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What did you do with your mask?

Mikemetz's picture
Mikemetz
Posts: 342
Joined: Nov 2011

First off, congrats to Nelson for graduating from RC (Radiotheraphy College), with his diploma (mask) proudly displayed in his photo. His post sparked some comments from others about their own mask and what they did with it after their graduation. So, maybe there's enough for a new thread.

As I left RC for the last time I was asked if I wanted to take my diploma with me. I thought about it for a minute and then just told the tech that I didn't want it. I was pooped, thankful that I had made it through, and just wanted to go home and take a nap. It would have made a great souvenir to show friends, family, and little kids in my neighborhood--but it could also creep them out too much if they might imagine themselves strapped down into it. It was just too much detail about what I had gone through that I didn't want others to know about.

My wife suggested that I keep it and use it as part of that year's Halloween costume, but who would "get it" unless I came across another HNC patient, and surely they wouldn't need that kind of reminder on such a fun day.

All in all, it was "good riddance" to that thing for me--and it was time to move on the the next stage of battling the beast.

What did others do?

Mike

hrowe
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2012

Mine is in a spare bedroom closet. Hadn't thought what to do with it? It does remind me of primitive art.

yensid683
Posts: 225
Joined: Apr 2012

I had seen others graduate from their course while I was still in treatment and considered what I'd do when it came my turn to ring the bell and leave the 'torture chamber' for the last time, and so I decided to keep it.

My daughter helped divert my attention during treatments and we'd watch dvd's together on the home theater - my wife objects to the theater filling sound it generates and we'd crank the volume when she was at work. One day my daughter selected the first Harry Potter film and there is a scene where Hermoine suggests to Harry that he look in the restricted section of the Hogwart's libary. Harry opens a book and a face shape pushes out of the page screaming. That image stayed with me through most of treatments and I decided to keep my mask, not as a trophy or for a halloween costume, but to remind me that my daughter, who rarely comments on her feeling to dad, loves me.

P

luvofmylif
Posts: 344
Joined: Sep 2012

My husband brought it home , although, I really didn't want him to. I don't know why , just wanted to leave it behind, kind of like leaving the cancer behind in a symbolic way. He put down in his man cave.

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3691
Joined: Mar 2012

hay dust. My original plan was to run over it with my Jeep a few times, but I just never got around to it.

p

AJW1966
Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2012

you said you have a barn? so i assume you have a garden or field? Maybe make a scarecrow with the mask?
: )

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3691
Joined: Mar 2012

I don't have a garden or any crops...and I can just about guarentee that thing would scare the horses half to death...LOL

p

AJW1966
Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2012

When i finished my last rad i was so exhausted i wanted to muster up the last remaining bit of strength and stomp that thing into the ground but i left it there. I told the Dr "i have a scar that will remind me the rest of my life of what i have been through". Rang the bell and walked away : )

osmotar's picture
osmotar
Posts: 954
Joined: Jul 2011

I have my mask hanging in my bedroom on a coat tree , it's where I also hang the best of my favorite ball caps,...I've started to put different cancer pins or ribbons I've accumulated over the past year on it. I don't hate the mask, it's a reminder of where I've been, strange as that may seem, it's also a reminder of where I'm at today because of it.

Linda

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8076
Joined: Sep 2009

LOL, I thought they were nutz....when they asked me if I wanted it.

I told them in no way did I want it, they could smash it as far as I was concerned.

I saw and experienced way more than I wanted of it.

JG

amy_h414's picture
amy_h414
Posts: 98
Joined: May 2012

My husband didn't bring his home. I asked him if he'd considered taking it with him on his last day and he said HELL NO. He didn't want any more reminders.

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2933
Joined: May 2012

Mike,

Kept mine, after all it has eye holes. If I want to relive the experience and get creeped out I go look at Phrannie’s expressions page.

Matt

rush1958's picture
rush1958
Posts: 197
Joined: Jul 2010

I kept mine and brought it home with me. About 30-days later I took it down to my brother's farm and set it out at about 100 yards. I took my Marlin 30-30 lever-action deer rifle and used up two boxes of shells adjusting my sights and target practicing.

It was extremely theraputic.

Rush

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8076
Joined: Sep 2009

We have a winner....

Best use that I can think of for a slightly worn mask...

JG

NJShore's picture
NJShore
Posts: 411
Joined: Nov 2012

My husband said he definitely wants his, and he said he wants to hang it in the rec room - The only problem I see is my office desk is in that room and it's where I work, not sure how looking at it every day is going to be fun - but he will get what he wants - he's earned that much.

Kari

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

The techs asked me if I wanted to keep mine but I just had no desire to look at it ever again. I felt so bad that last day, I was super nauseas, my neck was burnt on fire and bleeding and I had to leave there and head upstairs for my every other day hydration. I could barely muster up the strength and excitement to ring the bell. Looking back now I still think for me I made the right decision. I don't miss it and if I really need a reminder I have a picture of me in it.
A funny little thing tho....I have a friend who was going thru Hodgkins at the same time as me and he decided to keep his mask. He took it and put it in his trunk and drove away. Well we had been having some abnormally hot weather and it melted!! He took it out to show someone and it was totally distorted, I must admit it was the funniest thing to see it. He then took it back outside and ran it over with his car!
Billie

hwt's picture
hwt
Posts: 1907
Joined: Jun 2012

Like you, Billie, I didn't want any reminders around. I took pastries to the staff, did my last tx, rang the bell and put it all behind me.

bjw1955's picture
bjw1955
Posts: 67
Joined: Apr 2012

I left mine there, my treatment was so bad, didn't want to see it again. bjw1955

staceya's picture
staceya
Posts: 701
Joined: Jan 2010

I gave mine to an artist. She really liked it, but I have not seen what she did with it.
There was a funny comment once on the site about using it as a pasta strainer...

Ingrid K's picture
Ingrid K
Posts: 811
Joined: Mar 2011

Mine is also in a spare bedroom closet, however, it was brought out once since I brought it home 18 months ago. In June 2012, I took it out to an Oral Cancer Foundation Walk and the speaker (another survivor) used it as a show and tell of what happens during radiation treatment for H&N. What a conversation piece it became. I'm already planning to bring it out again next June for the 2nd annual Chicago area walk.
So now I'm glad I didn't leave it behind.

lauralou55
Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 2011

My Dad was diagnosed with stage 2 base of tongue cancer and had about 36 rad treatments which ended October 2011. My Dad is a retired cop. He took the mask home and out into a field and shot bullets in it - lots of them. I think this felt real good for him!

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1531
Joined: Jan 2010

Where is it? Like this!

Deb

donfoo's picture
donfoo
Posts: 1216
Joined: Dec 2012

Even though I have not even started radiation treatment, I think I will put mine on the wall in my office and every time I get frustrated or fed up or feeling like crap, I can just look at that mask and think life is VERY GOOD RIGHT NOW. lol
don

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

That is a wonderful and positive attitude, good for you. Keep it up and treatment will be much easier for you.
Billie

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

I'd planned to use it on Hallowe'en, but had a biopsy that week and didn't mark the holiday.

still think the mask is kind of a cool souvenir, and wouldn't part with it.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1531
Joined: Jan 2010

I set the mask on the asphalt behind the rear tire of my car, backed over it with a satisfying crunch, popped the car into overdrive and blasted out of there!

Deb

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