Radiation for Lymphoma is used when the cancer becomes metastatic, or spreads. Because my cancer spread from the lymph nodes in my armpit to the left testicle, the next step in treatment was to irradiate the scrotum area.
Radiation was done at a separate clinic from my normal chemotherapy. The Maricopa County Oncology Clinic contracts out to this clinic when ordering radiation treatments for patients. My first visit was with their doctor, who examined me, and let me know how things would progress. The second visit was to have a CT scan done on the area that would be irradiated. That let’s the doctor know if there is anything to be concerned about.
The radiation itself was very simple, and quick. I had a total of 15 sessions over a 3 week period. I would arrive at the clinic, check in, and wait for the technician. The machine they use when administering radiation for Lymphoma, or any other cancers, is a flat table that the patient lays on, with a large irradiator that can revolve around the table.
Each session was the same. I would lay on the table, with my scrotum exposed. The technician would leave the room and control the device from their. First, the machine would rotate overhead, and send a few pulses of radiation to the front. Then, it would rotate, and do the same from the back. There’s no pain or feeling at all. Just a weird buzzing sound.
One side effect of this treatment, is that it will cause the same effect as a sunburn, to the area being treated. This is a small price to pay, to ensure that any and all cancer is destroyed. After my last radiation session was finished, that concluded the brunt of my cancer treatment.
Now that the radiation treatment was finished, I was closer to having my ileostomy reversed. They will not perform surgery while someone is going through chemo and radiation, because the body’s immune system will have a difficult time healing the surgical wounds. This will be the subject of my next post.
For now, I could celebrate one more step in beating cancer. I finished both my regular and intrathecal chemo, all tests have so far show NED (no evidence of disease), and now I was finished with my radiation for Lymphoma treatments.