Radiotherapy Shell Details


As requested, here is a picture of my radiotherapy shell, and another with me wearing it, positioned and fastened down for treatment. These were taken this morning, before my second session.

Looking at the picture of the shell, the treatment area is outlined in red. Actually, it’s a little more complicated – you should be able to see a thin black line in the bottom left of the red shape; the area below that is masked off by a screen inside the machine, so it’s not treated either. Inside that area, you can see the scar from my most recent operation – healing very nicely.

The other thin black lines on the shell are for calibration, to make sure I end up in exactly the same place each time. The treatment machine emits a series of green lasers which shine across my body, and are used to line me up.

There are four fasteners; two on the side of the head and two on the shoulders. The pink shoulder pieces are quick-setting thermoplastic, which was added as a second stage in the shell making process, after it was fitted.

As you can see in the on-table photo, my neck is supported by a white neckrest, and my chin is as far back as possible, to keep mouth and teeth out of the field. They irradiate me by shining the beam vertically downwards from the front, then rotate the entire machine around me, rearrange the shielding automatically and do the same vertically upwards from the back. Even though it looks a bit odd, it’s pretty comfortable, and I’m normally only in that position for a few minutes; the actual beam time can’t be more than 20 seconds per side. The daily dose is 2 Gray.

If anyone has any other questions, please do ask. Yes, I do get to take the shell home when I’ve finished :-)

7 thoughts on “Radiotherapy Shell Details

  1. I’m just amazed at how transparent (ha… a pun) you are about this whole thing.

    Just know that I am continuing to pray for it to go smoothly and to be a success. Hopefully you’ll be as right as rain in no time.

  2. I’m constantly amazed at the advances in technology, specifically in the field of medicine. That said, I’m more in awe of our Creator’s constant presence in the lives of His children. I pray that you will know His closeness throughout your treatment, and you will have peace.

    God bless!

  3. Did nobody else look at this and think of Westworld?

    Or rather, the inferior sequel, Futureworld:

    Indidentally, Wikipedia claims that Westworld was the first major motion picture to use 2d computer graphics, and Futureworld the first to use 3d graphics: an animated hand in the film was a digitized version of the left hand of Edwin Catmull, co-founder and president of Pixar.

  4. Thanks for posting these, Gerv. The picture and how you described it mostly matched up with my impression, but as they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

    That’s great it’s comfortable for you. It doesn’t look quite that way, but since the treatment is pretty fast (I suppose radiation doesn’t take too long to work) I can see how it wouldn’t be too bad.

    I’m sure while you’re sitting there, under the beam, you get a good chance to pray, huh? If you could post the dates you’ll be getting treatment I’d be happy to pray for you the day in advance (being out in the USA is a bit behind where you’re at).

  5. You really should eat seaweed too. It’s known to fight against the spread of cancer. Even if it doesn’t help, it still tastes good and is healthy – try it!

  6. its an old post i know and u dont know me, but i hope ur better now dude. just came across this whilst researching radiography1