Radiation Therapy

Wed 29 Jan 2014   Mission Hope Cancer Center,  Santa Maria

I’m in the middle of a course of radiation therapy. Five days a week for six weeks I get zapped by Trudy, the Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator.  My head is clamped to the table in a precise position. First a hard blue plastic bolus is placed over half my face, the half to be treated. Then a hard plastic mesh  is placed over my head and I’m clamped tightly in place, very tightly!  They do a cat scan to make sure I’m in the right spot, then I get two 30 second bursts of high energy x-rays.

The interesting thing is that when the beam is on I see blue even though my eyes are tightly closed.  Most likely it’s Cherenkov radiation, the blue seen in nuclear reactors when particles exceed the speed of light.

The technician Ken took many of these photos. I took the blurry photo of Ken.  :-(

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