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Test Run . . . Can I Do This?

I have an appointment the Thursday prior to beginning radiation for a "run through".  I arrive and change and am taken to a new room where my treatments will take place.  I see a familiar face - James.  It seems he'll be with me on the next phase. I'm glad to have a familiar face.

I'm placed on a table.  My legs placed on a foam box to lift up my knees.  My feet are strapped together.  My foam mold is at the top of the table.  There is a machine behind it.  I lay dpwn into my personal mold.  Arms over my head.  Once in place, James places a clip on my nose and places a tube in my mouth.  I will be breathing through this tube.

I'm to take in a deep breath.  This raises up my chest and places my heart away from the radiation.   While I'm taking a deep breath they will cut off my oxygen.  I'm given a button to hold that will allow me to release the oxygen should I need it.  A panic button if you will.

They take their time with me.  Taking measurements.  Moving me millimeters at a time.  I keep hearing 90.5.  I joke that must be my radio station.  I'm moved into the correct spot and test run begins.

I will admit the minute they clamped my nose, I immediately got claustophobic.  I'm a nose breather.  How was I going to do this?  In comes the Our Father and Hail Marys.  Pray it out Princess!  While praying, I slowly take deep breaths to get used to the tube. Each breath begins to bring calm.  I need to do this, this is not another alternative.  Figure it out.

By the time we're done I'm a little more at ease.  I can do this.  It may be a little uncomfortable but like chemo it is doable.  Onward and upward - radiation here I come!


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