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August 01, 2005

the simulation


Today, Sandy went for a simulation of her radiation treatments. This is done in the imaging room where the CAT Scan machine is located not in the room where the radiation machine is.

First they put her on the table in front of the CAT Scan with a pillow like cushion under her head. This cushion hardened to the shape of the back of her head. This cushion or mold will always be used to help keep Sandy's head from moving for the duration of each treatmen. Additionally, the mold will ensure her head is in the same location in relation to the radiation machine for each treatment.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Then they placed a plastic mesh over her face with holes for her eyes. She had to sit perfectly still for about 10 minutes while the mesh hardened to the shape of her face. Then the radiation therapist, Donna, took a picture of her brain. This scan will be used along with the MRIs that were taken when she had her tumor removed. Using computers and a team of physicist, Doctor Bastin will plan the exact dose of radiation Sandy will receive. The Doctor will also dertermine where in her brain this dose will be directed. The mask and pillow will be used for every treatment to keep the treatments exactly the same.

In this photo, Sandy and Doctor Bastin are discussing her treatments and what she can expect. A month after the six week treatments are over, another MRI will be taken to serve as a base line. In the future, at regular intervals, Doctor Bastin will be checking each new MRI with the base line MRI to see that her abormal cells have stabilized and no new growth has occurred. I do not know at this time how often Sandy will need to have a new MRI done.

Click to enlarge.

Sandy is a little bummed out because she found out that her treatments would not start today. Because of all the planning required, her first real radiation treatment will not start until next Monday.

Posted by jhyden at August 1, 2005 01:18 PM