!!! FINISHED !!!

Attention All!!!
I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH RADIATION TREATMENT, CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENT, AND ALL KINDS OF TREATMENT HAVING TO DO WITH HODGKINS LYMPHOMA*
THANKS FOR BACKING ME UP THIS WHOLE TIME AND OFFERING ME SO MUCH SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THIS TOUGH TIME.
TURNS OUT I HAVE SOME GREAT FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THIS STUFF!
*This is not for sure yet but I will know after my next followups in a month or so, but for now I’m celebrating!
All caps so you can understand how excited I am for this!

Ohhh Radiation

The quickest way to piss someone off…
Take away their ability to eat
Five lbs lost last week and dropping, doc says if I lose anymore its gonna be a bigger issue.
Let them drop, let all the lbs drop like the leaves from a tree I say. I can’t get any lighter than my first sick weight (145 lbs). But at this rate I’ll be there by the week after next. Yogurt, Instant Breakfast, and Smoothies only go so far.

Thoughtful

As I sit here before work on this beautiful Easter Sunday morning, I’m updating my current bills for my treatment and I’m drawn to this number at the bottom of the spreadsheet we update. And the total billed for my 5 months of treatment is:

$101,000

What can this get you? Well here are a few things… After one more Radiation Treatment I could have one of these

These things are just material possessions and you can’t really put a price on the gift of life……blah blah blah 🙂

But instead of all these cool things I get this and this. Oh well complaining gets nobody…nowhere.

Cheers, and Happy Easter!

1/2 Way Through it All

Today I had my 10th radiation. I’m halfway done, getting haggard, and trying to stay motivated. It is really something else having to go there everyday. It’s not the radiation part that really gets me it’s that sometimes, you have to do things that you don’t want to do. Like don’t even want to come close to doing (i.e. radiation therapy). Granted it’s a lot easier than chemo, it still doesn’t suit my lifestyle very well.
I guess I’m just a little down right now because sitting in radiation you have nothing to do other than listen to music and start to feel sorry for yourself. It’s like a mind game, what do I think about? Do I feel sorry for myself? (I try not to) Do I ponder life and all its infinite lessons? Do I think about how my throat hurts, or how I have x amount of homework and x-1 amount of time to do it in? I guess the lesson that can be learned today is that CANCER SUCKS, I wouldn’t in a million years wish it upon anyone ever.
I’ve been invited to possibly participate here. With my busy schedule though, who knows if I’ll be able to make it this summer. Since I am feeling a bit down today I have decided to write my thoughts in the form of haiku. Enjoy.

Thinking about life
in the radiation room
rain reveals too much.

Radiation Treatment #1

Today I had my very first radiation treatment! Only 19 more to go and I will be done by the end of April. I’ll be doing this daily so the side effects are supposed to slowly build up towards the end. Enjoy the video.

Video is fast forwarded 4x, total treatment time is about 15-20 minutes.

Tomorrow

Spring Break Over
1st Radiation Therapy (Stay Tuned for Details Tomorrow)
Sprint to the Finish
…MTB Ride now

Progress

Here are some pictures from my treatment/planning simulation today. It was quite the experience really. Imagine having warm plastic stretched over your top half in an attempt to hold you still. I can honestly say my eyes have been opened. It was really an interesting experience.
My mind was racing with thoughts of the genius’ who created these methods and machines. I can hardly imagine coming up with such sweet stuff. Maybe someday though.
Here are a few pictures.

Radiation Mask
My newly created mold
CT-Scanner
CT scanner with full carbon fiber board

Fridays Appointment

Today I went into MSTI (Mountain States Tumor Institute) but instead of visiting the lovely chemotherapy lounge I got to go into the basement floor, the Radiation Oncology Floor! I met with my new doctor and got a little bit of insight on my current prognosis, my future treatment, and the expected side effects of radiation.
I learned that my entire neck and the center of my chest including where my esophagus is will be getting treated with some low dose radiation. This consists of me getting myself down there every day for about 20-25 treatments, or about 4 or 5 weeks!
Side-effects include:

  • Sore Throat (due to radiation to my neck, told to avoid spicy foods)
  • Reddening of the Throat and Chest (Blue Collar Comedy Tour Anyone?)
  • Fatigue (could make riding bike a hassle)
  • Weight Loss (not complaining about this one)
  • Future Chance of Cancer (20 – 30 years later, guess I’ll wait and see)

If treatment dosage is any indicator of level of side-effects, mine should be minimal. But I will be taking it one day at a time, so wish me luck!!! I found this picture online, my radiation will look something like this…

Looks like some Star Trek shit to me… Next week is my next appointment, they are calling it a Treatment Planning/Simulation. According to the doctor, this consists of an application of a few permanent tattoos to my chest (should be the size of a small dot on my sides and center of chest) and a three-dimensional CT scan that will allow the Medical Physicists to determine the best plan of attack! Then it begins!

Update

Its been a few days since I posted here so I thought I would give you an idea what I’ve been up to:

  • School: Physics test today
  • Work: Busier and busier
  • Bikes
  • Battling the never-ending cold

Upcoming events:

  • Meet Radiology Oncologist on Friday
  • Radiation begins on Monday

Anyways, I’ve been super busy. Hope you all are having a great week and I will post updates when I figure out what all this radiation is about, should be interesting.