the ark

Radiation is rather uneventful. Judging by the word, you would think I would have a long, energy-charged story of epic proportions. Energy-charged, yes, but not epic.

We arrived in Hollywood at about 1pm. The treatment rooms (about 8 of them) have different names. As I approached mine, it was the only room with a biblical name. It is called “The Ark.” As you well know, the ark was what God used to save Noah and his family from calamity. I thought it providential that this room would, in some sense, be my ark. The sign next to the door was encouraging as well.

Shortly thereafter I was being lined up on the treatment table. Using some green laser lights, they lined up my tatoos to the machine. Then they put my mask on. The mask is a mesh material that fastens to the table, over my face, to keep me from moving my head during treatment.

After a couple of x-rays, I was approved for treatment. For some reason all the therapists left the room. You know—”It’s very safe… but we’ll be in this protective chamber watching you on camera!” A few seconds later, a buzzing sound started and continued for less than a minute. The machine then rotated around me and buzzed again for less than a minute.

Then the therapists came back in the room, untied me, and said, “That’s it—we’ll see you tomorrow.” Seems strange that something so dramatic could be so simple. I felt nothing, and was done quickly. The rest of the afternoon, I unpacked stuff with Dana in our “Kaiser Apartment” near the hospital.

Physically I’m still weak—weaker than I expected at this point. Chemo damage is clearly going to hang on for a while. My biggest challenge right now is a heavy chest and cough that gets worse at mid-day. By the early afternoon each day I’m a whipped puppy. Over the coming days, radiation is supposed to make me weak too—we’ll see.

Below I’m posting two more pics of CT scans that I hadn’t seen yet. The first shows a front view of some of my cancer as it was in September. Not all the affected areas are shown here, but the ones that are, I highlighted in red. The second picture shows the same exact areas now—completely normal.

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3 Responses to the ark

  1. Edna Clinton says:

    I think I found the link to your blog via Facebook (Lymphoma club) but I’m not sure. It has been an inspiration and I only wish I would have found it before. I was also diagnosed with HL stage 2A in Dec/10 and finished radiation last friday and although it wasn’t fun I would say it was easier than chemo. Hope your treatment goes smoothly and with little or no side effects. Keep fighting, with God help will win the battle. Also, is there any way to contact you with a PM?
    Best regards.

  2. Alaina says:

    My little brother says that instead of driving to Hollywood for radiation, you could just spend a few days in Japan. :D

  3. Mary Wagler says:

    About the x-ray pics…praise God for the improvement!!!!!

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