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Embrace The Suck — Radiation Therapy Begins


Parrish, Florida — December 2012
Sony NEX-5R + Leica Summilux 50/1.4 ASPH

My journey with prostate cancer continues, for today marks the beginning of daily radiation therapy to kill the remnants of the tumor that were missed during the surgery I had back in late March (earlier posts on the subject can be found here and here).

Each weekday afternoon for the next 7-weeks I’ll show up at the treatment facility, get oriented horizontally with my legs braced in a special foam cast, the radiation technicians will fine-tune the targeting using my three new “dot” tattoos (outside left upper thigh, outside right upper thigh, and lower abdomen), then I’ll wait as the huge linear accelerator weaves its business end all around my pelvic region for 10-15 minutes, then I’ll be finished for the day and return to work.

At least, that’s the plan.

I’ve been told that I should not expect any side effects for the first two weeks or so, but then they will begin to build after the initial grace period.  What will the side effects be?  I’m told that they can vary widely according to the individual.

I’m fond of a quote from Mel Brooks classic dark comedy, Young Frankenstein, where Marty Feldman’s character Igor says, “Could be worse.  Could be raining!”  Only in this case I seem to be catching the rain a lot more than not.

Due to the prep requirements for each daily session, I predict I’ll drop a lot of weight by the time I’m finished, as having to cleanse every morning with Milk of Magnesia will do that.

Let’s hope that this puts an end to the tumor; if it doesn’t, then chemotherapy is the next step.

And I really don’t want to do that.

11 thoughts on “Embrace The Suck — Radiation Therapy Begins

  1. Dan

    Good luck, Mitch. I’ll be following along closely, as the radiation oncologist I saw last week is encouraging me to start salvage radiation therapy, too. We have a little time to make that decision given how slowly my PSA is increasing.

    All the best.



    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks, Dan.

      I dunno if you’ve read it yet, but this post (https://prostate-center.com/radiation/radiation-dosage/) has a lot of pertinent information for you to read and consider. I just came back from my first daily dose and learned that I’m receiving 200 cGy per day, or a total dose of 7,000 cGy over the course of 35 days. Maximum safe dose for someone with the prostate already removed is 7,020 — so I’m just under it. One cGy equals one Rad, and one cGy is equal to 10 dental X-rays; 200 cGy = 2,000 dental X-rays.


    2. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks, Dan. I find it interesting (and aggravating at the same time) that there can be so many different opinions by members of the medical team when dealing with something like this. Interesting because they all have their different insights and bits of knowledge that they’ve held onto, and aggravating because — dammit! — I want a clear path forward and for this to be over with!


      1. Dan

        I couldn’t agree more, Mitch! Especially when you find studies from the same high-powered institution (Johns Hopkins) that are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Infuriating.


  2. cecile53

    Good luck ! I’ll pray for you. And my advice is to drink the juice of half a lemnon daily in half a glass of water.
    Although it tastes sour it makes the body more basic. Sorry do not know the right english words.
    cancer likes bodies to be acidic, so you have to add drinks and foods that bring down the levels of acid.
    A doctor in medicine who did win the nobelprize a few years back dit tell about the lemnonjuice.
    and you can also drink with water a thing I think is called baking soda ( (HCO3 )
    Please google it so you can be sure about what you need.
    My second father dir have the same cancer as you. When he started using the lemnonjuice and baking ssoda the cancer minimalized fast. A miracle, the cancer-doctor said and he did think my father would recover. But then it turned out that some medicins did not react together well in his body and there came a bleeding in his brain. So he died. But the cancerdoctor did say that he was sure that otherwise my father would be healed from cancer.
    So please give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. cecile53

        hi Mitch,
        I am happy you are open to natural healing. But it has not to do with all citrus, it is just the lemnon. And the baking soda.


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