I met with Shelly at Kaiser this afternoon to go over my treatment schedule and Radiation Treatment “Do’s & Don’ts.” She’s one of 3 radiation therapists who will be administering my 30 radiation treatments, beginning tomorrow. During my tour of the radiation therapy department at Kaiser, I was shown where to acquire and change into hospital gowns, and room 1A. Orion lives in room 1A. They’ve named each of the radiation machines: Orion, Megatron, Novalis, Trilogy, Apollo, The Ark and Liberty. Orion will be my date every weekday morning at 8:36am for the next six weeks.
Today, Orion was used to X-ray me to check positioning. He’s a pretty amazing guy; Gods usually are. The CT scan from my last visit is fed into Orion and a series of internal lead plates move to conform to the shape of the area to be radiated. After Shelly and another therapist positioned me and marked my (this time) carefully draped chest with a black Sharpie, the X-rays were taken. Rather than having to move me to shoot from different angles, Orion pivots. An impressive feat, because Orion is a pretty big guy. Judging by our first encounter, I’d say he’s the strong silent type. Except for some whirring and some clicks, the session was quiet and somewhat relaxing.
Although I was sort of looking forward to seeing an electric tattoo needle used in a hospital, it turned out to be a less dramatic…and painful…process than other tattoos I’ve received. Shelly used a non-electronic single needle filled with a little ink to add four tiny dots to my body, then sent me home.
I checked my chest when I got home. Between the red Sharpie crosses they drew last session and the black dots, dashed lines and crosses drawn today, all I could think of was pre-game diagrams drawn on a white board. After a lovely, long soak in the tub, all that remain are my new tattoos.
That’s ok. I hear that Orion digs chicks with tattoos.