radiation – temporary hiccup

My radiation therapy should start tomorrow; “should” being the operative word. It was supposed to start last week, but on January 29th my radiation oncologist called to say that my heart and a fair bit of lung fell in the radiation field for standard therapy and so she wanted me to come in for another CT scan to determine a new plan for my radiation therapy, which is part of a clinical trial.

I’m going to be participating in an Intensity Modulation Radiation Therapy trial. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) uses computer-generated images and results in an increased level of accuracy for matching radiation to the size and shape of a patient’s tumour. IMRT allows the delivery of higher radiation doses with minimal complications for surrounding healthy tissue.

Also, this therapy uses up to 11 beams rather than the standard 3. Apparently I am going to have 9 beams. But because of timing (the clinic actually likes up to 2 months in advance for planning), I’m delayed.