might have mis-interpreted as CT scans?

For me each Monday for the seven weeks that I had radiation they took X-Rays before starting the radiation treatment. The X-Rays were to determine that the mask was still fitting properly and that my positioning was within the measurements needed.

When you start losing weight, if you lose too much the mask loosens up. At that point they have you make another one before further radiation treatments.

John

Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

John,

When you mention the mask not fitting I had to laugh. My dad has only lost two pounds according to the scales, however his pants have been too big for a long time. When my dad left rads today he did not get his shirt tucked back in right or his belt tighten. When he walked in the house his pants dropped to his knees. My mom and I about to crack up.

We told him we were wondering what kind of treatment they were doing to him :) It was good to see him laugh again.

Fire34
Posts: 351
Joined: Feb 2010

I was just like John they x-rayed me before treatment started for positioning. the x-rays then had to be approved by the rad-onc. I they didnt like my position they repositioned me and took more x-rays. After finding the proper position they place a piece of tape on my chest with the color of the corresponding laser to make things faster the rest of the week. I still would occasionally have more x-rays that week just to make sure. Best wishes & Prayers for your dad
Dave

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5656
Joined: Apr 2009

Same here are with everyone else, its normal as they are doing more then just radiation at times. I also got to where I could time each session of radiation during the treatment, built in clock I guess. I used it as a way of focusing on during something while the treatment was going on.

Tell your Dad hello for all of us please

Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

Hondo,

That what he says also. He told me he knows when it is going to take longer. He said that he feels like he know so much about what is going on because of this site.

I remember you made the comment about the chemo nurse being cute. That is very comment he made the other day. He has one in particular that he likes.

There is a nurse in rads that he does not care for. He always hits him in the head with the mask. She is really the only thing that he has complained about.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

Good point Tim, I think that everyone gets into that groove. I always knew where the machine was and counted not only each partial rotation, but the hums of being zapped each rotation. It rotated to nine separate positions, and zapps were anywhere from 8 - 12 per rotation.

When it got to the last rotation and finished zapping me, I could hear it powering down. I'm not sure of the rest of you, but I had a board for my feet and pull straps like bungee cords. I'd push down on the board and pull up on the cords. That was to pull my shoulders down and help (along with bolting my masked head to the table) keep me in the same position each time.

Anyways, they'd always come in and see me already let go of the straps and have my knees elevated. Some would get on me about that, but I told them I knew when the machine had quit. I usually always waited until I heard them open the door anyways. But it was fun to mess with them a little....

JG

Chas616's picture
Chas616
Posts: 11
Joined: Jun 2010

Before you start radiation they do the mapping and make your mask.My mapping consisted of a CT scan and a series of x-rays.From then on they took another series of x-rays every five treatments.Twice the macine was down in the hospital I went for treatment so they sent me to another hospital in the same network. Even though they had my whole plan in their computer they still insisted on another set of x-rays.The computer really devises the whole treatmrnt plan based on the CT scan and x-rays.The lasers in the treatment room allow the radiation to be turned on once your in perfect position.I asked my doctor what they did before they had computers and he said "We just felt around and hoped we hit the right spot."I saw my radiation doc for the last time about a month ago as he is leaving to head up the RO department at another hospital. He said he tells all his patients that the radiation can stay in your system for up to two years.I hope your dad does well it can be very frustrating many ups and downs.I had my last treatment 7/28/09 and I really just started to feel like I turned the corner about a month ago. CHAS.

Kent Cass's picture
Kent Cass
Posts: 1746
Joined: Nov 2009

Very interesting- this 2-year business. The Drs. have been telling me since the 2nd-month, post-treatment, that neither the rads nor chemo is with me, anymore. And, quite frankly, I did question that- as I continued to see my swollen gums, before the swelling finally lessened many months later; and, as I see the tops of my teeth disintegrate, and I lose the back-sides of the teeth (from the top down); and, as Lhermitte's Sign developed many months after my last rad. So, I do truly thank you for this insight, Chas. Just might explain a lot.

Would more than welcome any/all other's info on anything, other than the standard Dr. stance on the chemo and rad durations, that they know of.

kcass

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5656
Joined: Apr 2009

I was told the same thing by my Onclo, I was also told not to go in direct sun light for a year, that one I have not figured out just yet. First thing I did when finish treatment was to get detoxified and purge my body of as much radiation as possible

Take care brother

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

My ENT nor other MD's never said two years, but htey have all implied it would be more than a year. Usually they just refer everything as being several months past the last treatments. My ENT also feels that at least the first year post treatment is a milestone. He has stated more than once that if you make it the first year without re-occurance that odds are that it won't come back....

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5656
Joined: Apr 2009

Glad to have you here with us on CSN, welcome and hope you plan to stay

Chas616's picture
Chas616
Posts: 11
Joined: Jun 2010

I have to say I am a little surprised by some of the time frames doctors give their patients regarding radiation side effects. My ENT told me 4to6 months and things should be back to normal. NOT. Six months after my last treatment he said he didn't like the way I was healing and if there was no improvement on my next visit we should think about another biopsy.Well quess what one month later big improvement. When I told my RO doctor he said no way you should have another biopsy.His advice to me was you dont go back to the hospital unless they see something growing.He was right. On each of my monthly visits there has been steady improvement. Even my ENT said you took your sweet time but at least your improving.The whole radiation thing is so weird. Half way through treatment I started to get Asthma like attacks every once and awhile. Both my ENT and RO told me it was not a side effect of radiation.I've never had Asthma in my life. My wife freaked out and almost called 911 it was that bad.About six months after my last treatment my ENT wanted me to have an endoscopy. After the procedure was over the anesthesiologist told me I started to have difficulty breathing while I was out.From what he told me it sounded just like the non radiation side effect I had before.And what about fatigue? I like to fish.I used to walk the beach with my equipment up and down the dunes no problem. Now after 15 minutes I'm spent. I quess two years may be extreme for some people to still have side effects but I think 6to 8 months is way to conservative.CHAS.

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8058
Joined: Sep 2009

You're right Chas, it's a long ordeal, slow improvements. I can't believe the one guy told you six months back to normal...you still cook for about a month or so after your last rads....

I fish most every week-end also... But it does take awhile to get your stamina back. I'm a year out from nine weeks of chemo, then seven more of concurrent chemo/radiation thrown in for good measure.

I'm a lot better than I was, but in the evening I still get tired. They actually just took another blood sample this week to check my TSH numbers..they've been slowly going up. Hoping they have stabilized, but I should know where their at in a few days.

Anyways, it's a slow road to full recovery that we travel. I know as for my saliva reproduction, taste, the L'Hermitte's sign, differring aches, pains. twitches, etc....they are still improving and like I said, I'm a year post treatment.

John

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