Radiation Therapy mask made for me today

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Robyn64
Robyn64 Member Posts: 124
edited May 2014 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

Hello there,

 

Today I had a ct scan , radiation mask made and an mri done. Its inching closer to the start of my treatment in just over 3 weeks. It was so overwhelming today wearing this mask , I think they added some other things around or near on it and strapped my waist. Going into the mri tunnel with all that on, was absolutely terrifying. They gave me a rubber ball to squeeze if I wanted out. In the first 5 minutes I nearly did, I could feel the panic rising. Lucky my mind started drifting and I managed to hold on for around 30 minutes. They have now told me that if I am too anxious next time , they can give me drugs to calm me, I may take up that offer next time, I feel I will have a panic attack at some point. More appoints next week and an appoint date set for peg insertion which made me cry most of the morning and all the way to the mri appointment :-(  It is all still so unreal.

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  • KB56
    KB56 Member Posts: 318 Member
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    Radiation Mask

    Robyn, the mask fitting was probably the toughest of the times you will wear it as it was wet for the fitting, which made if feel really, really strange, and it took a while.    They asked me when i was starting if I was claustrophobic and I said no, and I'm not but it still took a little getting used to.   Since you can see through the mask, and your treatment will only take 10 minutes or less that you're actually on the table and snappled down, it goes pretty quick.    Some get some meds to relax but I was able to make it through without any meds.    You won't be in a tunnel when you get your rads but a room that is lit and you can see what's going on through the mask.   I would always try and go somewhere else in my mind ( vacations, great times with the family, etc) and you will get to know the sounds of the radiation machine so you will know about how much time is left by how many passes the radiation machine has made over your body (mine did 2, the first was a Scan it does every day and the second pass was the actual radiation and the machine made a higher pitched sound) and the sounds from the machine.    The techs are very sensitive to getting you unsnapped from the table as quick as they can get back in the room to you.     Just take a deep breath before you start, try and relax, and start thinking about being somewhere else for those few minutes.

    The PEG insertion is a piece of cake compared to what you have been through so far.   If will be nice to have if you need it and don't forget to flush it out daily with warm water even if you don't need it (for food) as you want to keep it clean.   The nurse will show you what to do and how to do it and you can also look at some YouTube videos if you forget some stuff.

    I know it's a bit overwhelming right now but as I told you the other day, you're doing the right stuff and checking items off your pre-treatment list one at a time so you can be ready to start.  You will be fine so stay positive and know in your heart and mind that you can and will beat this.   You caught your's early and when you look back this time next year it will just be a distant memory.

     

    Good luck and stay strong,

    Keith

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
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    robyn, glad you made it thru

    robyn, glad you made it thru that.  next time take the meds.  several here did and they made it thru w/o any problems.  you have to do what it takes to get thru this.  will be thinking of you as you start tx in a few weeks.  once you start it will be over before you know it.  we will all be here for you.

    God bless you,

    dj

  • hwt
    hwt Member Posts: 2,328 Member
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    robyn, glad you made it thru

    robyn, glad you made it thru that.  next time take the meds.  several here did and they made it thru w/o any problems.  you have to do what it takes to get thru this.  will be thinking of you as you start tx in a few weeks.  once you start it will be over before you know it.  we will all be here for you.

    God bless you,

    dj

    Robyn

    Going forward, your treatments will be much quicker than you anticipate. Barely long enough to get anxious but many people do take an ativan or xanax beforehand.

  • Robyn64
    Robyn64 Member Posts: 124
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    Thank you everybody

    Thanks everybody, 

     

    Very encouraging to read your posts. I know I will get there , no other option, I just have to.  Thank you.

  • Bunnymom
    Bunnymom Member Posts: 212 Member
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    Robyn

    Looks like I'm just a couple days ahead of you as I had my mask made on Wed (5/28). 

    When I was laying there, the tech told me that molding the mask was like getting a facial. When it was over, she asked me if it felt like getting a facial and I told her, "NO"! Nothing like any facial I've ever had!

