Today I was booked in for the first fixture fitting at UCLH at 12.00. On arrival at the department I was informed that there would be a 20 min delay. That didn't seem to bad, so we sat down in reception and waited.
At 12.20 I was called through to the fitting room. I recognised the two staff, and in turn they recalled me from last year. This time round the type of fixture would have to be different as my stump is fairly small. They decided on a method using what looked like a large pillow size bean bag. I laid on the table with the bag under my bum and also had my leg resting on it. They then packed the bag around my waist area and also around my leg, then they attached a vacuum line to a valve on the bag and evacuated all the air in the bag. By evacuating the air in the bag it moulds itself around your body and leg. This then becomes your location fixture for the treatments. It's fairly simple but very effective.
This process had taken about 30 mins to complete, during which time one of the CT scanning staff had come in to say that I could have the second part of the process also completed today as they had a window in their programme. This was really good news as it meant that I wouldn't have to come up to town again for the Friday appointment. I then moved to the CT room and was put on the scanning table and laid in the fixture. At this point it's a fairly complex set of stages of lining my leg up accurately with X,Y, & Z lasers (left and right, forward and back, and up and down) Once they are happy with the alignment which has to be +/- 1mm they tattooed a series of small dots on my waist area and also my leg. These tattooed dots act as reference points when I am on the Radiotherapy machine so that I can be accurately positioned for treatment. Following this setup I was then given a CT Scan.
This CT scan will now be used to build the programme for my treatment, including the angle and shape of the electron beam, and also the dosage each day. I have 33 sessions planned starting on Monday 17th December at 12.00. With Christmas and the New Year in my programme I will probably have to have treatments on Saturdays to cover for lost days during the week.