Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010: Who Was That Masked Woman?

Today wasn't really what I was expecting. I thought they had said something about a "map" and figured that was to map out where the radiation needed to go. They must have been saying "mask" because I had my own personal mask made today.

The mask is a white plastic mesh that they soak in warm water to soften it. They put it on me and molded it to my face and after a couple minutes it hardened. They used a permanent marker to mark where my eyes and nose were which at times went through to my face. When they took the mask off it looked like a toddler had been coloring on my face. Add the fact that the wet mask plastered my bangs to my forehead and I was feeling quite lovely. The best part was they waited until the end of my appointment to take a picture of me. I'm thinking it was for blackmailing purposes.

After they cut out a circle for my eyes and nose they put the mask back on me and latched it on to the table so that it holds my head perfectly still with my chin lifted up high. It's important that the they radiate the exact same place every time so the mask pins my head to the table so tight I can't move it at all. I tried not to think about it (or the fact that my nose was itchy) and I was okay.

It doesn't end there though. I now have three permanent tattoos! They are about the size of a freckle are are black. They do this to line the lasers up to the exact same place every time. It felt like a really big bee sting when they did it. I never understood why people got tattoos and after having only three pokes with the needle I really can't understand why anyone would put themselves through that pain!

I will go in next week Friday (the 22nd) for a couple more scans and then begin treatment on Monday (the 25th). I will go at the same time every day (Monday-Friday) for five to six weeks. Right now the only time available is at 5:00 p.m. Hopefully in a couple weeks something else will open up (when someone else finishes up their treatment plan). I will also be meeting with the oncologist there once a week. I think this will be my home away from home for a while!

I did some research online and found a picture that will give you an idea of what my mask is like.

When I'm done with my treatments I get to keep this mask. I'm thinking there is a potential Spiderman costume here . . . . .