Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Week 1

Or should I say, "Weak One". I've essentially finished my first week of treatment. Things were going pretty well for the first several days, and I was definitely optimistic. Until yesterday. I still managed to stay engaged, go to work, and try to play some ultimate. Today was quite a bit rougher. The "queasiness" moved more solidly into the "nausea" corner. The fatigue definitely stepped up as well. The other interesting side effect I noticed is increased irritability, which my "freighbor" had actually read about. I've started to notice that I've lost patience when confronted with so many mundane and simple situations. What a wonderful new personality trait this has given me! (Ok, maybe not "New". Let's say, "Improved"?) It's almost a positive feedback loop in that it's made me even more impatient with the treatment I'm going through. So, in advance, I apologize to all my friends and family, and pretty much every other person in San Francisco who might come across me and piss me off just by placing themselves into my visual field.

Now while you might not like me when I'm angry, luckily none of you will have to fear me. I found out today that I am not being "belted by gamma rays", but instead by high power x-rays. The photo above is what I go through every weekday morning at 9:15. With a nice jazz background to keep me mellow. There is an adjustable metal shield in the source that creates the aperture to shape the beam, and the arm and table I'm on can both rotate to aim the beam from any direction. The aperture also has a thickness adjustment to provide the same power at the end target from every direction, even though from each direction the beam will be passing through different thicknesses of...well...skull and brain I guess. One of these days I'll keep my eyes open and see exactly what it does.

My hope now is that this was an off-day, and that tomorrow things will be back to "normal". Funny how meanings of words can change so quickly.


  1. "an adjustable metal shield in the source that creates the aperture...." Sounds like you're getting ready to build one of the things. Maybe if the parts for the second one are lying around for 6 months while the techs are too busy to assemble it you can go ahead and build it yourself.... Oh wait, you tried that once.

    Stay strong,

  2. Flash back to the "shopping list " of things you said you needed to build a laser machine - yikes!

  3. Was the jazz your choice, or Kaiser's?

    I created a pre-craniotomy playlist on my iPod (for both surgeries). Did you have a radiation playlist?