My first radiation appointment (in this series) had no radiation, it was a planning session. While being mapped, I asked the two young lady technicians if they had a most memorable patient. They said no, patients come and go daily, nothing has really stood out in the parade. After a while, one of them remembered a tattooed patient who, for his final treatment had printed THANK YOU across his chest with a big felt marker. He was the most memorable. I told them my prostate surgery seven years ago was on the morning of St Patrick’s Day, and how I was going to tie a green bow on myself so when the surgeon pulls back the sheet to operate, he would say, “Oh – Yes… it is St Patrick’s Day!” But, I confessed that I chickened out. That doctor and team didn’t know me and could possibly suspect I was a weird-O. One technician thought that was really funny and wondered if I would do something on my last visit here. I had seven weeks to consider it, and they had seven weeks to determine the odds of me being any kind of weird.
My daily radiation treatments have gone as follows: allow time to get to my appointment considering traffic and parking. Go directly to the radiation dispensary, remove pants and shoes, put on a hospital gown, visit in the waiting room until escorted to the machine. Reciting the magic words (my birth date) gets me through the last door. I lay on the slab, put my legs into the “don’t move” mold made just for me, and to expose my new hospital tattoo laser targets, I slip my underwear down to the borderline that separates PG-13 from RATED R. The machine orbits my equator once while performing a scan, and once again delivering radiation.
I drove the 21.8 miles once again for my 38th and final radiation treatment. In the changing room, I switched to my brand-new, carefully chosen, Wonder Woman underwear. The technicians were properly dazzled when on the slab, I drew open my hospital gown and presented my colors. They were even more impressed when I lowered them to reveal the message my wife had carefully inscribed just north of the border with a king size Sharpie, “THANK YOU x38.” They said it made their day and would be talked about for a long time.