Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I went to Dr. Kottapally and got my measurements for the radiation. It’s kind of funny because I was expecting something high-tech and he took a CT Scan and then whipped out a Sharpie and drew the pattern on my abdomen. Basically, it’s a rectangle, about 4 inches across and 8 inches long, from the base of my sternum to just below my belly button.

I started the radiation treatments last Wednesday through Friday. It’s a fairly easy process. I showed up and Stephanie, the office’s cheerful receptionist, checked me in. I went in and met Tracy, Mark and Jeff, who introduced themselves as the technicians who will be responsible for my care.

I dropped trou and laid down on the table on my back. They covered Righty with a lead shield to keep him from harm and adjusted me so I was aligned with the target field for the linear accelerator.

I’m fairly certain they put the shield in the freezer about an hour before I got there. Nice… Then they left the room, zapped me from above, the machine spun on its axis and zapped me from the bottom (I call it "radz to da abz"; my wife called it "radz to da nadz"). It all takes about fifteen to twenty minutes and then I am on my way.

I felt pretty awful by the time Friday rolled around, as the effect of the radiation is cumulative. I didn’t feel much like eating, and I was really tired. Other than that, though, it was all right.

The Funny-Profound
One of the things I have been trying to do is to keep the whole thing from my eight-year-old daughter. We recently lost a neighbor to cancer, and I'm afraid the word “cancer” alone would be too difficult for her. When I got home, I took my shirt off without thinking, and she walked in and saw the marks Dr. Kottapally had drawn, including a cross right in the middle of my abdomen. I froze, but she just looked and said, “Huh! Holy Spirit” and pointed to the cross on my belly.
“That’s right” I said, confident she had the correct answer.

I had a cavity, my first one in probably about 25 years. But of course I did. Normally, this would piss me off to no end, but now it’s just a cavity, one more thing to deal with.

My wife and daughter had perfect checkups, so that’s a great sign. Go GIRLS!


Lieutenant Dan said...

Hmmmm have we been negligent in our flossing routine ???

FishrCutB8 said...

Actually, that's the irony of it all. I floss religiously, so much so that my wife calls me Mr. Floss. It's a genetic anomaly--I have a tooth that came in weirdly, and it traps food (dentists actually call it a food trap) and it was really just a matter of time before something happened.

I figure nearly 40 years is a good track record for not getting a cavity in an area that was genetically predisposed to give me one.

Aoife said...

I like "radz to da nadz" better (you asked for a vote, didn't you?) ;-) Better ring to it.

Anonymous said...

When Samantha sees my dad (who lives three doors down) without his shirt on, she immediately exclaims, "Why are you all naked???" Completely unaware of the fact that she generally has no shorts on the bottom!

So, after your cavity and our van issues on Friday(they didn't fix it right this summer), I've decided this is just a hard year. But I've also decided I wouldn't choose anyone else to endure it with than RedLefty. I am sure all this is bonding you guys together as well! Thank goodness for God in our lives, otherwise we really would be pitiful. :)


eric oliver said...

I am most intrigued by the fact the high-tech teste (singular) toaster has a picture overhead. Do you have one of those? Do you get to request the picture you want up there? If so, I can think of many things better than the banal palm tree scene. You ought at least be allowed to tape up the picture of your choosing. Heck, with the cost of medical treatment today you should get a game console (Nintendo Wii anyone?) and the screen should be up right there. Then you could waste 'big brain' cells while the docs are wasting cells in the 'little brain' region.

FishrCutB8 said...


Reminds me of the "Nudie Run"...when my daughter was three or so, she used to have to run through the house screaming "NUDIE!" before her shower....funny times.