Next Wednesday is the big day

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Next Wednesday is the big day. Chemo and rads. Will do the weekly Cisplatin on Wednesday's, hydration sessions on Monday and Friday, rads Monday thru Friday. The duration will be 6weeks.

Got fit for my mask today. Couldn't do the long mask. I have obstructive sleep apnea and the mask part around the neck felt like I was being strangled. Fortunately they let me do the short mask.

My question of the day is... What will I feel during radiation?
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  • meaganb
    meaganb Member Posts: 244 Member
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    Nothing. It doesn't hurt at
    Nothing. It doesn't hurt at all to get radiation. The most uncomfortable part about it is the mask but if you are nervous make sure you take an Ativan or something to relax you. It's really a very uneventful 10-15 min. They play music for me so I sing along in my head, sometimes I pray...lately I've been dozing off during treatment because I'm so tired:)
  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    #1
    Hi tuffenuff,

    Short mask, what is that? Oh well, any mask is too much mask in my book. I did not think to play the sleep apnea card, good job (just kidding).

    For me, during the first minute or two, the technicians were going through the prezap mode of the machine. When they start to radiate you the machine (mine) would buzz during each dose. If you count the doses you will be able to predict when you are finished. For me, just prior to treatment conclusion, a (red) lineup laser would cross close to my right eye and I would know it was almost time to let go of the straps.

    As for anxiety, I took one Lorazapam, it helped. The mask always sucked, but was very tolerable. I always wiggled my head (a little) to make sure the mask fit properly. If it hurts, or is to snug, raise your arm and let the technicians know, they will remove and refit (worked every time for me). The problem is, you have a mouth piece in and you can not talk.

    Always listened to 60’s and 70’s rock for me. I would count tell the first zap, but that bugged me when the setup took to long and my counting got so high. My wife told me to count slower, shazam that worked. I could not drift or dream or concentrate on too much, I was at the mercy of my own mind (which worked for me).

    Take care, good luck, try to relax, prayers coming at you,

    Matt
  • patricke
    patricke Member Posts: 570
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    RAD ZAP
    Hey tuffenuff, I didn't feel anything physically, and I am sure that you won't feel anything either. Just take yourself to your happy, peaceful place in your mind during the session and you will be fine emotionally too. I'm glad to hear that you've got the ball rolling.

    PATRICK
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    Rads are completely painless....
    the mask is painless, yet uncomfortable....I always have 1/2 a lorazapam in me when I get my rads...it just flys by...next thing I know they are done.

    p
  • tuffenuff
    tuffenuff Member Posts: 277
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    CivilMatt said:

    #1
    Hi tuffenuff,

    Short mask, what is that? Oh well, any mask is too much mask in my book. I did not think to play the sleep apnea card, good job (just kidding).

    For me, during the first minute or two, the technicians were going through the prezap mode of the machine. When they start to radiate you the machine (mine) would buzz during each dose. If you count the doses you will be able to predict when you are finished. For me, just prior to treatment conclusion, a (red) lineup laser would cross close to my right eye and I would know it was almost time to let go of the straps.

    As for anxiety, I took one Lorazapam, it helped. The mask always sucked, but was very tolerable. I always wiggled my head (a little) to make sure the mask fit properly. If it hurts, or is to snug, raise your arm and let the technicians know, they will remove and refit (worked every time for me). The problem is, you have a mouth piece in and you can not talk.

    Always listened to 60’s and 70’s rock for me. I would count tell the first zap, but that bugged me when the setup took to long and my counting got so high. My wife told me to count slower, shazam that worked. I could not drift or dream or concentrate on too much, I was at the mercy of my own mind (which worked for me).

    Take care, good luck, try to relax, prayers coming at you,

    Matt

    What kind of mouthpiece did
    What kind of mouthpiece did you have in?

    The short mask stops right under your chin. Neck and shoulders are still free :o)
  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    tuffenuff said:

    What kind of mouthpiece did
    What kind of mouthpiece did you have in?

    The short mask stops right under your chin. Neck and shoulders are still free :o)

    mouth piece
    Tuffenuff,

    Yikes, I don’t know what kind of mouth piece I had; it came with the mask (made at the same time). It was fitted to my teeth and had a breathing tube sticking out of it a few inches long (pretty ugly). Maybe you do not have one, lucky you.

    May you have the gentlest radiation treatments ever.

    Matt
  • tommyodavey
    tommyodavey Member Posts: 727 Member
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    Rads are completely painless....
    the mask is painless, yet uncomfortable....I always have 1/2 a lorazapam in me when I get my rads...it just flys by...next thing I know they are done.

    p

    If you ever wanted to..
    Start meditating then this is the time. You will have anywhere from five to 20 minutes of radiation each session. I used that time to finally try to meditate. Just concentrate on your breathing and if your mind wanders, bring it back to the breathing. Nice and steady breaths and next thing you know you'll either be really relaxed or dozing off. I was a nervous wreck my first time and didn't even think to pose that question here. Sure wish I did. It is a non issue. BTW, my rad time was 11 minutes. The set up can take some time though. They have to make sure you are in the correct position and sometimes stop rads and come out to adjust you again. None of that bothered me at all. All my techs were fantastic so that helped.

