Monday, March 1, 2010
My Radiation Therapy Journey Begins
Today begins my Six Week Radiation Therapy Journey.
The photo above is similar to the radiation machine used for my treatment.
My therapy is also called IMRT... intensity-modulated radiation therapy. It uses the latest equipment and medical expertise to go after cancer.
The IMRT machine is a computer controlled x-ray acclerator, which stands about 10 feet hight and 15 feet long. It generates tightly focused photon beams or xrays that can be specially molded to conform to the shape of a tumor or target a specific point.
The machine can be rotated around the patient so the beams are fired from the best angles.
TODAY... The machine began on my left side and then rotated over to my right side nearly below my right shoulder. My doctor had explained previously that the aim of the beam was to pass through the breast from one side to the other..thereby not being directed into the chest.
The beams are also adjustable so that higher doses are delivered to a specific point and less harmful doses the surrounding tissues.
NOW..we know why I had to have two different adjustment appointments. I'm glad..it was to PERSONALIZE my particular therapy.
While there today... viewing the lovely BLUE SKY panels of Heaven above me...I thought once again about what others may go through as they do their therapy.
As you can see from the photo..the equipment used can be quite intimidating. Especially when it is right above your face...and you see metal plates inside start moving back and forth...and hear the whirr of the machine setting up. I had to have some regular xrays taken as well...and connected to the main machine is also a panel that comes up from behind you and moves in...YOU think...
"Is this thing going to STOP...or smash me to pieces!"
THE MIND...ooh how it can have it's hay day if one lets it!
How I love the verse in Isaiah 26:3a
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee....
Everything went fine today. I didn't feel a thing...and I feel fine now as I write.
Now let me share this moment with you....
As I lay there and all this is going on...and thinking as I mentioned about others and what they THINK...
I remembered a funny event in my life that COULD have really been alarming...IF I had let MY mind wonder!!
A friend and I had gone to a military hospital to visit her mother. We entered the elevator with a nurse and began our upward journey to the fourth floor, when suddenly the elevator stopped.
"OH MY...don't tell us...WE ARE STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR...between floors!"
We were glad one of the hospital nurses was with us..whew! She picked up the phone inside and called to find out what was going on...we waited...and we waited...and we waited. Hearing voices...we knew we were not too far from the floor level. Nice..but doesn't get us out!
My friend looked at me rolling her eyes..she has BIG EYES too! and I knew...poor GAL was skeeered! Oh no NOT ME!... yea right...okay, quite concerned! I have to admit I was calm and reassured myself that in no time we would be RESCUED. We finally heard some noises and the door opened. We were just about a half foot from the floor and needed some help up; and then we were fine. All ended on a happy note.
Little did I know...that the MIND of my friend however..the entire time was back in some scary movie she had seen years prior. No wonder her eyes were so BIG! She told me later; as we laughed...about the thought of the sprinklers going off and us drowning in the elevator. I was sooo glad she did NOT tell me this IN the elevator.
PRAISE GOD for HIS PERFECT PEACE..at such a time!
So TODAY...as I watched the scary machine coming at me... I thought about God's great care and thanking him that I need not fear.
I read somewhere recently something that I found quite noteworthy.
We can block out God's Grace...by our fears or complaining.
Forgetting to think upon what we should.
Tomorrow, I pray will be no different for me...as I seek to trust him by faith and know the peace that passes all understanding by the assurance of HIS perfect WORD and WORK in me.
Thank you for your prayers...