Radiation Mask

I went in for a CT scan before starting radiation for 3 weeks. No one told me that this was the day to make the mask. I thought that I was just a little claustrophobic; after today I think I have claustrophobia big time! The mask is completely over my face, neck, and the top of my shoulders. Then they did the scan with the mask still on--the worst part. Has anyone else nearly freaked out after a complete face mold? The technicians were really nice and said that a lot of people had the same problem. One of them said to "ask my doctor for something" to take before treatments. I had some xanax that my doctor gave me that I could have taken, but I did not know that I would have anything except for the CT scan.

Those masks always remind me of a Gilligan's Island episode where for some dumb reason they're making head molds and the characters have nothing but the island equivalent of a straw extending from their mouths. Personally I've always thought it looked terrifying so I'm not at all surprised by your claustrophobic response.

Thanks, Ross! I missed that Gilligan's island episode, but your re-creation of it will give me something funny to think about while I'm en mask and radiation! One of the most difficult things is that the mask is clamped to the table! At least each treatment is short.

Ann

When I was in high school years ago for art we had to make masks by putting vaseline on your entire face having straws out your nose and pouring plaster to cover your entire face and then let it sit. Kinda like Ross explains, I still remember the feeling it gave me. I can't imagine then having it clamped to the table how scary. Yup I would be using the xanax!!

Hi Rascal,

It's xanax for all of the 15 radiation treatments! Thank goodness they don't last long! The plaster cast sounds even worse!

Prayers and hugs to you,

Ann

I know I would absolutley take something. My esteem for you is through the roof now.

well
I suppose you could also pretend you were a masked avenger
or

engage in a mind fantasy of S&M
ooo did I just write that?

oi

Yes you did Geri and you weren't on Tman's thread!

Hi Hollyanna,That has to one of the worse things anyone ever invented!!!!I had one of those also.Really thought I was was going to lose it.Sorry you need to go through this.I said never again.Hugs,Michele DX95 FNHL3

Those masks are totally creepy. My favorite part was that when I was done my face looked like it had been pressed in a waffle maker. I think I will wear mine for Halloween this year!

This is news to me! What the hay are the masks? And why do they need them? Is it a mapping thing? Now I will be dreaming of the movie Iron Mask...Speaking of radiation, the sun boiled the Austin area with a lovely 104! We are 11 days in the 100 stretch. Can you wear headphones with music to take your mind off that contraption? Sorry you have to deal with this, def take something to relax. God Bless, KBeale

Hi K,

Thanks for your concern! As far as I know, the idea is to keep you from moving. The techs actually attach the mask to the table. I don't know why they didn't just do my neck and shoulders since the target area is just above my collarbone. No, the actual time for radiation is probably a minute or less so there is no time for headphones. Let's hear it for xanax! A friend who just had radiation said to count backwards--it's usually seconds for this type of low dose radiation.

Sorry to hear about the TX heat; I heard on TV that it's really dry. I'll pray for rain for all of us, except where there is flooding.

Prayers and hugs,

Ann

Geri,

The mask is definitely enough to make you crazy and any wild thoughts might occur! Unfortunately, my only thought yesterday was to get out of the thing--and FAST! Thanks so much for your concern!

Prayers and hugs,

Ann

Michele,

I am with you--never again! Maybe I'll take 2 xanax! Thanks for your concern!

Prayers and hugs,

Ann

Hi Wendy,

You said it well! Thanks for your concern. I, too, was thinking that I would ask for my mask and keep it for halloween!

Prayers and hugs,

Ann

Hollyanna,Mine actually was more then a few seconds.The horror is still the same.They offered me Xanax or something but then tell you to have a driver.Was useless.How bout the making of the mask itself wasn't that such fun?My heart rate was like running a race,so scary!Blessings,Michele DX95 FNHL3

Years ago I had to have head and neck radiation and hey didn't do the mask thing then. I must have moved because areas that weren't in the fields were radiated and they ended up killing my thyroid, I lost way more hair than predicted and have many oral problems as I get older, also carotid artery problems all were not suppose to be in the fields. All they did back then was position your head and tell you not to move then place lead blocks over you on a plastic table to cover certain areas colored on your body with green magic marker. If you moved no one would know til like I said later. Soooo my thought is...I would hate to have the mask but using it to stop you from moving and protecting areas from unwanted radiation will pat off in the long run. Thank God for drugs if needed! Take care. Keep us posted!

Hi Rascal,

I am so sorry about your side effects from radiation. Your story has given me courage; I guess the radiation oncologists found out that it was really important for patients to be completely still. I should quit complaining!

Thanks so much for telling me the rest of the story. . . .

Prayers and hugs,

Ann

Rascal,I also had radiation years back to the neck without that mask.It was the same positing thing for me not to mention all the markings on the neck.Hollyanna, you complain all you want it is not pleasant to go through.Try thinking happy thoughts when your there.I even lost weight from all the stress.My best to you.Hang in there,MicheleDx95 FNHL3

I am alive, happy, and here to complain, you will be to when all the treatments are done. (Alive I mean) That mask thing would be awful and I'd use the drugs to get thru if you need them, that will give you really happy thoughts!!! It does get better.

Hello all. New to the site. I did the mask thing, every day for 7 weeks. After that intial fitting and markings, about 15 minutes, I was freaking out. My bride of 35 years immediately requested medication and was given for the rest of the series.
Then on the next to last treatment, the session was a prolonged one, the one day I decided not to medicate. Well turns out after the session, I asked what the h--- was going on. Their reply was, "oh, we had to take some pictures
since you only have one more session."
And all that was after 6 months of chemo, 3 drugs a day, 5 days a week for 6 months. But I tolerated all of that pretty well. This all began Thansgiving 2008.
I am feeling great at the time, just no "get up and go".
Like the song says, "God is great, beer is good and people are crazy"! Oh, and by the way, I am 72 years old.