Total Body Irradiation Scan 12:45 D100
Thats what was on my calendar yesterday.. and to be completely honest I couldn’t even begin to tell you what I thought it meant. So at 12:45, my mom and I sat in the waiting room with curious minds and decided we were going to google what the heck this was. ‘Google Images’ was not very good to our minds let me just tell you that. All the pictures were so different, but really to me just looked like a bunch of aliens in boxes. All we could do is laugh about it though.. like everything else because what else are you gunna do?
“Ms.O’Neal, we are ready”
We follow one of the nurses back to a room, and as a new patient I basically have to tell my whole life story which is as fun as you can imagine. My mom has to add in about 15 things because I just simply can’t keep up with it all. After that is all done with we wait for the doctor to come in…. Still having absolutely no idea what this “TBI” thing is.
Side note: Why in the world do doctors nock on the door before they come in? Like what do they think I’m going to say .. “Don’t come in, ever!” ?? Yeah, I wish.
Anyways, he comes in and explains what this TBI’s purpose is and what the possible side effects are. LONG STORY SHORT this treatment is to kill all the Leukemia in my body in the locations that my chemo may not be able to get to. However, since it is full body there are MANY possible side effects and the body is very sensitive to it. Guys, I’m not kidding.. He literally named off every. single. organ/body part. and mentioned a side effect, including “you may lose your hair” and of course me and my mom busted out laughing…. then “there is a slight chance it can cause cancer down the road”.. I wanted to get up and walk out at this point. Not really, but really.
With this treatment most commonly being used with older men and women it is really hard for them to know how it is going to effect me years down the road. Is this scary? No. 5 years ago it was because I had a cancer most common in 60+ men an they said the same thing.. Each year that goes by, I just get more awesome and awesome! By the time I’m 60 I’m going to be a rock star with a million dogs to love:).. Ha.
After he was done with what I call ‘lecture’, he asked if I had any questions before I went back for my scan.. And of course I HAD to ask if google images were accurate. He couldn’t really give me an answer, besides its easier to just show you than explain it. TOUR TIME!
So yesterday was just my body scan for my radiation that begins September 12th. I will go twice a day for four days to prepare for transplant! They took me on a tour of the radiation room so I didn’t feel so clueless. Not sure if it made me feel better or worse, but there were no aliens!
When he said it was easier to just show me, he wasnt kidding. That green thing is what I lay in. It started out as just a flat bean bag type bed. I lay down, they wrapped something around my neck, had me cross my arms over my chest and bring my knees up. I could only be 60 inches long head to toe. They got me situated and began taping me down so I wouldn’t move. They turned a machine on and his bed starts forming around my body. I felt like a caterpillar getting wrapped up in my cocoon, except not so graceful. It was the weirdest experience. Now for getting out……. This thing is what I have to get in every time I go for radiation so it has to stay formed perfectly, and how I was going to make that happen was beyond me. I did it though! ( My whole hospital gown may have come off, but that doesn’t matter).
Yesterday was a very different experience for me and there are going to be many more to come. But thats what makes life fun!