Every day of the week Misha travels on a courtesy shuttle provided by the hospital to travel to Ontario to receive radiation. She is joined by five older people also receiving radiation, making Misha the youngest at twenty years old on the bus. I decided to join her on my day off from school and work.
It took close to an hour to get to Ontario, and then there was another hour wait while the five bus members each got radiation. Fortunately, Larry, Perry, and Marilyn were big talkers. We conversed about art and theater, and Perry courteously mentioned to me that if he was a famous painter he would paint me a portrait.
I found out that Marilyn had breast cancer, Perry had cancer in his esophagus, and Larry had skin cancer above his lip. But the all agreed that out of everyone who took the bus, Misha was going through the worst.
After Misha came out I was able to venture into the radiation room and see where it all happens. You can see in the picture what it's like. The patients lay on the bed (lower left hand corner) with a mesh face mask holding them down. The machine (taking up the right side of the photo) is what gives off the radiation. The bed and the machine can spin around to radiate areas of the entire body.
It was an experience. The most I had ever seen of my sister's treatment was her receiving chemo and getting MRIs as a child. I could tell on the bus ride back that this treatment completely wipes her out, just like all the treatments do.
I would like to congratulate my sister on six months of treatment and her radiation therapy coming to an end tomorrow. She's been so strong and (in the words of my coworkers) spunky. To all my readers who are going through radiation, chemotherapy, or other treatments, stay spunky.