I followed the protocol of the Ontario Radiation Oncology unit by checking in with my Kaiser card and my driver’s license. The receptionist smiled, consulted with her computer screen, and handed back my material along with a buzzer unit–the kind that some restaurants use when you’re waiting to be seated for a meal. When the radiation staff were ready for me, the buzzer would sound, and I was just to walk through the designated door. Rebecca had walked in with me and after I registered we returned to the lovely outside area where Jerry waited.
The weather was magnificent. We were calm.
I walked about snapping photos of the beautiful area. Jerry had a copy of the Los Angeles Times with him, and quickly delved into it. Rebecca really didn’t want me to take any shots of her, although she was snapping away with her phone, but she let me take one. Wouldn’t you know–her eyes were closed. (Off subject: The excellence of phone photography amazes me. Rebecca captured the first two shots here with her IPhone–a 4, I believe.)
“This seat is getting a bit hard,” Jerry said at one point, so we moved to the indoor waiting area where the seats are padded.
My buzzer sounded. I laid down the magazine I was flicking through, said to my family, “I’ll be fine,” and walked through the door that led to the radiation chambers.
The buzzer kept buzzing, and when I passed a lady in the hall, I asked. “Is there a button you’re supposed to turn off?”
She smiled sweetly. “I did the same thing the first time. You’re to turn in the unit to the receptionist.”
In one of the dressing rooms, I stripped to my waist, removed my wig and hat, placed them in a bag, along with my clothes, donned a blue hospital gown, and walked out to find my place. I passed two or three other women and noted their gowns were tied in the back. I had tied mine with a lovely bow in the front. Rats! Here it was my first day, and I seemed to have failed the fashion segment of the deal.
After sitting in a chair a short time in the waiting room where I had been directed, Mary came for me. “We’re ready.” Her demeanor was happy and upbeat. I followed her in.