Christopher Court - Proton Day 1

Proton Day 1

The heaviest snow fall of the year was forecast for the first day of proton treatment and so the family decided to spend the night in a hotel in Philadelphia to ensure they would be able to get to the proton center in time for the appointment.  This was an adventure for Chris.  The hotel had a gift shop and Chris found a small stuffed toy wolf that he named "Wolfy" - they would be inseparable to the end.  The snow was heavy and it was a wise decision to stay near the hospital.  On arrival at the proton center each day, they would be greeted by the receptionist and each day Chris would pretend to be shy and hide.  The proton center has four rooms for use by CHOP patients.  Children under 8 or 9 years old require anesthetic during treatment as most of them would not be able to handle having their head fixed to the table with the mask.  The new children get treatment last each day and because of the anesthetic they are not allowed to eat before hand.  This, coupled with the steroids which made him ravenously hungry, made Chris rather cranky.  When his turn came, he was introduced to Dr. Joe who would administer the propofol and put him to sleep.  Once asleep, the nurses wheeled him away.  He soon came back; he had put on so much weight during the two weeks since the mask was made that it no longer fitted.  The technicians wanted to make a new mask and redo the treatment plan.  This would have meant another two weeks before treatment could begin.  In the end they decided to try and adapt the original mask so that there would be no further delay in treatment.