Kevin's Dead Cat

After surgery sliced off an entire tumor and 1/3 of my tongue, plus six weeks of radiation therapy, I've been re-learning how to eat, drink, and talk with my newly re-constructed tongue and coping with side effects. But the cancer came back and I don't know what's going to happen next.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Radiation Simulation

I reported to the Radiation Oncology department this morning to prepare for the upcoming six weeks of radiation therapy. There have been some questions from people about why I'm going through radiation. First, the entire tumor was taken out. But the radiation specialists thought that because there was a narrow offshoot from the tumor's main mass, I should have radiation treatment as a precaution.

Dr. McNicoll also explained last Wednesday that if the cancer doesn't come back 12 months after radiation treatment is over, I will be considered cured. But personally, he says 24 months just to be absolutely sure.

I was fitted for a mask that I would wear during treatment to help target the radiation to a specific area. I put in the dental "sten" I got fitted for last week in my mouth and they pressed a warm towel-like plastic(?) sheet tightly over my face that hardened as it cooled. It felt like a facial for the first couple of minutes, but then the table I was lying on started moving and humming. They x-rayed me while the mask hardened. Then they magic markered it up and sent me off for a CT scan with the sten and the mask on. This is all supposed to help the machine target the beam more accurately. I was in-and-out of the place in 50 minutes.

Next Thursday, I'm meeting with my "team" to schedule the actual therapy sessions. They're supposed to be at the same time each day. I asked for a 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. block so I wouldn't have to worry about it for the rest of the day. Carlos, one of the guys on my team, said that after the therapy was over, I could keep the mask if I wanted. So everyone start thinking of something clever to write on it at my "Cancer Sucks" party. And come up with a better name for the party while you're at it.


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