Mason went to the hospital this morning that he will be having his all of his radiation treatments at. It is a different one than Primary Chrildren's, where he will have his chemo therapy treatments done. He was a very tired boy after having to wake up at 5:30 am, he was cheerful for the whole ride, and the whole time in the hospital...until they took him back to the simulation room.
To those of you who--like me--wanted pictures of the simulation, I am sorry. I don't have any, though It wasn't for a lack of trying; I lugged my huge camera around in my tiny purse to save on space, and even lost the lens cap for a few minutes until I found it sitting on a random chair....
I could feel when the anxiety started kicking in as we approached the opening to the simulation room, and Mason's walking slowed as he began tugging on my hand. Once we were in, he wasted no time in going into hysterics. This was when I chose to ditch the camera and focus my efforts on trying to console him. I reminded him that we had put a numbing cream on his port earlier, and that it wasn't going to hurt this time. It wasn't much help, though, since he already had so much fear worked up into his mind. The anesthesiologist quickly punctured his port with a pick-line (I hope that's the right use of the terminology), and started taping it down so it wouldn't fall out. Mason was crying this whole time, and then said: "Please...don't poke me!"
I couldn't help it--I laughed. Then I leaned down and explained to Mason that the poking was done, and he obviously hadn't felt a thing. He didn't stop crying. Instead, he started saying "ow" anytime he was touched, since he was unsure if it was another poke or not. I'm not sure whether to call that smart, or goofy. ♥
When it was done, it had only taken about 25 or so minutes, but the doctor and nurses kept trying to assure me that the radiation wouldn't ever take this long. It was only the simulation that was long. I just smiled and said "okay," like I had been worried about the time all along. But really? I sat through a 10-hour surgery, a 8-hour surgery, and a 1 1/2-hour surgery; I'll take that 25 minute waiting time any day.
Mason woke up so quickly, I was surprised. I heard him grunting and growling at the doctors (all the way from the waiting room) right around that 25 minute mark, and it wasn't long after that when the doctor came in saying that he was up and ready to see him mom. :) After that, he was taken back up to Same Day Surgery to fully wake up. I like that part, because he was assigned a room that will be his to recover in for the rest of his treatments. It's a nice touch.
As you can see, I did get to use my camera. Mason watched TV and drank some root beer, all the while playing with the oxygen clip on his finger, to make the machine beep over and over again. He became fully aware really quickly, and we were out of there within 40 minutes...30 of which were just so that they could monitor him and make sure he was really doing as well as he looked.
At one point, Mason asked me if he had been poked. I jumped at the opportunity, and helped him realize that yes, he was poked, but he didn't even feel it. And after he was poked, he went to sleep, and woke up, and now got to go home. I made sure he realized it would be like that every time he came. I think it helped him to see that, although I can't be sure until next time. We'll see how it goes then!
To answers everyone's questions: yes, they tattooed him, something I am still angry about. Not because they did it--I wasn't going to object--but because no one told me they would until I asked about it afterward. Not being familiar with radiation, that's not something one would expect to normally happen...unless one was told by his/her doctor. Which I wasn't. And seeing as how he is 4 years old, you would think someone would have taken the time to say: "Hey, we need to put some tattoos on your son. It's just standard procedure, and they're not huge or anything. In fact they are like tiny dots. But we want you to know that they're there, so you don't see one and flip out thinking he has skin cancer as well."
Something like that would have been nice. But that is another post all by itself, and it's really just one of those things that someone who has nothing else to complain about (me), can pick apart for days.
Okay, okay, talking too much. Back to the pictures, here are the tattoos and sharpie marks.
From the back:
You can't tell, but this is his side (there is one each side). If you enlarge this picture, you can see how small the little tattoos really are. But I can't tell if he's bruised on this side, or if that's a patch of ink under his skin. You decide.
He was done with pictures by this point.