The photo here shows Beth getting herself measured in Radiology. Including consultations with a doctor, a nurse, and a radiation therapist, we spent about two hours or more down there.
Beth will get two days of “total body irradiation” the last two days before the transplant. Dr Rossetti had told us that the radiation reduces the chances of a relapse by some 20% or more. Right now, I view the relapse as my biggest fear.
You can’t see it from the photo, but she’ll stand at this board that she’s on; she’ll be strapped in, and they’ll bring the big “Radiation-generator” thing right up in front of her. These measurements will allow them to adjust the amounts of radiation at parts of her that are thicker or thinner.
She’ll have two 20-minute treatments – 10 minutes on one side, then they’ll flip her over and irradiate her 10 minutes on the other side.
The clear benefit of the procedure is to finish off any of the damaged bone marrow that’s left in her body, after the chemotherapy has had a chance to do its thing.
Aside from that, we went through the admission questionnaire – it’s pretty thorough, and for the first time, today, I saw a lot of these “history” questions being entered into a computer. Most of the time, they get hand-written on a piece of paper and stored away in a chart. She also got a treatment today called the “IVIG” treatment – it’s not a chemotherapy, but it’s supposed to enhance her ability to fight off viral infections, even as the Fludabarbine suppresses most of the rest of her immune system. She’ll get her first course of that tonight; she’ll have five days of the Fludabarbine and then four days of Busulfan.
And she slept a lot, in between.