Monday, June 22, 2009

06/08/09 - Radiation Simulation

Posted on 6/22. I had a Radiation Simulation performed on 6/8/09. In the past, I had likened it to a "dry-run," but it is more than that. Most of time is used to line up any positioning references to my treatment areas. My "treatment areas" are viewed via CT Scan (CAT Scan).

Radiation's CAT Scanner

Lining up my body to the image created by the CAT Scan is done via a mask, and/or small tattoos. They are aligned with laser targets so that the overall system "knows" where my body is. In addition, the actual Radiation Machine takes X-Rays once I am aligned by the lasers to add even more precision to the process...

Aligning reference lasers with CAT Scan

When my brain tumor is treated, I am face down. The Radiation Technicians made a new mask for me. One can be seen by clicking "here", click the "back" button when you are done looking at the example. The laser targets (for alignment) are blue plus signs. My newest mask only covers the back of my head, not the front of it and my torso, as the example shows.

As I mentioned, another way to align my body are tattoos. In the following picture, I put large green circles around them. The Radiation Technicians used a blue ballpoint pen and smaller circles to highlight them... In the red circle is a bruise from falling down. In the yellow circle are some injuries from wrecking my recumbent tricycle a few weeks ago. It turns out that having one wheel in front of two is not a very stable arrangement... On my head, you can also see the scar from my initial brain tumor surgery in the early fall of 2006.

My tattoos, circled in green

Of course, I tried to keep my tattoos up with the latest trends, but alas, they are only small blue spots, the size of this period ->.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting pics, Mark, as well as the details of the process. It's so detailed and I truly appreciate your taking the time to do all of that. I'm sure it is frustrating to have to do it, but you are very good at keeping us abreast of everything.....continued prayers, dear friend!

Our Best to you and Laura...and that character, Big Monkey.

Mary & Bill and the Gregory clan

6/22/2009 4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't they at least work in a 'Go PSU!' or 'JoePa rules!'


6/22/2009 5:01 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


The worst part about radiation treatments is likely the simulation... Lying on my face for about two hours... In the second picture of this posting "Aligning reference lasers..." shows my face in a "foam square" which is very uncomfortable. The "foam square" can also be seen in the first photo near the bottom of the circular CT scanner. It has a hole in the middle of it so I can breathe.


6/30/2009 9:15 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Unfortunately, I don't think their repertoire of tattoos includes anything that complicated... :-(


6/30/2009 9:21 AM  

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