You Will Not Glow

The transmitter rotates around my body firing off short bursts. A random spot gets little radiation. My pancreas and environs get hit with every burst! This is a very different type of medical treatment. It’s five days a week for six weeks. I’ll be seeing the same people every day. They run on-time.

Radiation therapy machine. Blue lighting optional.

Helaine and I went to freshman orientation for my radiation treatments today. They start soon. This was a chance to meet the radiology oncologist and nurses, but mostly to find out exactly what this treatment is.

“You will not glow.”

I’m guessing that’s an FAQ for them.

Damn!

I’ll be marked with targets. Every day everything must be in exactly the same position. The beam of radiation is precise. You don’t want to miss.

The transmitter rotates around my body firing off short bursts. A random spot gets little radiation. My pancreas and environs get hit with every pulse!

This is a very different type of medical treatment. It’s five days a week for six weeks. I’ll be seeing the same people every day. They run on-time, or so they say.

The dosing itself takes five minutes. In-and-out in a half hour. Add the drive and it’s an hour (or close) every day for a month and a half. And, of course, other medical appointments continue.

Can someone prescribe me a few hours of extra time, with refills?

Radiation often comes with side effects. I might get fatigued or suffer skin irritation. Because the beam will be near my stomach nausea is also a possibility.

This fits the pattern of all my treatment. Not painful. Just disruptive. I’ll have to schedule the rest of my day around it.

I make a return trip tomorrow. They’ll take my measurements and mark me up. The fun never ends.

13 thoughts on “You Will Not Glow”

  1. You will most definitely feel fatigued and because your pancreas is behind your stomach the radiation must go through your stomach I was very nauseous most of the time
    after my radiation was over I had the worst diarrhea for two solid weeks I was in the ER three times for IV fluids but that was just me

  2. Of course I certainly am confident that this course of radiation treatment is necessary, but I need to ask— couldn’t that much radiation actually cause cancer as well ?

    1. The simple answer seems to be, no. The radiation disturbs the DNA of the cancerous cells. Healthy cells can usually rebuilt, not the cancerous ones. They die off.

      At this point the assumption is there’s no cancer in me. This is to douse anything too small to currently see.

  3. Hi Geoff. I took one of my best friends to all of her appointments. Lung cancer. The radiation was doable for her. Vomited only once in the lobby on the carpet. And this was towards the end of all of her treatments. You got this.

  4. Geoff I had 5 treatments cancer on my right lung is in remession going for cat scan in march and I did not clow oh and I got a little dot tattoo lol

  5. After all you’ve been through already this is an easier situation for you to handle….I went to these sessions in New Haven with my husband and he had some minor stomache problems…of course everyone reacts differently but you’ve got this…prayers going out to you ..Stay positive

    1. Geoff, 5 years ago I had a Mastectomy for right side due to breast cancer. I was scared poopless! All the Dr. appointment, test, meds. I had 27 radiation sessions that were 10 minutes every day. I didn’t have any side effects except for being tired. Luckily they were in my town so I didn’t have to go an hour away. I think you are more than brave and we all appreciate your descriptive views of your treatments. My one wish is that they do find a cure for all cancers and it doesn’t take 400 years. They have the technology and millions of rats to find one. Someone out there knows the answer to this and I pray that it comes soon. May you get thru all the next phase of your treatments without pain, or suffering. Continue your story because we care and Love you! Evelyn Bugaj, Enfield, CT

    1. I agree with that, Cornelia. IMHO, it is the one legitimate use of medical marijuana. People who believe that it alleviates pain are kidding themselves. It is definitely not a pain killer.

  6. Well, Geoffrey, since you have been tolerated everything else so well, you will probably do well with radiation also. Best of luck.

  7. Hi Geoff,

    I’m living in Ohio now, but always watched you for weather reports while living in Shelton. (By the way my girlfriend, Mrs. Archick, tells me she had your daughter in first grade!) we were both first grade teachers.

    I had breast cancer and had to have radiation five days a week for seven weeks. My main complaint was that my breast became so red that I looked like I had a terrible sun burn. I am cancer free now eleven years later.

    I just love New England, land of my birth, and go back every summer for six months. I wondered where you had gone.

    Now may I send you best wishes and prayers. All my best.

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