My Tribal Mask

My Personal Radiotherapy Mask

Well, tribal in one sense, with only certain ones of us in the Radiotherapy Tribe! 🙂

This first day of radiation treatment took longer because I had to meet with the nurse to explain all the side affects and things I can do to make it go smoother. Then they had to readjust the mask made more than a week ago which is a mold of my head and shoulders. They screw it down to the table over my body and I can’t move my head at all. This is necessary to get the radiation in the right places which afterwards Dr. Bonilla showed me computer graphics of my head & neck and where the radiation is scheduled to go. Amazing how targeted they can be when I am in forced stillness! 🙂

Once I’m set up, the machine scans my head and neck from two angles, 33 seconds each time. This will continue for 33 days which now boosts me up to 6.5 weeks. I am now scheduled for 11:45 AM each day, Monday to Friday.

After today’s treatment I walked the 6 blocks back to my hotel which I love and will tell you about later. I looked in the mirror and was surprised that the left side of my face and head was a little pink, even on the first treatment! I have an expensive “Radiocare” lotion I will use on my face to help avoid the “sunburn effect” and sure enough, the pinkness went away with the first usage of the lotion. I also must wear a wide-brimmed hat and avoid all sunshine on my face and neck. I jokingly told the nurse that I would just make a larger “Covid mask” to cover my whole head! 🙂

Another “new normal” being developed here! 🙂 ¡Hasta mañana!

¡Pura Vida!

6 Replies to “My Tribal Mask”

  1. This is certainly an interesting process they go through to pinpoint the radiation to the right spot. I hope it is not painful and you have few side effects. Hopefully these days go by quickly for you. You remain in all the family’s prayers and everyone sends you their love.

  2. That is quite the mask. Reminds me of the ones I’ve had for MRIs of the head…just a whole lot more intense.

    May the days flow by without too many side effects and may your stay in SJ provide you with any needed distractions during this time. Sending thoughts and prayers your way, as well as to your Radiotherapy care team down there as they help you through the coming weeks.

  3. Wow! That’s part mask, part body cast. My mask was only over my head, which meant I had to be sure not to move. Luckily, my treatments were fairly short. Still got quite red by the end of the course. Glad your lotion is working. I used Aquaphor, a hydrocortizone ointment, and a lotion with silver in it, as needed.

    1. Yeah, it is big and keeps me from moving, though not exactly comfortable! 🙂 After they “screw me down to the table,” I get two 33 second scans of radiation in my head and my neck from different angles. Glad it is for a short time!

      Tomorrow I’m going to get one of the technicians to photograph me on the table under the mask to show here on the blog.

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