The Magic Machine

July 20, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

This magic machine is the Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator.  Varian True Beam link for YouTube

It sings to me.

This photo is the scene when I enter the room. The white sheet covers my unique mold for my treatment. I lie down on my back, reaching my hands over my head and grasping the white vertical handles. The table raises and moves back into the center of the machine. The large head at the top delivers the beam of radiation and revolves around my body nearly 360 degrees. The square on the right rotates to the uppermost position at the beginning and the team uses the green laser to accurately position my body. The first revolution takes magnetic images that are sent to the radiation oncologist to assure that I am in the right position for treatment. The lymph nodes under my left arm are treated first. Then the team checks the magnetic images for the radiation of my stomach (empty for 4 hours). Upon approval of the doctor, the radiation is administered in the second half of the treatment. It all takes about 15 minutes. 

And during the second portion as the TrueBeam revolves around me with blinking lights and whirring noises, it sounds almost like it's singing. Not quite like the musical interlude that signals the end of the cycle of our washer and dryer in our home. But still, it sounds like faint singing. Probably hymns.

Today is treatment #5. 1/3 of the way to the finish line!


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