October was consumed by the CCI petition campaign and the trip to Loma Linda to get the pod made and have the initial consultation.
During my visit they did a CT Scan with me in the pod and they will use that image data to make the gadget that helps shape the proton beam. I met with Dr. Bush and his team for a complete exam and we all agreed to go ahead with the proton beam treatment plan. I’ll have 45 treatments weekdays that take about an hour out of my day.
I have to remember to drink two glasses of water about a half hour ahead to fill my bladder. Once I am in the pod and the tech has inserted the balloon everyone leaves the room while the machinery goes to work. A wheel spins to cause the Braggs peak effect and the protons are delivered through the device. The actual exposure time to the beam is about 1 minute and little effect is felt. The beam switches sides each day.
So, I have had 9 of these so far and no problems to report. The technicians are competent and the process seems well known. I was told the computers make the final adjustments and that there is a half inch margin planned in the treatment. This is to compensate for the inevitable differences in size and position despite all the care taken with the pod and so forth. Due to the holidays I’ll be doing this until mid January, 2010. I should be done just in time for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival where Ryan’s film about Drive55.org will be screened and I am scheduled to hand out iDrive 55 window cling things.