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Getting ready for my IMRT radiation - day 1. The Varian linear accelerator is behind me.

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Our Blog Post today is about what to expect during radiation therapy. I remember the first time I laid down on that cold hard table under that huge machine. They got me all lined up, told me to lie still, hold my breath, and then *CLICK*, HUUUMMMMM. I just about jumped off the table it was so loud. They could have gave a dude a heads up that was going to happen!

So, here are some things that may or may not happen, just to prepare you for radiation. If there are any you can think of, please add them in the comments.

https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/what-to-expect-during-radiation-therapy

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Still not out of the woods. After nearly 4-weeks off external beam IMRT radiation treatments. Still got problems with the back of the neck and looks like back of the head hair has been fried. Guess I have to live with "bowl cuts" from now on lol ugh.

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Radiation (External radiation ): My external beam radiation treatment was scheduled for a total of 35 fractions (treatments). First, the mask that it formed and fitted for you can be a little claustrophobic but didn't bother me too much. The actual treatment time per day is only a few minutes and is painless. However, it is the side effects that constitute the pain and suffering that goes along with this grueling treatment. I believe the overall side effects were complicated and made worse by the addition of the weekly Erbitux injections as well. At about the 3-week mark, my mouth started causing a lot of pain and problems. Had all the mouthwashes and everything in-place from minor battles with this oral mucositis pain during weeks of pre-radiation inductive chemotherapy. At treatment no. 28, my entire neck area, front and back, including sides of the neck were completely cooked and fried. It was so bad, and considered "highly unusual" by the radiation oncologist, that we had to stop treatments of both the radiation and chemo. I ended up with horrible, severe 2nd-degree radiation burns. It was painful, distressing and downright yucky (haha). I was sent to wound therapy and currently going through hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments. After nearly 4-weeks, things are much better and I would say back to about 80% of normality. Blisters and wounds are nearly healed but still very painful (even a deep down burn you can sense, that is much different than the surface type of sunburn you are used to). Mouth and tongue have not responded as well accordingly and my sense of taste is so screwed up and nasty that everything that once tasted good, no longer does. Very disappointing after finally being able to eat half-way normally after nearly 3-months of liquids. Oh well. Back to oncologist in a couple days and hopefully he will decide to NOT complete my final 7-treatments. Was supposed to get a PET scan 6-weeks after stopping treatments anyway, so maybe they will decide to wait a couple weeks and do the scan to see where I'm at. I'm pretty confident the cancer is gone, so I hope my optimism pays off. Ciao!

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After almost five months of production, I am thrilled and proud to announce the launch of our documentary, “Richard’s Rays of Hope.” The documentary shares my ten year lung cancer journey, and that of my family and loved ones, to create greater awareness and hope for people impacted by lung cancer.

Please like and share our documentary with your friends and family (and ask them to do the same) on all social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), as well as, e-mail contacts, so our message of hope can bring inspiration to lung cancer patients and their families all around the world.

Please also visit my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/richardsraysofhope

Richard

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It is with much pride that I introduce my short documentary, “Richard’s Rays of Hope.” The 7 minute documentary shares my ten year lung cancer journey, and that of my family and loved ones, to create greater awareness and hope for people impacted by lung cancer. My wish is to turn a negative diagnosis into a positive way of life.

I know there is someone out there that just received a lung cancer diagnosis and experienced their world stopping moment. Please like and share my documentary with your friends and family so my message of hope can bring inspiration to that person and all lung cancer patients and their families around the world.

I have faith that someday someone will find something that will put a stop to the unbelievable number of lung cancer deaths each year so that my fellow lung cancer survivors and I may look forward to celebrating many more birthdays and anniversaries. I know lung cancer is not curable (yet) but it is treatable and wonderfully livable.

Ten years later, my life goes on….thankfully.
Richard

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I am now a ten year and seven-time lung cancer survivor. I know how lucky to be beating the odds and decided to celebrate my decade of survival by producing a new documentary called "Richard's Rays of Hope" about my journey, and that of my family and loved ones, to create greater awareness and hope for people impacted by lung cancer. “Richard's Rays of Hope” shares my journey and does so in a unique way - my actual chest X-Rays were given to ten family members to use as "canvases" to turn them into brightly colored and joyful artwork. Their process, memories and insights form the emotional core of this powerful video. The finished artwork transforms these discomforting and frightful images into wonderful "rays of hope" for all cancer patients and their caretakers. My hopeful message is lung cancer might not be curable (yet) but it is treatable and wonderfully livable thanks to significant advances in cancer treatments.

Please view and share the trailer for our documentary on You tube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1C2IUkiJUA.

The finished documentary will be uploaded soon.

Please visit my facebook page-
https://www.facebook.com/richardsraysofhope

Please share your stories of hope, love and inspiration about someone who was touched by lung cancer. Please post stories, letters, poems, photos, and/or videos of loved ones, family members, friends, colleagues or community members so we can give hope to others impacted by this disease. Let’s turn a negative into a positive and teach the world hope comes from the outside too.
Thank you, Richard

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Radiation ended almost a year ago. Here I am ringing the bell!

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My journey told my way!

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