Coping with Cancer: What to Expect from Radiation Treatment Masks

2019-01-13 | Uncategorized | By Alexa Willis | 0 Comments

In the midst of cancer, one may suffer times of anxiety, depression and fear. You become anxious about the uncertainty of what is to come. You feel sorry for yourself. You may even suffer a bit of self pity. Then you certainly have the fear of death. Too often, these are combined with anxieties associated with the cancer treatment. One of the most common of these is the radiation treatment mask.

The mask is what holds the head and neck area in the same place every time radiation is done. After mapping out on the computer for a week and a half, they need to ensure that the work was not wasted. You must be in the exact same position every time. It would not be prudent to radiate the tongue one time and the spinal cord the next with the same beam. So as horrible as it looks, it is a needed part of the treatment. And most people say it’s not nearly as bad as it looks.

The outer rim of the mask snaps down to the table and holds you in place. It is snug. Barely enough room to swallow. But it works. You can breathe and see. Today I had a contrast done. Then there is a contrast, which is a CAT scan with iodine infused via IV so that is lights up what they need to see. This way they can further map out what needs to be radiated and at what strengths. So as the meds work into the system you get pretty warm indeed. For some reason your posterior end seems to warm up fast and with some intensity.

Having the mask made is no biggie. It is a fine mesh plastic that is warmed up and placed on your head and formed to your face. In 4-5 minutes, you are done. The hard part is up to the techs that map out the treatment. If you do your part and hold still, they do their part and map out the beams and particles of beams properly, and you should get an effective chemo treatment.

 

Here is the final point. Even through all the horrible things that occur with cancer, life continues. People pass on. Your children continue to need you. They continue to need your praise and share your life experiences. Your family members and friends continue to be a part of your life and want you to be a valid part of their life. Do not allow yourself to fall too far beneath the epidemy of your cancer to disallow what can be so wonderful and fantastic. As with anything else in life you must find your balance and use your free will to endure and embrace the challenges of life so that it does not pass you by.