I’ve been dragging willing victims to the Proton center (called ProCure) in North Seattle to witness this insanity, but then I thought, I want ALL OF YOU to see it. It’s like something out of a movie.
Now, it’s not “like” something out of a movie. It IS something out of a movie … just a crazy little one that Marcus and I cooked up. Doesn’t it look like something out of 2001 A Space Oddysey?
According to Mr. Wikipedia, there were 39 particle therapy treatment rooms in the U.S. as of 2012, and I think – but don’t quote me – 10 proton therapy treatment rooms. I feel so lucky that this all happened when it did, because this center is only five months (ish) old and it is state of the art radiation for a tumor like mine. And for any of you Candy geeks out there, I’m receiving 1.80 CGEs (duh, Cobalt Grade Equivalent) for 20 treatments on my brain and spine, and 1.80 CGEs for 11 treatments on just my brain. I’ve been receiving the treatment five days a week for the past four weeks (I have two weeks left).
And they get my protons from hydrogen atoms that are spun down in a cyclotron till the little protons are booted from their atom and welcomed to me brain.
I want to give a shout out to the absolutely wonderful team at the radiation center: technicians and the kind of kids you want to snuggle up with and become BFFs – Brittany, Nikki, John, Seth, Randall, Cliff and Rebekka; compassionate and truly helpful nurses Elise and Melissa, front-door sweethearts that make you feel happy you’re about to get nuked from stem to stern, Cynthia and Natasha; Queen Bee and endless-resource-on-everything-from-fine-dining-to-understanding-what-you’re-going-through Renee; and the woman that masterminds your future, radiation oncologist Dr. Lia Halasz.
There are also engineers, computer programmers, physicists, and I’m sure loads of others I don’t even know about that make this crazy ride run smoothly.
To all of you, I send my heartfelt thanks for being so upbeat and supportive in what could be the worst experience of my life. It’s not, because of you. You’ve made this very important part of this effort weirdly enjoyable. I’ve been giving a lot of cred to the people in Operation Woo-Woo, but I know without you, I would have been a goner.
You are miracle workers. Every night when you go home, give yourselves a big hug and know that we on the other end get it.
You are saving our lives.
Video by Marcus Donner and moiselles.