During my course of treatment, I had 30 radiation sessions.

Before radiation can begin you are fitted for a mask.  This is a simple and painless procedure, but might be scary if you have an issue with small spaces.  First you lie down on a table.  A large plastic like sheet with holes in it is given a warm bath, which makes the plastic bendable.  They take it out and place it on your face and start pulling and molding it to you.  Then you sit with it on your face until it hardens.  This process isn't very long.

Radiation to the neck goes like this: you go into a room with a large machine.  You lie down on the table and your mask is put on.  The freaky part is that the mask snaps to the table, so you can't get up until they come and take the mask off of you.  I had two masks made since I lost so much weight during treatment.  My first mask was loose and I could keep my eyes open during treatment.  My second mask was more form fitting and I had to keep my eyes closed.

This machine with a long arm moves over you and a buzzing sound can be heard.  You won't feel anything during treatment, and your team can hear you if you need anything.  The process is quick, lasting up to 15 minutes.  The majority of the time is getting the machine lined up perfectly.  Once they start the actual beam, it's only a matter of minutes.

Your team will come back in and free you from your mask.  I have included a picture of what the mask looks like, but it's not of mine, just a pic I found online.  

Sometimes you will have an imprint of the mask on your face, but that will go away after a bit.

Once a week I was weighed and had to meet with my doctor, who would just ask how I was doing, and my vitals were taken.  After my time in the ICU, I was weighed each visit,because they were concerned with my weight loss.

Other than that, radiation is pretty easy.  It does cause a sore throat and fatigue, so don't expect to not have any side effects.  Because my radiation was only done to one side of my neck, my throat wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Blessings to you all.

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