There was no lump -- a Breast Cancer blog

This blog is about my experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
You can learn more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer at or

The names of my Doctors have been changed.



Contact me at Liane58 at gmail dot com
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Location: United States

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Radiation -- the next step

"They marked me up like a side of beef," I laughingly told a friend about my radiation simulation, the measurements and preparations for my radiation treatments. Although all the Doctors and technicians were as nice as could be, nevertheless: having three or four white-jacketed scientists standing over me and talking about me, marking me up with Sharpie markers, drawing dotted lines and circles, laying pieces of wire on me (using them as a plumb line? I don't know), shining red light beams on me, tattooing a set of tiny dots onto my skin -- there's no way that all this can be done in a warm and fuzzy or even personal manner. As the staff talked over me, I tuned them out, closing my eyes and breathing deeply. There was some discomfort in all this, as I had to have my arms over my head as I lay on the platform, resting them in stirrups -- which started to feel like handcuffs (my right arm is still sore from surgery, remember). And of course I was naked from the waist up, and they always seem to have it extra cold in places where this occurs (to enhance that meat locker effect?) The platform I was on moved around as they took a series of x-rays that became a 360 degree view of my torso. At the end of this the technician draped a robe over my chest and snapped a Polaroid. Just like at Abu Ghraib, they wanted to have a little photographic memento. When I asked, I was told they just want to be able to match the x-rays with my face. So why not have me smile for the camera?

Next was another CT scan. I'm getting used to this one. I kept thinking they should get artists involved in the design of these big medical machines, to make it a more aesthetically pleasing experience. It wouldn’t impair the function at all. I imagined a CT machine designed by William Morris, and one designed by Peter Max. I guess I should write to GE, the manufacturer?