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Mask Fitting Today

jcortney's picture
jcortney
Posts: 426
Joined: Sep 2012

Well, I must say that for me, the build up was way worse than reality. I'm a bit claustrophobic so I was expecting a really bad event with a Freddy Kruger style hockey mask that was so restrictive I was going to need something a lot stronger than Adavan to keep me on the table. What really happened was they put this damp net over my face and it and I felt just fine. I was astounded.

So, you folks that are just beginning, whatever it is, it might not be as bad as it sounds.

Joe

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3069
Joined: May 2012

Joe,

I didn’t take 1 Lorazpam, 30 minutes before rads for nothing, did I?

I got the warm wash cloth feel, but never liked it. I liked the oldies rock music, and the counting of the seconds, the line-up lasers were cool, the size of the machine was impressive, my technicians were outstanding, but the mask was a challenge (for me).

Good luck, keep swallowing and drinking water

Best,

Matt

jcortney's picture
jcortney
Posts: 426
Joined: Sep 2012

Matt,

I think it was all about expectations. I was expecting something so truly horrific that when it wasn't, the relief was almost palatable.

Speaking of music, that was what I forgot to ask, can I use an iPod or will the RADs fry it?

Keep the faith.

Joe

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 3069
Joined: May 2012

Joe,

I imagine you could use an iPod, but then you couldn’t hear anything if someone yelled “run for your life” and yes take your coffee in with you to keep it warm..

For the most part it is uneventful, you get use to it. The challenge is not over thinking things when your throat and mouth wanted to stay home. I had a complete procedure before donning the mask prior to zap time. Once and only once they left the music on from the person in front of me and I thought this “new age” crap is going to kill me before the cancer does.

You will do fine, you already have a better attitude then I did.

Best,

Matt

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

It wasn't the most horrible experience but I didn't love it. I did take Valium and then continued to take it for about 2 weeks until I decided to put on my big girl pants and do it without the meds.
I was told no on the iPod because it may make the mask fit differently since I wasn't wearing them when the mask was made. You wouldn't want to wear them for the making of the mask because they'd get wet. It's ok tho because they had many cd's to choose from. I would always know when treatment was almost done as soon as I got to the end of the 4th song. It really does help pass the time to have music. Good luck with your treatments :-)
Billie

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8100
Joined: Sep 2009

I hated it, to me it was like waterboard torture LOL...

I didn't have anything for the fitting.

And that was nearly 3 months before I started rads. They fitted me before my nine weeks of chemo. So the entire time of the initial chemo, all I thought about was that dreaded mask.

So by the time I really did get bolted to the table, I had to take Xanax the first week.

But it made me a little too lethargic later in the day.

So I started cutting it in half on day 2. By the end of the first week, I was use to the routine and didn't need it any longer.

My facility had a CD player... I just brought in a CD and it worked great.

It gave me a reference of time. I knew in 4 - 5 songs max that I was done for the day.

But you do quickly learn the routine of the process, every position of the machine, every click, whirl, buzz, and best of all...when it was turned off, LOL.

Best,
John

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Yep John, you nailed it. I even counted my beeps before.....ugh 176 is not my favorite number

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3822
Joined: Mar 2012

then when they put that nice warm wet washcloth like thing on my face, thought..."well, this isn't so bad". It's a little different when the warm washcloth is hard as a rock and just as "form fitting".

My Oncologist was one who gives Amifostine to preserve the saliva glands...so everyday before I went to rads, I had to stop by the Oncology office to get hydrated and get my Amifostine shot...AND, because that drug causes nausea, I got a half an Ativan every day right before rads, which made it so I rarely heard the second song...and I'd jump when they were taking the mask off because I had dozed off.

My advice is...for the first day maybe take an Ativan, so you can get a feel for the mask as it will be for the next 7 weeks...then like John, you may decide that you don't need it. That's my 2 cents :).

p

ToBeGolden's picture
ToBeGolden
Posts: 697
Joined: Aug 2010

The best part: I found the fitting for the mask was worse than any of the treatments. Reason: the fitting took 20 to 30 minutes (or so it seemed). Each treatment is just a couple of minutes under the mask.

Hint: I had them hold the mask over me. But I wiggled a little before it was fastened down. This only took about 5 seconds. It avoided getting the nose squashed if the mask was not aligned quite right. If the mask is pinching, speak up. All the kinks get worked out in the first couple of treatments. Rick.

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1343
Joined: Aug 2010

so happy it went so well for you

my thoughts are.... everyone needs to know what the worst feelings are so that if they happen they are not surprised and say.... no body told me that. so much better for everyone if it all turns out to be better than expected.

i will say, i do not exaggerate and just share what happened to me.

i sure hope everyone's experience in the mask fittings is as good as yours.

john

now i am praying the treatments as just as easy for you Joe

blackswampboy's picture
blackswampboy
Posts: 341
Joined: Jul 2012

heh, I had to have two masks made.
they had to hack a big piece out of the first one when I developed a bulbous staph infection on neck and the mask wouldn't fit anymore. two rather strong women were putting everything they had into getting that mask on me. not fun at the time, but funny now.
after that, they gave me a second fitting.

I was actually kinda expecting to get a third one after they drained the infection and neck went back to original size. then I would've had the set: workplace, casual, and formal, lol.

best wishes!

AJW1966
Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2012

I remember that fitting. I kinda liked the feeling having the warm mask formed over me. Today i finished 30 rads and i wanted to stomp the crap out of that thing! lol!
I had no problems with it, just put on some Beethoven and off to dream land.
I recommend that you use Calendula Cream for your skin. Doctors and nurses were very pleased with how my neck looks and so am i. Got brown and peeled a little but no cracking or bleeding and little to no discomfort.
Use it as much as you want, i used it 2-3 times a day minimum.
All the best and God Bless

Alan

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3822
Joined: Mar 2012

First...CONGRATS on finishing your radiation....gawd, that was one of the best days of my life!!! I thought of running my mask over with my Jeep by the time rads were done. I can't believe they actually handed it to me like it would be a lovely souvenier or something.

Joe...I used the Calendula cream, too....and I think I made it thru rads a lot better for it also. I bought the kind for diaper rash at the Health Food place...it was on the list of things to have on hand given to me by my Rad Onc. Doesn't hurt to have it on hand...I had lots of things on hand for just in case...some things I only used once or twice, others I don't know if I'd have made it as well without.

p

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1497
Joined: Nov 2011

Glad it went well ...thanks for sharing and now on to NED!!!

Best,

Tim

hrowe
Posts: 51
Joined: Oct 2012

Not sure if they would allow an ipod during treatment? (I doubt it) but most Linac rooms have music pumped in. Mine had Pandora with several channels to choose from that the tech could set, or I could bring a CD.

Music is a must!

I kept my mask. It looks like primitive art. Still sitting in the closet.

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