    Unlike Phrannie, my mask was quite comfortable. If it is uncomfortable, say something so they can adjust it.

    Phrannie, did you tell them it's uncomfortable? It should not bother you at all.

    It will be over in no time although while you're going through it, it doesn't seem that way.

    Have no fear, all will be good,

    Tom
  • tuffenuff
    tuffenuff Member Posts: 277
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    If you ever wanted to..
    Start meditating then this is the time. You will have anywhere from five to 20 minutes of radiation each session. I used that time to finally try to meditate. Just concentrate on your breathing and if your mind wanders, bring it back to the breathing. Nice and steady breaths and next thing you know you'll either be really relaxed or dozing off. I was a nervous wreck my first time and didn't even think to pose that question here. Sure wish I did. It is a non issue. BTW, my rad time was 11 minutes. The set up can take some time though. They have to make sure you are in the correct position and sometimes stop rads and come out to adjust you again. None of that bothered me at all. All my techs were fantastic so that helped.

    Unlike Phrannie, my mask was quite comfortable. If it is uncomfortable, say something so they can adjust it.

    Phrannie, did you tell them it's uncomfortable? It should not bother you at all.

    It will be over in no time although while you're going through it, it doesn't seem that way.

    Have no fear, all will be good,

    Tom

    I basically was on the verge
    I basically was on the verge of freaking out with the first mask. They tried to adjust it but it was just not working. The second one is do-able. I just hope to god I don't get an allergy attack and have to sneeze. I'll break my neck!

    I'm also a little nervous about the sessions that will happen the day of and day after chemo. I doubt I will be sick since I will have every nausea means am only doing weekly Cisplatin, but I'm still concerned. I know they are in the next room but I would freak out for sure if I started feeling queasy.

    I'm sure all of it isn't as bad as I imagine it to be.
  • tuffenuff
    tuffenuff Member Posts: 277
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    CivilMatt said:

    mouth piece
    Tuffenuff,

    Yikes, I don’t know what kind of mouth piece I had; it came with the mask (made at the same time). It was fitted to my teeth and had a breathing tube sticking out of it a few inches long (pretty ugly). Maybe you do not have one, lucky you.

    May you have the gentlest radiation treatments ever.

    Matt

    I think I get to skip that
    I think I get to skip that part. Which is good because I can't even snorkel without nearly hyperventilating lol!!!

    My mask has holes large enough to breathe through. I mean, they feel too small but in reality it's enough for breathing.
  • Kent Cass
    Kent Cass Member Posts: 1,898 Member
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    tuffenuff said:

    I basically was on the verge
    I basically was on the verge of freaking out with the first mask. They tried to adjust it but it was just not working. The second one is do-able. I just hope to god I don't get an allergy attack and have to sneeze. I'll break my neck!

    I'm also a little nervous about the sessions that will happen the day of and day after chemo. I doubt I will be sick since I will have every nausea means am only doing weekly Cisplatin, but I'm still concerned. I know they are in the next room but I would freak out for sure if I started feeling queasy.

    I'm sure all of it isn't as bad as I imagine it to be.

    Tuffe
    Yes, can be a bit on the uncomfortabe, but your's might be different. Like Phrannie, I did 1/2-tab about 1/2-hour before the scheduled start- for me it was Xanax. Most rad places have sessions lined-up, so they don't appreciate delays, but you do what you gotta do. I would down my Jevity a couple hours before, and I was one who had very little nausea issues. Did have to stop them once in the first week, but only once. Can get a bicycle horn at Walmart for $5, and take that with you to hold and use in the case of problems to get their attention, though I think they're kinda watching you. Session lengths vary, according to the number of places getting zapped, and whether or not they also do xrays, but once you get used to it- like John says- it becomes like Groundhog Day. I never felt a thing during the sessions, though the burns does become something that you'll need to put Aquaphor or Silvercream(?) on- does help.

    These rads are gonna make you well, tuffenuff, and maybe try to focus on that. For me, I found a position to hold my teeth/jaw in, listened to the zapping and my breathing, and counted the zaps- the counting became kinda like a game, of sorts. Rads are just a little something that rides with you for a short while, daily, on your travels down the road of tx to the Survivor result, tuffenuff. You will get there.

    Believe

    kcass
  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
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    tuffenuff said:

    I basically was on the verge
    I basically was on the verge of freaking out with the first mask. They tried to adjust it but it was just not working. The second one is do-able. I just hope to god I don't get an allergy attack and have to sneeze. I'll break my neck!

    I'm also a little nervous about the sessions that will happen the day of and day after chemo. I doubt I will be sick since I will have every nausea means am only doing weekly Cisplatin, but I'm still concerned. I know they are in the next room but I would freak out for sure if I started feeling queasy.

    I'm sure all of it isn't as bad as I imagine it to be.

