Friday, June 20, 2008

DAY 23- Another Day in Paradise

I finally have a plan in place. Supposed to start treatment on July 7 with a dry run and my first radiology and chemo treatment on July 8. This past week has been crazy . Things are picking up speed. I had to go to a special dentist referred by Kaiser to see if I needed any dental work before treatment starts. Looks good - that is a relief. The radiologist wants all dental work done before the treatment starts.

I have many doctors now. Radiologist and the scheduling nurse. The Chemo Oncologist and his scheduling nurse. The Nutritionist. My regular dentist. My new referred dental surgeon. Apparently there are real problems with having dental surgery after treatment has begun and the jawbone has been radiated.

Met with the Chemo Oncologist and the Radiologist. My Chemo guy reminds me of Jackie Chan and is funny - very easy meeting. I will have to go to a 2 hour class next week and bring my wife as a memory back-up. My radiologist seems like she is in her 20's. Very sharp - so hopefully she has all the latest solutions and techniques at hand. She used the 55% survival rate which is lower that the 64% I had been working off of - first bit of depression after that meeting. Over-all my "team" is sharp and seem to be on top of their game - which is me - so that is good.

Had to get fitted for my thermoplastic radiology mask. Very weird and could be very claustrophobic if so inclined. I preferred to think of it as an S & M "Spa treatment". You lie down and two nurses take a heated-up, warm and wet plastic mesh sheet from a steamer and place it over your face, snap it down tightly to a grid under your head (you are not going anywhere) and immediately start to press and shape it to a mold of your face. They use hairdryers (sounded like that- as I couldn't see) to cool and dry it as it hardened. The first one didn't meet the radiologist's standard, so we got to do it twice. I felt like "Star Wars" Hans Solo when Jabba the Hut had him encased in carbon and his profile was hung on the wall as art. [ ]

The purpose is to hold your head in the exact same position each time you have your radiation treatment, so only the cancer cells are zapped. I got to keep the rejected model - I may use it as wall art or a hanging plant basket on the patio.

I am anxious to get going on this treatment.

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