I am so very excited to hear that our Fairfield Medical Center Foundation is helping our Radiation Oncology Department to purchase a much needed Linear Accelerator. I am a Breast Cancer Survivor and recently completed 26 Radiation Treatments at Fairfield Medical Center. The one side effect that I had from radiation was that I became very fatigued. My treatments were 5 days a week for a little over 5 weeks. I was so thankful that I was able to have this done locally and did not have to drive to Columbus every day. Because of this, I was able to go to work, have my treatment during my lunch break and go right back to work after, without ever having to miss a day.
On my first day of treatment, the staff presented me with my own silky patient gown. It was hand-made by FMC’s own amazing Volunteers. I wore it every day during my treatment. Radiation can make your skin sore and burn. The silky gown was much appreciated because of this.
During treatments, the Technicians have to precisely position you on the table and precisely deliver the radiation to the affected area. You are told that you have to lay as still as possible and not move as this could affect the area that the radiation is being given. It does not take very long for each segment, but by having a linear accelerator, radiation time would be cut down as well as it would make it easier for our staff to deliver the required radiation to the specific spot the cancer was or is located.
I was very fortunate that I was able to lay on the treatment table without much difficulty, but some patients with arthritis or other chronic pain issues, have a harder time staying still, so decreased radiation time would be even more beneficial to them.
Before you begin your radiation treatments, the Radiation Oncologist goes over the risks and side effects of the radiation therapy. One of these being, how much scatter radiation can damage healthy tissue. Since my radiation was focused on my Breast area, I was told that I could be left with scarring in my lung as well as brittle ribs that could potentially cause a fracture. He also instructed me that the effects of radiation treatment could potentially not even show for several years down the road. It can also cause swelling and burns to the entire area that is radiated. A more focused beam, as with the Linear Accelerator would potentially reduce the broader effects radiation has to healthy tissue.
The staff in radiation Oncology are amazing. They make you feel so comfortable, just like you are a part of their own family. They could tell when I was having a rough day and always made me smile. I will never forget the kindness and caring that they showed me during the time when I needed this the most. On your last day of radiation, you are presented with a certificate of completion and all of the Technicians gather in the hallway by the treatment rooms, and watch you ring the bell that signifies you are done. It is a very emotional time for the patient and their family members. I remember that I really tried my best not to cry, but when I saw my husband standing by the bell along with the radiation Oncology team, it brought tears to my eyes. I believe that GOD has a purpose for everyone, and that we all go thru rough patches in our lives. I also believe that God puts others in your lives at precisely the right moment when you need help. I can never Thank the Radiation Oncology Team and FMC enough for being there for me and my family during this time.
Tina Anderson, Cancer Survivor