Saturday, September 20, 2014

Maybe not you, but somebody asked for it

 So.  Every weekday morning at 8:45, I report to the Commonwealth Oncology Hematology Cancer Center at Newburyport Medical Center on the Anna Jacques Hospital campus. 

(Don't you love the clear blue skies of September?)

This is the patient waiting room.  Even though there is ample seating, there have never been more than three people waiting.  The radiation therapy machine can only take one person at a time; the X-ray diagnostic and measurement equipment can only take one person at a time, and Dr. Fung is the only full time oncologist.  So:  the possibility of 3 patients and possibly their friends or spouses.
Note the supply of coffee and snacks!

 There is also a puzzle-in-progress.  Amazing how concentrating on a jig-saw makes it easier NOT to think about cancer, fatigue or side effects.
Last week there was a 1000 piece puzzle, 30% done, that somebody decided was just too difficult.  He took it all apart, put it back in its box and got out a 500 piece puzzle with much bigger pieces.  How do you suppose the people felt who HAD been putting together the challenging one?!

I was inspired to buy a puzzle for home.  :-)

And here's the machine.  It clicks, whirs, buzzes, whines and rotates around me.
I hope you never have to see ones of these up close and personal. But it IS pretty fascinating.
 I don't know how many companies make "stereotactic radiation" equipment, but this one is by Elekta.  The company was founded in 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden.  No doubt the founder,  Lars Leksell was raised on lefse!  Their main US office is in Atlanta, AND they actually have a FB page!!?  Let's hear it for medical and scientific research and government and university funding for the same.  Thank you, Sweden, for making my treatment as helpful and pleasant as possible.

Of course at Newburyport, it is STILL the professionalism and personability of the staff that makes the biggest difference.  They are pretty camera shy, however.

This is "my" radiology oncologist, Clair Fung. She is one smart cookie!   My primary care doctor says the radiology oncologists were the really smart ones... has to do with extra detailed biology, physics and CALCULATIONS! Glad to hear it!

Claire Y. Fung MDThis is a photograph on one of the web sites that lists her. She was elected one of the "Best Doctors in America" for radiation oncology. In spite of her stellar credentials and subject specialties, she is warm, caring, and fun to be with (even under these circumstances).  I wonder if oncologists have the same "no personal relationships" with patients rules that psychotherapists do.  She'd be a wonderful friend.


kath said...

Very interesting! This is great of you to explain what you are dealing with.
My dad was a radiologist, but I don't know much about his professional life. He was definitely fun to be with, though..

Ninotchka said...

I love puzzles! What a brilliant idea for a waiting room though I'd be incensed at the jackass who took apart the 1000 piece puzzle. Grrr. Been meaning to ask you, did you ever receive my card? Continued wishes for your health and happiness! xo