    I've cried so much about all of this that I'm almost cried out. All I want now is to get it started and get it over with so I can heal. 

    I know if I can do it, YOU can do it. Feel free to PM me if you want to chat. 

    As Keith says, "Stay Strong" 

    BunnyMom

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710
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    Bunnymom said:

    Robyn

    Looks like I'm just a couple days ahead of you as I had my mask made on Wed (5/28). 

    When I was laying there, the tech told me that molding the mask was like getting a facial. When it was over, she asked me if it felt like getting a facial and I told her, "NO"! Nothing like any facial I've ever had!

    I've cried so much about all of this that I'm almost cried out. All I want now is to get it started and get it over with so I can heal. 

    I know if I can do it, YOU can do it. Feel free to PM me if you want to chat. 

    As Keith says, "Stay Strong" 

    BunnyMom

    keep strong

    You have been through worst bit with mask. For treatment you will not be in very long. I know it must be hard if you feel cramped but Ive just finished week 6 and it gos very quickly. Good Luck , G.

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,723 Member
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    still have my mask

    Robyn,

    I took 1 Lorazapam 30 minutes before mask time.  My mask had eye holes and I came to find it interesting watching the line-up lasers while listening to rock & roll.

    Like all of us, you will find what works best for you and you will make it through.

    Matt

  • Duggie88
    Duggie88 Member Posts: 760 Member
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    Mask

    Robyn

     

    I figured it was only overwhelming if I allowed it to be. I hated the mask and being strapped down but I sent my mind elsewhere for the 15 minutes or so it took to get my treatment. I did however count the 6 stations and getting zapped 13 times each session but kept telling myself this is ridding me of the biggest enemy I ever had. I know it is easier said then done.

    Your right it feels so unreal and one day you will look back and say WOW I can't believe I went through all that but it will make you stronger and a different indidvidual, after all we are all individuals.

          Jeff

  • catfish_58
    catfish_58 Member Posts: 138 Member
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    Mask

    I remeber when I was fitted for a mask they also asked me if I had a preference for music and what I liked to hear I told them classic country and classic rock,And as Keith said it usually only takes about 10 to 20 minutes plus your in the open more or less (no tubes to go through).But I would ask because I think if you'd like they let you bring a cd of your favorite music to listen to,May want to check and see,I kinda like the station they would put it on when I came 1 day classic rock the next classic country,Helped out for me.Hang in there it'll pass before you know it.

  • rkliveson
    rkliveson Member Posts: 15
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    Wed. I finished my 38th

    Wed. I finished my 38th treatment and remember well the day the mask was made.. it was creapy and had me worried but believe me. It is not nearly as bad as it feels the first time you put the mask on.  Do not get me wrong it was not a walk in the park, but the effects of radiation are no fun, but the mask is not to bad.  38 days seemed like it would never end but it did.. So now I need to recover, get stronger and hope the treatment worked.. I know you will be strong and all will be ok..  the unknown is always fearful but the journy will be ok.. good luck and stay strong.

    We fight together

    RK

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
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    rkliveson said:

    Wed. I finished my 38th

    Wed. I finished my 38th treatment and remember well the day the mask was made.. it was creapy and had me worried but believe me. It is not nearly as bad as it feels the first time you put the mask on.  Do not get me wrong it was not a walk in the park, but the effects of radiation are no fun, but the mask is not to bad.  38 days seemed like it would never end but it did.. So now I need to recover, get stronger and hope the treatment worked.. I know you will be strong and all will be ok..  the unknown is always fearful but the journy will be ok.. good luck and stay strong.

    We fight together

    RK

    rk, congrats on finishing

    rk, congrats on finishing tx!!!  that's a huge step in this battle.  now on to healing for you.  doing a happy dance for you.

    God bless you,

    dj

  • Robyn64
    Robyn64 Member Posts: 124
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    Thank you everybody

    I am amazed at everybodys journey here. So much courage amongst you all. I hope I can gain this courage and positive attitude. I was ok when I got told I had cancer, I even accepted it and was quite fine. It was upon seeing the drs about treatment and side effects that sent me over the edge. Im just trying to accept what I am about to go through. I have been advised by 2 friends to take up meditation, has anybody done and if so, has it helped duing treatment ?

