Last week when we arrived The Cowboy’s schedule consisted of 25 different meetings all in different areas of MD Centre. We completed the last of those sessions today – Tuesday.
Yesterday he was required to undergo several simulations - treatment planning sessions. Today’s particular simulation involved the radiation doctor to locate the exact area to be treated, to take measurements and to create shielding to protect normal tissue.
This neck and head shielding, made of plastic mesh, needs to be custom fitted and will help keep him very still to ensure correct positioning during treatment.
Another CT scan and X-rays were taken to create a three-dimensional picture of the area. They also made permanent stains on pieces of plastic (like scotch tape) attached to his skin to align his body each time to make sure his body is not rotated during treatment.
Dr. P (is what we will call him) MD, PhD (Assistant Professor) is a very personable, quiet mannered young man in the Radiation Oncology Department. We will be meeting with him once a week from here on in.
Today he and 2 or 3 other colleagues, along with 6 other students, performed another scope and found that the cancer cells have increased in size. He will now be incorporating chemotherapy treatment into our sessions. We received a phone call from the Dr. S, MD, PhD, (Assistant Professor) Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology this afternoon advising of a meeting scheduled with him for this Friday.
We’re now in more intimate spaces in the Centre and I haven’t been taking as many pictures. I’ve always tried to be discreet with my photos both for the patients privacy and the employees as well.
We’ve also been attending classes where we learning about what to expect during and after treatment. They are making us aware of side effects and how to best treat any issues. We are also being educated in nutrition – they want us to concentrate on loading him up with carbs, protein and lots of fluids now and especially once he starts treatment.
I’m trying to keep this as brief as possible and yet my main goal with these posts are to keep our families back home in Canada and our friends who are all over the nation informed, as best I can. We hope these posts bring them comfort in knowing that their Father, Brother, Son, Uncle, Nephew and Friend is receiving the best of medical care in the world.
Everyone also needs to know that he has never been in any pain or discomfort. The only noticeable symptom is the hoarseness in his voice.
He has been relating this experience to the game of golf. One of the pieces of advice we hear when learning to play is to ‘Look past the ball’. That image allows his mind to look past the next six weeks . . .