Having a Radiotherapy Mask Made
(To read my cancer story from the beginning start here – April / May 2018 – You Have Cancer)
I was still in hospital when I went through the process of having my Radiotherapy Mask Made which was a relief as it meant no constant travelling back and forward to the hospital for scans, fitting, etc.
Although I was walking OK now I was still being taken everywhere by the porters in either my bed or in a wheelchair.
For my 1st radiotherapy mask fitting session my regular porter, A slightly rotund, bald headed Man City fan named Keith took me down in a chair.
I got in to the room where they talked me through the process but were concerned with my swelling and also the fact I still had a dressing on my neck, they said they didn’t want to make the mask whilst my swelling was bad as if it went down over the next week or two my mask wouldn’t be such a good fit, that plus the dressing on my neck led them to postpone my mask making 🙁
My consultant wasn’t too happy as he was keen to get my treatment started, so I was back down there again within the week having my mask made.
It wasn’t too bad, there were 2 people making it, I lay on the bed and they draped it over me, similar to a warm flannel and started shaping it round my face and neck.
It was quite large, covering my whole head, right down to chest and over shoulders.
I kept my eyes closed the whole time and was lay there for what felt like 20 minutes listening to the lady talking about her cycling holiday in France, I felt like saying shut up, but even if I did really want to say it I couldn’t 🙂
After they took it off they put some stickers on it then said I also had to have a little tube in my mouth during the sessions keeping my mouth in the same position
It was just a small plastic tube about 2 inches long and 1inch diameter, they heated up a wax like substance, put it round the tube which I then bit in to and held whilst drying to create a bite mark in it which would be used to line up my teeth with.
With it all over, the guy who helped make my mask wheeled me back to my ward and we got chatting about 3d images of helmets he was creating.
He showed me one on his phone similar to the helmets on HALO.
I got back to my bed relieved that was all over to be told I was probably going home the next day 🙂
Before leaving hospital to go home I had more scans whilst actually wearing the mask, then on the day I was discharged was told to wait to hear from them about when my treatment would start.
Story continues here: – Back at home, the calm before the storm