Thursday, December 20, 2012

Splitin' atoms and killin' cancer

The Captain is starting treatment on January 2nd 2013.
He will be getting 30 sessions of radiation at the Proton Therapy Center in Bloomington IN.
That will be 5 days a week for 6 weeks. All the while taking his chemo like a good cancer patient.

The Proton Therapy Center is kinda awesome.
Futuristic sci-fi kinda awesome.

Here is a bit about what they do... or how they do it...

Crazy, right?

The Captain and I took a trip down to Bloomington last week. We met the Dr., toured the facility, the Captain got a CT and some molds and a mask made... you know normal stuff.

Andy LOVES IU (Indiana University) Basketball

Last week he received a wonderful gift from IU head Basket ball coach Tom Crean.
"To Andy, Keep fighting with a Hoosier Spirit. Tom Crean"
Needless to say, Andy LOVED it.

He's also super excited because he is staying just across the street from the IU's basketball stadium.
Brain Cancer or no... his love for IU basketball wins out.

The Proton Therapy Center was incredible. The people were so kind and caring. It just helped confirm the decision we made to go here.  While in the lobby waiting to be called back I scanned the room. A young dad sat watching a TV screen holding a small pink winter coat. proton Therapy is used 100% across the board in children. My heart hurt at the sight of the tiny coat. Knowing the pain and uncertainty that these parents were experiencing made me want to scream. Before I really had time to process it all, a tall man came out into the waiting area wearing what seemed to be a new hat, except that it was signed all over in varying colors of ink. He was leaving... had just had his last treatment and all the Dr.'s, nurses, and staff had signed his hat. He was receiving many hugs and well wishes not only from the staff, but from other waiting in the waiting area as well. It would seem this is not only a place of uncertainty... but one of hope and new-found friendships.

It was a good experience to have... seeing both the before and after... felling the heaviness of the present and the freedom of a hopeful future.

This is our prayer for Andy, freedom from cancer and a future... a long, long future.

They made a mold of Andy's back and neck. This ensures that every time the Captain lays down for a treatment his body is in the exact same position.

They then proceeded to make a mask for his face. (to fulfill the same purpose... keeping him in the same position for each treatment) A hard plastic web is put into a HOT water bath until it softens and becomes transparent.  It is then stretched and layed over the patients face. The technician helps to conform the plastic to the contours of the patients face while it drys... which is incredibly fast, like 3ish minutes!
They then connect the mask to the back/neck mold so your body is in alignment.

When it dries... you look creepy.

This is a pic of the monitor while they were doing Andy's scan. It was really neat to watch.
I have no idea what they were checking  for... but when it was over and reviewed by the doc he declared it beautiful.
So there you go...
a beautiful scan.

The architecture of the treatment rooms is amazing. This is where the Captain will be each day of his 30 sessions... getting protons shot into his brain at 2/3 the speed of light....INSANE!!!!

Then we went out to a late lunch and had Steak 'N Shake.

and I was delightfully miserable all the way home because of how I stuffed my face.

Thanks again for all the prayers, comments, cards and gifts.
We are literally moved to tears by the outpouring of love and generosity from God's people.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.



Mrs. Case said...

I...I don't even know what to say about all this happening to you guys. I have read your blog since before your boys were born. I am so heartsick that you have another challenge to face. However, I know that God is so beyond awesome, that He will care for you. I am praying for you. Thank you for keeping us updated.

Amy said...

I wanted you to know that I am praying for your husband (and you!). I am convinced that God brought me to your blog, because after spending WAY too much time reading blogs a couple of years ago, I stopped reading many of them (not easy to do!). Just the other day I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of a song I think you used to have on your blog, and I looked you up again. I am so sorry for what you are going through, but I know that God is going to bring your family through this. Your husband will be stronger and healthier than ever, and you will be able to give God all of the glory again. I will be praying for you! :)

Kate said...

Continuing to keep your family in my thoughts and prayers! I'm glad you've found a treatment option and a place that you feel good about.

Anonymous said...

Like Kate above, continuing to keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. Your post from December 17th was an awesome testament to your faith. I pray that God brings healing to the Captain.

Anonymous said...

I know someone that went there and beat the cancer. I've been praying for all of you.

Roni Nees

Boyka said...

Praying for you,Andy,every single day, and for you, Cari,by his side! You both are a great inspiration for us!!!
Boyka, Alexander, Garik

Anonymous said...

Prayers to you, Andy and your beautiful family! Keep strong and just know you will be taken care of! This reconnection with my Subway brother is a blessing as per our split, I have often wondered! Please give our love and let him know the Kirmo's of St Louis are thinking of him.

Kathy said...

Cari - once again, I know you don't know us, but my family is thinking of your family. Prayers for all of you during this Christmas season. I wish we were closer to help you out in some way. But know someone in Alabama cares! ~ Kathy

Jenny said...

Continuing to pray for you all. If you're ever looking for good places to eat, b-town has plenty! Let me know if you want recommendations. :)