    I wish everybodys journey to be a as comfortable and as easy as possible. Take care all and thank you so much for your encouraging posts xxxx

  • Guzzle
    Guzzle Member Posts: 710
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    Robyn64 said:

    Thank you everybody

    I am amazed at everybodys journey here. So much courage amongst you all. I hope I can gain this courage and positive attitude. I was ok when I got told I had cancer, I even accepted it and was quite fine. It was upon seeing the drs about treatment and side effects that sent me over the edge. Im just trying to accept what I am about to go through. I have been advised by 2 friends to take up meditation, has anybody done and if so, has it helped duing treatment ?

    I wish everybodys journey to be a as comfortable and as easy as possible. Take care all and thank you so much for your encouraging posts xxxx

    meditation

    Robyn,entering final week. Just cycled 15 miles. Excercised lightly throughout. This is s bit like meditation to me. Just posted some treatment tips on bunnymoms thread so wont repeat myself but you can do this, G.

  • Robyn64
    Robyn64 Member Posts: 124
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    Guzzle said:

    meditation

    Robyn,entering final week. Just cycled 15 miles. Excercised lightly throughout. This is s bit like meditation to me. Just posted some treatment tips on bunnymoms thread so wont repeat myself but you can do this, G.

    thanks

    Thank you Guzzle. Wont say Im not scared, I am very, going into this unknown..

    I have an appointment this afternoon with a chemo dr to tell me that side of it.  I just hope I dont come home with a huge list of side effects. Still reeling from the side effects list of radiation. I have been strongly advised by my husband and 2 of my friends who dont know each other to take up meditation. I am looking into this, may try.

    I need my mind to be somewhere else during treatment. Even the drs and nurses suggested I take my mind some place peaceful whilst having that mri with mask on.

    Thank you Guzzle for your support. I have never been this scared in all my life :-(

    ** And thank you Guzzle, I read your post to bunnymom. A real inspiration, has given me hope. I have never heard an American use the word "bloke" though, which is our aussie slang.

    Robyn

  • PJ47
    PJ47 Member Posts: 376
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    Robyn64 said:

    thanks

    Thank you Guzzle. Wont say Im not scared, I am very, going into this unknown..

    I have an appointment this afternoon with a chemo dr to tell me that side of it.  I just hope I dont come home with a huge list of side effects. Still reeling from the side effects list of radiation. I have been strongly advised by my husband and 2 of my friends who dont know each other to take up meditation. I am looking into this, may try.

    I need my mind to be somewhere else during treatment. Even the drs and nurses suggested I take my mind some place peaceful whilst having that mri with mask on.

    Thank you Guzzle for your support. I have never been this scared in all my life :-(

    ** And thank you Guzzle, I read your post to bunnymom. A real inspiration, has given me hope. I have never heard an American use the word "bloke" though, which is our aussie slang.

    Robyn

    Hi Robyn

    Meditation really helped me get through the treatments and the pain with the 2 feeding tube surgeries I had during rads.

    I used a relaxation CD driving on the way to rads and then went to a "happy place" on the table.  I used several visualizations during it including

    imagining puppies licking my neck which was fun and healing.  As a result I did not have to take tranquilizers.  I also used deep breathing which I use in yoga.

    Peace,

    PJ

  • Robyn64
    Robyn64 Member Posts: 124
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    PJ47 said:

    Hi Robyn

    Meditation really helped me get through the treatments and the pain with the 2 feeding tube surgeries I had during rads.

    I used a relaxation CD driving on the way to rads and then went to a "happy place" on the table.  I used several visualizations during it including

    imagining puppies licking my neck which was fun and healing.  As a result I did not have to take tranquilizers.  I also used deep breathing which I use in yoga.

    Peace,

    PJ

    thank you

    Thank you so much PJ xx