Some jobs are tough because they require strength and sweat. Others because they require expertise, and still others because they're unpleasant. And then, there are jobs both unpleasant and requiring expertise. For the past nine weeks of summer, I've been blessed to have a staff who do their job well, even though it's not always so pleasant. Day in and day out, I'm greeted with smiles, respect, and dignity.
I've just finished 45 IMRT (photon radiation) treatments this week. Can't say I'll miss the treatments, but I will miss the people who've cared for me at Ackerman Cancer Center.
Some good news
As I told a doctor friend about the staff and my treatments, he said to me, "You don't hear much good news about healthcare nowadays." So, that's why I wanted to share this post.
I'm an observer. I don't just watch people, I look at how things operate and how the facility looks. Everything I've seen impresses me as top-notch and sincere.
I attribute a fair amount of this to Dr Scot Ackerman. His leadership and innovative expertise set the tone. Yet, the staff as a whole carry themselves well and present both a professional and personable manner.
Respect and dignity
I haven't heard of any cancer treatments that are fun or enjoyable. Mine wasn't, but it wasn't too bad. It was made much easier by how the staff cared for me.
Generally speaking, most medical procedures include at least a bit of exposure and humiliation. In my case, I needed to strip down and wear a gown. You know, those loose don't-cover-enough type gowns. SOP for medical procedures.
Each morning, with my feet cradled in a mold and with a view of the ceiling, I held still for 15 minutes as the machine rotated around me (see video below). It would stop at various points and I would get zapped for the prescribed amount of radiation targeted to kill the cancer.
Of course, as much as it was not fun for me, neither was it for the tech staff. They run the computer-driven machines, and they do the dirty work too.
I really can't say how much I appreciate the care I've received at the center.
It was a complete and thorough treatment process, and executed by a staff who genuinely care. As I said, I'm an observer, and I watched how the staff cared for other patients, many of whom had much tougher battles than mine.
Although I'm trusting God to be cancer free, I'm thankful for my experience, all in all.
I'll still go back for follow-up tests and look forward to seeing the staff. But, truth be told, I'm glad it's over, and I look forward to having my mornings committed to something else than radiation treatments.
Here's a little video of the IMRT machine in action.
CAUTION! Don't view this video repeated times, you may get overexposed to radiation... (just kidding, knock yourself out ;-)
[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="http://word-strong.com/wp-content/uploads/IMRT.mp4"][/video]