I had my radiation simulation done today and it was quite interesting . . . you might even call it life altering.  The staff introduced themselves and showed me to a room where I was told to remove everything from the waste up.  They provided me with a chic, soft pink cape that opens in the front.  the best part was that the cape was toasty warm.

I am shown into the CT Scan room and told to lay down on the comfy, hard metal table with my head resting near the open end of what looks like a science fiction machine that sucks your brains out.  While I’m familiar with what CT Scans do, it still doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.  The doctor and staff come in and explain what they are going to do today.  They will take some images and photos, and then tattoo my skin with permanent marks so that they can radiate the exact position each time.  I perk up.  Tattoos?

My arms are positioned over my head, and the staff explain that the CT Scan table will move in and out of the big circle CT Scanner.  I’m told  that I should lay still but breath normally, and that the scan will only take about five minutes.  Do these people know what kind of trouble I can get into in five minutes?  Then they tell me that while they won’t be in the room with me, they will be able to see and hear me the entire time.  Well that certainly limits what mischief I will get into!

The staff leaves, and the table moves in and out finding the right position then stops, and the test begins.  This entertains me for about a minute and then I’m bored and my mind wanders.  I start looking closer at the CT Scan wondering how it works when I notice a label on the inside.  My glasses are off and the label is upside down, but I have nothing better to do, so I squint and decipher until I read, “Do not stare directly into laser as it may cause permanent eye damage.”  What!!!  This label is located right next to a red light! And shouldn’t that label be facing the other direction?  Breath normally my foot!

The technician enters and before I can ask about the laser label I notice a digital camera in her hand.  This can’t be good.  She tells me that she is going to take some photos for my file.  My “file” sounds a lot like “my permanent record” and there is no way I want topless photos in my permanent record.  She takes the photos, and I wonder if I ever run for political office if these photos will somehow surface.  Or what if I ever have to testify before Congress and they ask if I have ever had nude photos taken?  I’m not liking this, but she quickly moves on to discussing tattoo’s, and she has my undivided attention again.

She tells me that she is going to put three tattoos on me.  I promptly ask for a butterfly, a flower and I’m torn between a heart and Gene’s initials when she explains that all I’m getting is three dots.  Bummer!  And I don’t even get to pick the color of the dots!  Fifty three years without a tattoo and now they are taking all the fun out of it. 

Let me tell you.  The tattoos hurt.  Not the kind of hurt where it brings tears to your eyes, but enough that you wonder why anyone would willingly go in and get one.  I get a dot in each rib cage and one in the cleavage area.  The tech tells me that there is a smear of ink in each area, but that it will wash off.  I’m told to go change back into my clothes.

Of course the first thing I do in the changing room is look at my new tattoos in the mirror.  The ink smears are distracting so I wet a paper towel to wipe them away.  The water doesn’t take much of the ink away but I notice the hand sanitizing liquid and remember that alcohol removes ink.  Now let me just say that I was intent on seeing my new tattoos and not thinking this through clearly.  I wet the towel with sanitizer and wipe the tattoo area . . . and nearly fall to my knees as the alcohol hits the open wound.  Have you ever tried to blow on your own rib cage?

I leave with my calendar of 33 radiation appointments and five other appointments and wonder what I did with my time before doctor’s appointments.  I’m heading to Target to buy some rub off tattoos to surprise Gene with.  Do you think I should put Hello Kitty or Dora the Explorer in my cleavage?