SBRT Charting & Tattooing

I wish I could have taken more pictures but they are strangely strict about letting you use a cell phone while the machines are running and you have to stay perfectly still.

Basically it’s the worlds longest more boring, most uncomfortable, CT Scan.

They took of all of my clothes from the waist up and just left them off for an hour, which was just weird. Not even attempted modestly. I laid down on the table in a black cushiony thing that they call the bean bag. Then they start pushing it into all of the cracks and crevices and make a mold of my body.

My arms are over my head holding a bar, and then, they drop a metal bar over my abdomen. It has a metal plate in the middle and they start compressing your diaphragm with it. When you are just at the point of saying, no, no more. They lock it down and that’s it. Only tiny shallow breaths while the rest of you holds perfectly still and they run scans for the next 40 minutes.

I was breathing too slow for them (a slow easy three count for me) so try #1 was bad. I had to breathe faster and then they got a good scan. I breathe slow to keep myself calm so that was a little weird.

Scans are done, everyone is reviewing, they come out and add five tattoos to my chest and then I was finally able to put my shirt back on. It was COLD! They let me go in their little office and the doctor spent some time showing me the scan and what he was doing. Basically he is drawing an outline in 4D of every piece of the tumor in my lung that they want to radiate. I have to tell you I was startled to see it, it looks much bigger than the last CT. Because so much of it is scar tissue it had a hollow core, that seems to be filling in now. 🙁

Now we wait. Doctors will all review, then they will call me with a schedule. Sometime in the next 1 to 10 days I will go back in and we will start the actual radiation treatment. 5 treatments spread over two weeks is the current thought.

For now, I am eating an outstanding breakfast salad.


2 thoughts on “SBRT Charting & Tattooing

  1. That whole thing sounds like a trial. When I had my knee MRI it was harder than I thought it would be to hold still for so long, and I didn’t have something pushing down in my diaphragm. Also those rooms seem spartan and rather untidy, at the same time. Also; why does it have to be so cold??? Nervous people in various stages of undress are always going to be chilled, and it’s not like the other people involved are doing physical labor which would heat them up!

    1. All of the radiation treatment rooms I have ever been in looked like that, I think it is because they do so many different types of procedures and each one needs it’s own special weirdness, like knee pillows and chest compressors.
      At one point as I lay there with no shirt on a tech came ina nd she said “oh! I guess it really is cold in here.” I am not sure what part of me she was looking at but I did burst out laughing.

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