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Can anyone tell me what the machines are doing?

Posted: Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:54 pm
by Earth Mother
I started daily sessions on radiotherapy this week - every day for 6 weeks.

When in the room, I tried asking what the machines are doing but the staff don't want to tell me. Presumably when the red light is on, that is when the machine is operating. But what about the racheting noise when something inside the machine is adjusting the focus, even when the red light is on - what is happening?

The machine moves several times around my breast at differing angles and sometimes, the red light comes on in short bursts as well as long bursts. Why is that?

Re: Can anyone tell me what the machines are doing?

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:20 am
by biggles
Sorry, Earth Mother, I can't help you here except to say that when the red light is on the machine is operating. I know it moves to refocus the rads, but it all seemed too technical to me to even ask!

Biggles ;)

Re: Can anyone tell me what the machines are doing?

Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:58 pm
by goldenoldie
sorry Earth Mother, I cannot help you either BUT...last August when I started my stem cell therapy, they had to remove enough white blood cells to work with (2 session of 4 hours each!) The machine that removed them looked like something Heath Robinson had made!...and sounded like it too when working. All the nurses could say was that it removed blood from my right arm, removed a lot of white cells and then replaced it through the left arm! (well I still needed it!)
All those discs and dials were whizzing round, grinding noises/slurping noises too! Oh and it shook ALL the time!

I think sometimes you just have to go with the flow....Its a machine -that works -its not the first time they have used it -and they would know straight away if something was not right. I have a LOT more faith in the French hospitals than the English ones.(says a big skeptic of everything).

Lastly, try asking the Doctor in charge when you see him/her next. Tell them you were anxious about all the noises. It may work as they hate it when you are "anxious".

Godd luck :)

Re: Can anyone tell me what the machines are doing?

Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:31 pm
by Earth Mother
Thanks Biggles and Golden Oldie. I'm not anxious to find out but more like curious about what is going on.

After 5 sessions, I'm getting used to the routine of it all but am still pondering what happens. There are lots of short bursts - like one or two seconds of the red light going on - and it sometimes seems as if the technician's foot has slipped off the acclerator. During the longer bursts (I count up to 30 seconds, I think), the machine refocuses at the same time.

I did ask the technicians again but they don't answer - perhaps they don't know...

For the last two sessions, I have had a long wire taped onto me as well. The lady said that it was measuring something.

I shall ask the consultant when I next have a meeting, if he has the time. I'll also search the Internet.