Today was the day of my CAT scan and my sim appointment. The CAT scan was to check if the cancer has spread to my neck from my head. The sim(ulation) appointment was to get me ready for my radiation treatments.
After my CAT scan. We drove over to the hospital so we’d have time to eat at The Oasis restaurant in Cooper University Hospital before my appointment. They have yummy pizza. The service is a little slow so we ended up bringing most of my pizza and our sodas to the appointment with us. I’ll be there 5 days a week for 6 weeks so I’m sure I’ll get to stop in again.
The sim appointment was equal parts terrifying, panic inducing and uncomfortable. The technician brought me back to the CAT scan room where they attached wire to my head to map out where the scars and whatnot are. They also attached bbs for more mapping purposes. Then they had me lay down on my stomach and put my head down on something like the thing you put your head in at the eye doctor’s. I have to lay with my hands down at my side and underneath me. They they cover your head with a paper mâché-like net mask that will hold you head in place during the radiation treatments. I don’t care how much you trust the person doing this or how nice they are. If you’re the tiniest bit claustrophobic it’s panic inducing at the very least. Then they leave the room and start the CAT scan. They made two different masks of the back of my head, one the regular way and one with bolsters so I was scanned twice. I was uncomfortable and scared my eyes welled up with tears during the first scan. I’m not good with helpless and restrained.
The preparation and scans took a while. I think the whole appointment lasted about 90 mins. It was overwhelming. Because the CAT scan emits radiation (I think) you can’t have anyone back there with you. It’s just you and the radiology folks. I’ve gotten use to the Hubs being with me every step of the way. I don’t know how anyone goes through this alone. It would break me. I’m making it through because the hubs says, “We’ll get through this” when I’m scared. I get through this because my brother and my father said, “We’ll make a schedule” when I told them about my radiation schedule.
I have another simulation, a full run through in two weeks; a dress rehearsal of sorts. My radiation treatments are scheduled to start in early April and last for 6 weeks, 5 days a week for a total of 30 treatments and then, God Willing this will all be over. I’m exhausted but I didn’t want to forget any of this so I wanted to get this post written. Thanks for reading.
~ Carol Anne