Proton Therapy #2: Happy Halloween!

Yesterday I drove to Dallas for my first proton therapy treatment.  I got a VIP badge that allows me to enter the secure areas, and I was gifted a blanket.  It was 40 degrees and windy outside, so I happily accepted. 

My first treatment went smoothly.  I wore virtual reality goggles, but I could hear the massive machine moving around me.  During the scans that check my positioning, I was asked to hold my breath for 30 seconds at a time.  It's only a medium-sized breath, so I found it challenging.  Once the technicians were satisfied with my position, they rang a bell and left the room.  Then I heard a voice say, "Please hold your breath between the two lines.  The first beam will be 52 seconds long."  I yelled back, "Wait, what?!  Did you say fifty-two?  What am I?  A Navy SEAL?"  Then the voice explained that she would pause the beam if I needed to gasp.  Luckily, it only took about 30 seconds to deliver, so I was able to do it.  Two beams and I was done.

After my first treatment, I explored my new city (aka I went to the local Target).  My hotel is conveniently located 500 feet away from the proton center.  The room was a bit sad-looking, and the couch felt like it was made out of plastic.  It was also eerily quiet without my children around.  I watched bad TV and slept a full 10 hours.

This morning I had dose number two.  I requested an early time slot so that I could drive back to Austin in time for trick-or-treating.  The morning is usually reserved for pediatric cases.  The patient in front of me was a kid in a gorilla costume.

Here's my Halloween costume.  Anyone know what I am?

I made it to Austin by 5pm, just in time to apply Julia's dark eye makeup and lipstick.

Tomorrow morning, it's back to Dallas for treatment.  Then right back to Austin.   FYI, road trips are only fun the first couple times.


  1. I'm the devil in disguise. Come on, people! I should've had a pitchfork and a trench coat.


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