Radiation: Why The Incredible Hulk Got Superpowers and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt (A Case Study)
Saturday December 27th 2008, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Leukemia

First off, I should get this out of the way: although the Hulk is mentioned in this blog, this blog is not a case study of what the title would suggest. In fact, I did not receive any sort of shirt, “tee” or otherwise, during the course of my radiation treatments.

Moving along: everyday of my radiation treatment took place in Machine 2 at the University of Colorado Hospital (right next door to the Children’s Hospital). Now I know what you’re thinking. “Machine 2!?” you’re saying to yourself. But it wasn’t these Machines. Nor was it this machine. It was a radiation machine, which, so far as I can tell, means it was like a room-sized microwave in which I was the Reid-sized burrito. It looked an awful lot like the lab at the beginning of the old Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk television series.

In the center of this room is a table that can best be described as “sciency”. It is the bullseye to the room’s dart board; in technical terms, it’s where all the “things” in the room “point” to “do” “stuff” (and things). With the particular kind of radiation I was having–cranial (or for those of you who have already had cranial radiation: “they was working on my brain”)–they made a mold of my head to make sure the radiation hit the same exact place every day. The resulting mask was a sort of mesh that not only ensured their radiation hit the same spot in my brain every day, but also securely fastened me down to the table, which I can best describe as “Torquemadaish”.

I’m just kidding, of course. While the mask did hold me in place, the radiation was a painless few minutes a day in which the most noticeable immediate effect was seeing pretty, albeit not-really-there, colors. In fact, I even got to keep my mask, minus the clamps that locked it into the table. I think it makes me look like a computer rendering of the Buddha, with the textures messed up. My second cousin (once removed) Marci suggested the it made me look like a bank robber disguised as someone from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Either way, I need to figure out something to do with this mask. I hereby open the floor to suggestions.

I mentioned immediate effects of the radiation, but there are other effects from the radiation, of course. The most noticeable effect will be the “somnolence syndrome” which will make me very sleepy for some months. All the other stuff–from secondary cancers to loss and lack of recall speed–is stuff I’m trying not to worry about much these days.

Anyway, it’s much more fun imagining running over my mask with a monster truck.


4 Comments so far
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Radiation takes a few days to work!!

Comment by mister nips 12.28.08 @ 9:44 pm

Awesome? For sure. Hulktastic? Damn right.

Comment by Reid 12.28.08 @ 11:27 pm

The mask oddly reminded me of those creepy baby-looking masks from Brazil, but I’m not fully sure why.

Comment by Matt Gallo 12.31.08 @ 9:14 am

Oh, and sorry, you actually Were supposed to get Incredible Hulk liek powers, but the radiation got confused, and thought my beard (now named Reid as you remember) was the Reid it wanted, and the powers went to me. (well, to my beard anyway… You wouldn’t like it when it’s angry.)

Comment by Matt Gallo 12.31.08 @ 9:15 am

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