1/4 done with radiation - info on IGRT/IMRT

I finished 9 of 36 today. It has been tougher than I expected, and with all the driving every day too, I am not as productive as usual. I'm not on the boards much - I have business things to take care of and my health, so the boards take a back seat for now.

Just like with chemo, we've had to tweak things to get me through. I have found that taking 1 mg Ativan and taking Zofran a half hour before radiation helps a lot. I do have the Zofran headache, but it is not near as bad as the ones I got when I tried Zofran with all the chemo and pre-meds. I'd rather have a headache than uncontrollable vomiting.

I found out that my total number of treatments is set for 36 now. I've done 9. So I have a long way to go.. With last Wednesday off, and Thanksgiving off (plus weekends), I won't be finished until December 5th (if all goes perfectly well on schedule). This is a week longer than I was expecting.

What I am getting done is IMRT, but it is actually with IGRT. I had some people ask me after I posted these on CaringBride and on FaceBook if I would post it to the boards so others could see if they are considering similar treatments.

The machine is like something out of a sci-fi movie. There are a few links below that show how this all works. It is simpler for prostate cancer patients, which is what is shown often on these videos. I have the tatoos (6 of them) and am positioned, but they have to recheck and reposition, treating my abdomen (3 tumors) and my chest (1 tumor) separately. I have a "body mold" that starts at my buttox and goes to the top of my head. The mold was made with my arms over my head, which is where they have to stay during my treatments. It takes two people to line me up perfectly, and sometimes 3 of them. Then the machine moves around me taking the x-rays. They look them over and make sure everything is perfect. Then the radiation starts. The machine adjusts multiple times, making the right shape for the radation to come through for each stop it makes to send the radiation. For my abdomen I get radiation from 7 different locations. For my chest it is only 5 different locations. The side effects are different depending on what area(s) you get radiation.

one example

Another example

Comments

  • smokeyjoe
    smokeyjoe Member Posts: 1,425
    Wow it seems like a LOT of
    Wow it seems like a LOT of radiation over such a long length of time. Thanks for the update!! I have node mets too, so I am most interested in finding out how these treatments are going for you. Keep us posted...
  • idlehunters
    idlehunters Member Posts: 1,787
    smokeyjoe said:

    Wow it seems like a LOT of
    Wow it seems like a LOT of radiation over such a long length of time. Thanks for the update!! I have node mets too, so I am most interested in finding out how these treatments are going for you. Keep us posted...

    Hi Katherine....
    Its so very good to hear from you. It sounds like radiation is going ok even tho its a little rougher than you thought. I think it would be tough to have to hold your arms in that position for that long. Yes...please keep us informed on your progress as I know a few others too that have node involvement. You take care!

    Jennie
  • Annabelle41415
    Annabelle41415 Member Posts: 6,715 Member
    Treatment
    You really have been through a lot with your treatments and can realize that it can be very draining on you, especially with the radiation every day. Hang in there, you have done it before - always easier said than done. Sounds like you are tolerating the chemo better this time too.
    Kim