Today was my first radiation/chemo combo. I take my chemo an hour before radiation and I can't eat for two hours before chemo. So today my radiation was scheduled for 2:30. I got up and had breakfast this morning, took a 10 am yoga class then got home and shoved down some brunch before my 11:30 NPO time.
So far so good. Radiation was quick, they took me right in when I got there (note to self: no matter how on time or behind time they are, ALWAYS pee before being strapped down to a revolving table for 20 minutes...I should know this from my MRI's but didn't think of it). The techs running the machine were very nice and not at all weirded out when I told them I've been listening to the Wicked soundtrack for the last month and if they had that to listen to it would be great. Unfortunately they couldn't find their CD (told me they would find it but I don't think I need to listen to that every day!) but they put it on Pandora...so I got some Wicked and a variety of other show tunes but ended the treatment with "Defying Gravity" which I think was fitting.
At some point I'll ask them to take a picture of me all strapped into the contraption. The proton beam is stationary so besides the headgear that is bolted to the table my body is also strapped down so they can rotate me around the proton beam. One of my treatments (I did three treatments...or positions) requires me to be at about a 45 degree angle facing the beam so I'm strapped in but kind of hanging there. The actual treatment times were probably 2-3 minutes but took them 5-10 minutes to set up each position.
I'm hoping my treatment times can be a little earlier next week since 3-3:30 is a terrible time to try to drive home from Boston. Definitely spent more time in the car than at the hospital.
And no side effects yet, hoping to keep those to a minimum. There's a good chance I'll have to go back on steroids for a few weeks due to brain swelling from the radiation, and my hair will fall out in the affected areas around week 2-3 (my chemo does not cause hair loss so it will only be local to radiated areas). I haven't decided what I'll do with the hair yet, whether I can get by with a comb over or just go ahead and buzz it all off. If it's significant I don't think I can pull off the half shaved Miley Cyrus look and I'd rather give it a chance to all grow at the same time.
I will be getting a total of 33 treatments + taking chemo on the weekends so its a total of 49 days, I should be done November 20th (two Monday holidays pushing that back). Seems like a long ways away but I am ready to just plow through and get it done!