Breathe In. Hold Your Breath. Breathe Normally.

So for anyone following the story, a brief correction.

I thought I was starting my stereotactic radiation this past Monday.   I understood I’d just hand over my CT CDs and the doctor would immediately start, like, waving a light saber around over my chest.  Presto!

Instead, there was planning.  I again met with the radiation oncologist at Sunnybrook, who did indeed review my CT scans.  We talked again about pros and cons, and my newly grown lesion led him to tell me there were more ‘pros’ to proceed, now.  Then after a bit of sitting reading in a gown (WHY are they always that ugly light blue?), two technicians put me onto a CT scan table and pushed, formed, and measured a body mould around me, to completely immobilize my torso.  Next, a metal plate was screwed down onto my chest.  With the combination of body mould pushing in at the sides, the CT table below, and the metal plate above, I could only take the shallowest breaths (like dog panting or Kapalabhati/breath-of-fire breathing).  My arms overhead, I was then fed into the CT scan for a longish (30 minute) scan to help zone in on my lesions.  Next, tiny tattos were drawn on a connect-the-dot way on my chest, also apparently to help target things for the laser.   Finally, the technicians kindly helped me unwedge my shoulders, turn, and get out of the mould, and briefly back into the terrible blue gown.

So now that all the data and targeting is done, my radiation sessions are set up as follows:

Wednesday October 15 – 1:00 pm

Friday October 17  – 9:20 am

Monday October 20 – 2 pm

Wednesday October 22 – 1 pm

Friday October 24 – 1 pm

Each session will be about 30-40 minutes.  My only tasks in the next 2 weeks are:  avoid coming down with a cold (so I won’t cough and throw the laser shooting off); avoid major weight gain or loss (ugh, no pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving I guess).  The other task I’m setting myself is figuring out how to stay calm when I’m in that mould having a laser knife shoot at me.  Ordinarily, deep breaths are a good method…unavailable in this instance.  Whisky would likely be frowned upon.  Throwing it out to the universe for suggestions?

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7 Responses to Breathe In. Hold Your Breath. Breathe Normally.

  1. Kim says:

    Can you listen to music?

  2. Trevor Jukes says:

    One of my colleagues has a 5 year old boy and a 3 year old girl. The girl was having a meltdown one day so her brother told her to “Smell the flowers, blow out the candle” (try it and you’ll see what it means) Mom then asks her son where he got that from and he told her that they use that at daycare all the time.

    So when you are prone on the table just “smell the flowers and then blow out the candle.”

    Sent by electronic carrier pigeon


  3. nancylk says:

    Hey Mary u Wonder Women!!!
    I’m praying for u and wish u the best.
    When I need to settle, I picture myself in a calm, pretty setting usually involving a waterfall and a lot of lush green foliage. I see myself happy, calm and at peace. I hope u see yourself that way and it will happen. Believe it.
    I want you to kno we at Team Power are pulling for you and are on your side. Stay strong and positive brave Mary. ❤️

  4. bowl2159 says:

    Will they let you have a bit of essential oil on your forehead? Then you could “smell the flower”.

  5. Jessica says:

    Hey Mary, I find a mantra helps me in situations where deep breathing isn’t practical. “May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be safe, may you live with ease” brings me to a good place. Just a thought. If that doesn’t work you can imagine all the ladies in swim club cheering you on!

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