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Radiation Therapy Setup: Part 1

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Joan Lunden

Breast Cancer /

Today was "Part 1" of my radiation "setup" appointment where my body position was analyzed for my upcoming radiation therapy treatments. While the process was so foreign to me, especially the tattoos, the whole thing really wasn't so bad. Stay tuned for "Part 2," which will be a "dry run" of the radiation session.

Radiation Therapy Setup: Part 1

Although I have yet to finish my chemotherapy I'm already prepping for radiation, projected for after the New Year. In this appointment, we locked in my body position and targets on my breast and back, all of which need to be the same every session. To do this, I laid on a pillow, face down, with my arms above my head, and when they felt I was in a comfortable and proper position, they released the air from the pillow, which then hardened and turned into a mold. This is what I'll use every time I come in for treatment to force me into the same position. 

Once that was in place, it was time for the doctor to examine my position and make sure he can direct the radiation in the way he needs. He did this through impressive and complex imaging, proving just how precise this process really is. Then, 3 very small tattoos were placed on the inside of my breast, the outside of my breast and on my back to ensure I lay down in the exact same position every time. 

I have one more appointment before the actual sessions begin and in that one I'll do what they call a "dress rehearsal" of a radiation treatment. I'll become acclimated with my body positioning and the process so the appointments will be swift and "easy" like the doctors say they should be. 

I'm optimistic that the hardest parts of these appointments, in comparison to chemo, will be to find good parking at my treatment center! 

About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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