So now I have a lovely collection of marks on my torso. Looks like I’m wearing a Miro on my chest. Well, except it was drawn with something that looked like a sharpie, and covered in clear tape… Like that magic tape stuff.

Radiation is a high volume business. In and out, very efficient. Very punctual. It’s nice that they took a picture of me so that the staff can recognize me. It was a little more disconcerting to have a picture taken of me in position on the table, but that’s ok too. It reduces error. Lots of people have to see my bits these days, it’s simply not worth the trouble to worry about it. Given that Switzerland is the home of banking secrecy, I suspect they are careful with medical data too.

To be radiated, I lie down on this table, and put my head in a form. They prop my head up a little bit because my neck is short, my tumor site is up under my arm, and there’s considerable real estate in the breast area. My arms go up over my head. I’m going to close my eyes and relax, happy that I’ve been practicing meditation. And then I’ll be zapped, briefly. The table moves, the radiation source moves and buzz buzz. No zapping has happened yet, it starts next week. Each daily session should take less than half an hour, including undressing and getting dressed.

Earlier this week, I went to radiation oncology for “planning.” This is where they figure out the position I’ll take for each of my 36 radiation treatments, assess any issues that I might have, and set some preliminary targets (on my body). I also had a CT scan to gauge the position of my heart and lungs relative to the radiation targets. Today I had simulation. This is where they simulate the treatment, make sure the radiation source is positioned correctly, the target (me) is also positioned correctly. Hence the marks. No bullseyes though. Some of the marks designate the target…those are blue. The purple and red ones position me.

It’s a good thing I don’t plan to wear anything fancy for the next 7 weeks. Something low cut is definitely out.

I’m working on framing this as something to look forward to. It’s a drag to be marked up and have to be somewhere every day. On the other hand, the marks are amusing, this is a good chance for me to get out every day, and each treatment means I have one less ahead of me. Also a good chance to practice German. So, there I go. Plus, I am simply curious about the process.

Rads are done September 20.