Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Overcast, Thunderstorms, Temperature 80 Degrees
The Daily Proton Treatment Ritual
Someday, I thought, I might want to go back and remember just what Proton treatment was like on a daily basis. Hey, maybe some of you would be interested as well.
So, lets go through a day together.
My treatment is five days a week, Monday through Friday.
The big unknown each day is what time treatment will be. You never know until after you receive treatment for that day. Let’s see, today’s treatment was at 7:35 am. I need to be there 30 minutes prior, so we need to be there at 7:05 am. The ride in varies between 12 to 15 minutes thus we need to be on the road no later than 6:50 am. That is definitely a very unretirement time of the morning!
Come on, time to get going.
Traffic was a bit heavy this morning so the ride took us the full 15 minutes. But, here we are.
The parking lot is just across the street from the Institute and there are always several open parking spots.
Once parked it is time to put my badge around my neck and my mask on my face.
The front doors that lead into the lobby. We learned from yesterday that it is a good idea to bring a sweatshirt with us. It is a bit chilly inside.
OK, once in the lobby we need to check in. You take your name badge and swipe it under one of the two badge readers. It used to be you could pick up the reader and swipe your badge while it was around your neck. No more, not with COVID. They are now tapped securely to their holders and you have to stick your badge under them. Once you do that you’ll see your name come up momentarily on the computer screen. That confirms that you are checked in and alerts the technicians in the back that you have arrived.
The lobby is an inviting and comfortable place. Wave to Ms. Barbara! She is sitting in what we have claimed as our spot within the lobby.
This is center stage in the lobby and after another 35 treatments I am definitely looking forward to my turn at ringing it.
OK, checked in, time now to drink the required 16 ounces of water. This fills the bladder which in turn holds the prostate in a better position for treatment. The only problem? You’re not allowed to go to the bathroom until after your treatment!
Time for treatment.
The dressing room where you put on what I call the why bother gown. You know, that silly gown that is open at the back. I threatened one day to just come down the hall buck naked but they said protocol would not allow it! So be it.
Properly dressed per protocol it is time to take the walk down the hall
to the Gantry Room. That’s John waiting to help me up on the slab. My body pod is already there and waiting for me. That big yellow square thing in the picture? That is the gantry which is the machine that zaps me daily with protons.
Yup, that’s me all properly aligned and ready for treatment. I’m locked into my body pod and with the help of the red lines as well as the two external markers on my hips I’m properly positioned so the gantry can do its thing with pin point precision. From the time I get up on the slab until I get off is about 12 to 17 minutes.
Treatment over, down off the slab and now it is double time to the bathroom!
Tomorrow, Wednesday, my appointment is at 12:32 pm. And we’ll do it for another 34 times after that and then that final day with joy I’ll ring the chime in the lobby.
That is about it for our day on The Road of Retirement. We wanted to do so many more things while we were here in Jacksonville but it doesn’t look like it is going to happen. COVID is making a roaring comeback in Florida and Jacksonville in particular. Maybe we’ll do a few outdoor activities, we’ll have to do some shopping, but going out to a restaurant is definitely not in the picture. We’re on volunteer lockdown with just one objective in mind, stay healthy for the remainder of my treatment. It’s hard just sitting around but we’ll do what we have to do.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. We always appreciate your company, your comments, and your suggestions. Remember, take time to stop and smell the roses and live each day that God gives you to the fullest.
Our continuing mission remains: Departing from our base as often as possible to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.
See you on down the road!