Radiation Day 30 – I’m finished!

The last beam room music rundown:

Your last beam room music rundown. Technically, there was a song playing when I got into the room, but it never got quiet enough for me to figure out what it was before it ended, so we’re left with this last song:

  1. “Lay Me Down,” Sam Smith – Not quite the vibe I would have chosen for myself on my last day of radiation therapy, but hey – that’s what makes (made, I guess?) the beam room so fun!

Ring Dem Bells

Speaking of music, though, I hope you all enjoy the reference in the subsection title. For some reason, whenever I think of this song, I always think of Ellington’s version, but Lionel Hampton’s version is also 🔥.

So, the reason for the reference above is that I’m finished with radiation therapy. Still doesn’t make sense? Well, apparently there’s a tradition of ringing a bell three times when one finishes treatment as captured in this poem inscribed on a plaque near said bell in the radiation oncology treatment center:

Ring this bell three times well, its toll will clearly say, my treatment is done, this course is run and I am on my way!

So, I rang that bell. However, the actual ringing of the bell was rather awkward. You see, it seems a broken bell (music references abound in this one!) has been fixed by some unholy union of chicken wire, paper clips, and hemp twine. So, instead of inflicting the video on you, I’ll drop this nice still photo:

The author ringing the cancer bell.
You can almost see one of the (many) paper clips used to “fix” this bell. Apparently excited cancer patients really take a toll on this thing.

Sadly, it’s not like I get to ring that bell and life goes back to normal. And, apparently, there’s even some controversy about whether the bell ringing is insensitive to other patients (some of whom may have incurable cancers). Well, I have an incurable cancer, and I say “fuck it!” If you wanna ring the shit out of that bell, do it! Your 30 days of being pinned to a table and having x-rays or protons or whatever fired into your body have earned you that right. Ring dem bells!

The Mask Makes a Return

Some of you more dedicated readers may remember the excitement that was the making of the mask. Well, today the real payoff came. I got to take that puppy home. Aaaaaand, it’s so dang comfy, I’m considering just wearing it around the house all casual-like. In fact, I’ve got it on right now as I compose this post.

The author in his radiation mask
Your humble narrator, hard at work crafting this blog post, still figuring out the eye wear/mask situation.

Okay, so I’m probably not going to be donning this thing on the regular. And, that means I should figure out something to do with it. I really like this video of YouTube personality, all-around rad maker, and “Queen of Shitty Robots,” Simone Giertz making her mask into a lamp. (It was sent to me by my awesome colleague, Allen. Hi, Allen!). If you’ve got suggestions, let ’em fly in the comments.

4 Responses

  1. Congratulations (wrong word?) on this milestone! You are so inspiring, Aaron. Get some well-deserved rest and meat (?keto?) this week.

  2. Mask is aces. But definitely consider removing before tucking Little R into bed at night.

    Congrats on finishing the radiation. It’s a huge milestone. RING THAT BELL! The broken bell situation has that awkward tragicomic curve that you capture so well and that I love so much. They envisioned a poetic ritual but ended up with sort of a limerick ritual. My fantasy is a power-assist carnival he-man bell to make everyone feel awesome and strong.

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