My father drove me in the car this morning to my final “set-up” meeting at JK. This is the last part of the preparation known as “simulation” before we go live on Monday and begin the 30 rounds of radiation. Once I had found my way down to the basement and my name had been called, I was asked to lay down on the machine table. I was subsequently strapped into my mask and a minute or two later I could hear the machine buzzing away and feel a movement upwards into the air. I can’t see very well through the mask and figured it was better to keep my eyes closed and think about “something else”. A lot of faces came flying through my mind – friends, old teachers, colleagues, people I haven’t seen in years. I thought about my son but decided to try to focus on yet something else. I wasn’t sure if the mask would let through tears.

I felt a bit uneasy when they turned the lights off and red lasers lit up. I was left alone in the room for a couple of minutes and could hear a discussion in the hallway. The male nurse told me that this would be my longest episode in the mask, ~20 minutes. He put on some music, letting me know that I can bring my own during the upcoming 30 sessions.

I couldn’t move my face but I wanted to laugh out loud. The CD player started playing calm classical film music. Guess what the first song was? The signature theme to “Ghost”. Great, who was I suppose to be, Patrick Swayze? This song was followed by “Runway to the danger zone” from Top Gun. I don’t mind Top Gun but I think I will bring my own music. Please feel free to send me some as well. I find that much of the music I listen to has been passed on to me by friends.

After my frozen 20 minutes, I was let out of the mask. I was warned to wait before getting off the table. The lights were still out but I could see that I had been swung close to two meters up in the air. Thanks for the warning, I would hate to start off by breaking my legs, or worse.

There was no fire in the hole today, but I am glad I had to go through this “simulation”. If it doesn’t get any worse than this, I should be okay, even if they do play me Ghost.


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