    I went thru all the same fears....
    had them lined out...."what if's" in a list. What if I start sneezing uncontrolably (amifostine causes incredible sneezing fits)...what if I think I'm going to throw up, what if I start coughing, what if I have to suddenly pee...my list was endless. Biggest fear was throwing up. None of these have happened yet. Do start out taking 1/2 an Antivan, if you decide you don't need it down the road...then fine...but it does make it way doable.

    p
  • ToBeGolden
    ToBeGolden Member Posts: 695
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    Masks and Diets
    I needed two radiation sessions. The first was in 2010. Unfortunately, the cancer returned and I needed surgery and more radiation/chemo in 2012. The good news is that my family and the caregivers pulled me through.

    First, the making of the mask was much worse than the treatments. The treatments are much shorter and pain free.

    Eating will become your greatest challenge. You need to find a soft/liquid diet. While you can still eat normal foods, try to find the liquid diets that you can best tolerate. I ate 8 mini-meals per day. I gained 8 pounds rather than lose the 30 that was predicted. Did not need a Peg. Rick.
  • tuffenuff
    tuffenuff Member Posts: 277
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    Just came home from the
    Just came home from the hospital and now have my port! The procedure was pretty uneventful. My shoulder feels like i need to go to the chiropractor but no pain otherwise.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    tuffenuff said:

    Just came home from the
    Just came home from the hospital and now have my port! The procedure was pretty uneventful. My shoulder feels like i need to go to the chiropractor but no pain otherwise.

    Power Port
    If it is like mine was, here's a photo...(when it comes out)... I was de-ported;

    Power Port

    JG
  • tuffenuff
    tuffenuff Member Posts: 277
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Power Port
    If it is like mine was, here's a photo...(when it comes out)... I was de-ported;

    Power Port

    JG

    Lol. Deported.
    Mine is a

    Lol. Deported.

    Mine is a little smaller than that but the same concept.
  • tuffenuff
    tuffenuff Member Posts: 277
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    Skiffin16 said:

    Power Port
    If it is like mine was, here's a photo...(when it comes out)... I was de-ported;

    Power Port

    JG

    Lol. Deported.
    Mine is a

    Lol. Deported.

    Mine is a little smaller than that but the same concept.

    It was pouring down rain today when i left the hospital so I went on Facebook and updated my status to "I have a port in a storm". Cracked myself up.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
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    tuffenuff said:

    Lol. Deported.
    Mine is a

    Lol. Deported.

    Mine is a little smaller than that but the same concept.

    It was pouring down rain today when i left the hospital so I went on Facebook and updated my status to "I have a port in a storm". Cracked myself up.

    Port Jokes...
    After I had mine taken out, I took it to my next visit to th chemo center (routine semi-annual check up).

    My chemo MD was a little more pro-active on the port than I would have liked. She had me keep it in for two years, just incase of recurrence, though she never said it.

    So the girls at the center are used to seeing me every 6 - 8 weeks for the port flush.

    OK, back to topic....

    When I went in for that next check-up, I swung by the chemo center and the girls just knew I was there to have the port flushed....

    So when they asked if I was there for the port flush, I said yes and handed it to them, LOL...

    I had some great chemo nurses...

    My first day there, a nurse walked up and started taking care of me... Her name was Lane. She told me that I could remember her, because she was the "worse" nurse there...

    Her name was Lane Worse..., LOL... my kinda nurse right up front.

    JG
  • katenorwood
    katenorwood Member Posts: 1,912
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    rads...
    Hello ! I had radiation done in Feb, this yr. Mask plainly sucks ! Being tied down to the table is weird too. But treatments go so very fast, and most staff are wonderful ! They do this day in day out. I to used a antianxiety med 1 hr., before hand, it does help. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions and look around the room ! I did and it seemed less intimidating ! Good luck, and if you have side effects treat them right away...lot's of good info for this from your radiologist and their staff. Katie
  • tuffenuff
    tuffenuff Member Posts: 277
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    rads...
    Hello ! I had radiation done in Feb, this yr. Mask plainly sucks ! Being tied down to the table is weird too. But treatments go so very fast, and most staff are wonderful ! They do this day in day out. I to used a antianxiety med 1 hr., before hand, it does help. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions and look around the room ! I did and it seemed less intimidating ! Good luck, and if you have side effects treat them right away...lot's of good info for this from your radiologist and their staff. Katie

    i think i have calmed down a
    i think i have calmed down a bit since the fitting. thats kind of how i operate. one good immediate freakout then my strength comes back. this next two months are going to be really interesting!
  • Ingrid K
    Ingrid K Member Posts: 813
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    tuffenuff said:

    i think i have calmed down a
    i think i have calmed down a bit since the fitting. thats kind of how i operate. one good immediate freakout then my strength comes back. this next two months are going to be really interesting!

    ONE FREAKOUT ALLOWED...lol
    tuff, WE ALL HAD AT LEAST ONE FREAKOUT...now you can concentrate on getting that strength back and fight. It sucks, but it is doable..and someday it will just be a vague memory. Wish you the best of luck.