Offensive Thinking

Brain tumors suck. Hi, I'm Patrick btw. This is my cancer blog. My "normal" stuff is over here.

Radiotherapy Part Two: The Mask

My very own radiation mask. Please observe the flawless head shape.
My very own radiation mask. Please observe the flawless head shape.

Two blog posts in a row! How did that happen?! Seriously though, I’m just lagging behind in what’s happening right now, so I decided to write this post today.

A couple of days ago, my radiotherapy mask was made. The process was quite simple and didn’t take as long as I anticipated. It was directly coupled with a preparatory CT scan.

All I had to do was to lie down for the scan. My head rested on an inflatable cushion that got the air sucked out of it, to form around my head and make me lie perfectly still. Although this sounds more high-tech than it actually was. It felt like it hardly did anything at all, but that didn’t matter too much. I’m quite good at lying still now, practice makes perfect I guess :). Then, the technicians (or nurses, I have no idea) went to get the mask from its warm water bath. The material is a stretchable polymer mesh that you can breathe through. They put it on my head and attached it to the sides of the head fixation thing, so it could mold to the contours of my face. During the CT scan (which took roughly ten minutes), it cooled down and then held its form, although it was still slightly flexible.

The end result looks like the picture I added to this post. As you can see, they also add a sticker with a cross to it. There are also other reference points on the mask which are not visible in the photo.

All in all, it took about an hour to get everything done, including the waiting time before and talking to the staff afterwards, who were nice enough to also show me the facilities (although I couldn’t have a look at the radiation equipment, it was currently in use).

Treatment will start next week Thursday, after another informative discussion with the radiologist on Wednesday. I’ll report back when the superpowers kick in ;).