Journal entry by Barbara Best-Santos

So Mom has been healing well from her last surgery and now we are on to Radiology - yippee (not really).
We met with the radiologist yesterday and began learning all about the process.  She will be facing 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy and she's not super excited...but again, it's better than chemo!

We learned about how breathing is a big part of radiation treatment, who knew!  She was given a snorkel-like mouthpiece (for practice at home) and we were taught about this cool program that they use to manage the radiation to coincide with holding her breath.  The inhalation expands the chest in an effort to direct the radiation away from the heart and toward the nasty cancer area.  She wears goggles that show her a live chart of her breathing (measured through the snorkel piece) and it shows her where to hold her breath.  It's really like a video game she's controlling with her lungs...well, that's what it looked like to me.  She didn't really enjoy it as much as I did, but that's because she'll be doing it every day.

We head back to the Dr tomorrow for additional counseling on skin therapy and other management tools.  We then go back in next week to do the 'mapping'.  This is where they plan the radiation treatment and basically start programming the sessions.  She'll get some tatoos and they will take all the data necessary to draw out a game plan.  Once the plan is complete, she'll go in for a test run and then get started.

The main side affect is fatigue, so she is expecting to be tired.  That can be managed...just nap more!  

Let's get this thing rolling!
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