Meet Mr. Photon

by wjw on November 14, 2023

Today was my first day of radiation. (25 to go) The machine was very large, but it was in a cavernous room, and when the machine was in operation, the operators scurried away to a control room behind their lead or concrete shields.

The treatment room was called HOPE.

My job was twofold. First, I was to lie down while large, glossy white sub-machines moved around me, like clumsy, slow-moving satellites bumbling around their primary. To make it even more science fiction-y, they were firing x-rays at me as they moved. Being penetrated by beams of highly energetic photons was painless and just a little boring. The whole thing took about 15 minutes.

This, I thought, is how I’d always imagined being abducted by aliens, lying motionless while enigmatic machines floated around me and filled me with rays.

But I mentioned I had a twofold job, right? My other job was not to pee.

They wanted me to have a full bladder, because a heavy bladder sort of anchors other nearby organs and enhances accuracy on the part of the photons. To this end, I slammed down 24 ounces of water on my way to treatment.

But it turns out the machines were backed up, and I spent over an hour in the waiting room trying not to pee. Then I went into the treatment room and tried not to pee while being orbited by elements of a linear accelerator. Then I tried not to pee while I grabbed my stuff and dashed to the nearest toilet.

Reader, it was the longest pee of my life. It seemed to go on for days.

25 to go.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John Appel November 16, 2023 at 2:30 pm

Hoping that suppressing the urge to pee is the hardest part of this process for you. Continued best wishes!

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