Today’s MRI went well. The MRI machines have cinemavision, which are goggles with a movie screen inside. Leah was able to watch Pitch Perfect 2 during the MRI, and this made the whole process much more tolerable. The nurses explained that it dramatically reduced the number of children requiring anesthesia. And for kids like Leah, who need MRIs on a regular basis and aren’t approved for sedation, the cinemavision eliminates a major stress from the medical process. We checked on the price, and it would cost about $80,000 for one system. My wheels are turning… We definitely need to work on getting a system or two at Akron Children’s.

After the MRI, we had a treatment simulation. Leah practiced laying on the table and wearing her mask for 10-15 minutes, and she did an awesome job. The mask does snap tightly to the table, keeping her head in an exact position. They were able to adjust one spot near the neck that was causing discomfort. We’re not sure if eye holes or a mouth hole in the mask will be approved, but she did a great job today, even without those features.

At a new display in the Proton Center lobby, we watched a video explaining how proton therapy works. Every patient has a custom-made aperture, a brass block containing a hole through which the proton beam passes. The size and shape of the hole is designed specifically for the intended target. When the protons reach a certain depth, which is at the tumor, the protons are deposited and absorbed. This process prevents normal, healthy tissue surrounding the tumor from receiving radiation. Interesting stuff…

The new dose of short-term steroids is working well, but causing mild stomach aches. And after a three-day marathon of appointments and a lot of walking, Leah is very tired and her ankles are sore. I’m thinking a good night’s sleep (or two) will get us back on track.