Friday, February 18, 2022

Nuke That Tumor!

I started proton beam therapy Wednesday. This is the proton beam aperture and my immobilizing chair. The mesh cowl was premade to clamp my head. The plastic mesh has a haint that stays in my nose for a while. 

The proton beam aperture is appropriately intimidating. It's amazing this powerful cyclotron machine is delicately murdering my wayward cells with such care. (Let's not forget the doctor and technicians are the actual care, magnified to atomic eyed monster, magnifying glass of will and deadly purpose)

Really big hose clamp? No, precision ring and stand with a light I stare at. I'm surprised I'm not claustrophobic. The restraint oddly comforting. If the above pic were an illustration, I'd be intrigued by the form. It reminds me of the hibernation pods from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Or Space Ghost. It's the cowl I guess, huh?

Weekend off and then three more sessions next week. Anything go wrong, sight loss or black and white vision, I am to go straight to the emergency room. People ask how I'm doing and I'm fine.

I didn't feel anything. I didn't even see the flashes or flares or streaks of Cherenkov radiation like the astronauts see. Just as well, it would mean something went horribly wrong and I look like the Elephant Man before I die.

Nothing so dramatic. The proton beam is but a tickle compared to astronaut particle blasts.

I will tell you that my brain is sad. It has lost half its visual field. 

What I see is a sargasso sea with occasional patches of clear. Those are welcome, comforting fetishes of vision, but looking through a tumor at the world is no fun. I've noticed an insecurity that did not exist before. I am less lithe, more hesitant, having to pause to orient: the motions of an old man. It might not get better. Not getting out of the woods. It may be woods from here on out. My brain must deal with this.

If the vision fails to improve, I will allow the ghost of Del Close to possess me and practice this particular affectation, but with less hair.


  1. That picture look like something out of a horror film. Or some modern torture device.