I completed Proton Beam #16 today (almost 1/2 done with 17 to go) and was really inspired when a patient today completed her very 1st treatment and when done said to her husband, “I can so do this!”

It made me realize that as you journey through this kind of experience there are many stages one goes through and your headset is everything. Let me highlight four of them from my perspective:

1. Pre-therapy headset requiring resilience. You really do not know what you are in for and it’s helps to be positive going in.

My definition of resilience = “Resilience is a leadership mindset. It’s an inner strength that allows you to learn from adversity, get back up after you have fallen, and deeply grow in confidence and character. Resilient leaders endure; they overcome today’s challenges knowing there will be better days tomorrow.”

2. 1st week of treatment where you learn the process. As you learn to how to get lost, get there, get on the table and then get out of there, it reminds me of a quote I’ve heard on having faith in the unknown: “Sometimes you have to leap off the cliff and build your wings on the way down”. Barb is a great wing builder!

3. The rest of the 8 weeks of treatments- quite easily stated as “One day at a time!”. Knock on wood the complex cyclotron has not had an equipment failure yet. This is why you can’t book a return flight home yet!

4. After treatment is over. There is a sign in the patient room that reads as follows when you complete your Proton Beam:  “Ring this bell three times well, It’s toll will clearly say , my treatments are done, this course has run and now I’m on the way”

I can’t wait to ring the freaking bell!!! 17 to go!