During my first experience with cancer treatment, I was surprised to learn that one of my fellow survivors timed her radiation treatments to prayer. She knew exactly how many Hail Marys and Our Fathers she could recite as the radiation machine did its thing.
I didn’t have anything nearly as organized to keep track of time. I just lay on the table and counted each time the machine would irradiate (it makes this buzzing sound, you see.) If you’re wondering, I counted up to 7.
This time, I thought I should pick a song and play it in my head. No singing out loud, because scaring the technicians would be a very bad idea. So I chose the longest song I know: “American Pie” by Don McLean.
I don’t the song quite at the beginning of treatment. The first two zaps are X-rays, and a doctor needs to approve them prior to the actual radiation step. Depending on how busy the doc is, it could be a fair amount of time before treatment begins. I therefore wait until the table adjusts, which signifies that treatment has commenced.
Turns out that I can get through 4 verses of that song. Which is a fairly decent amount of time when you think about it.
I didn’t even think of an alternate song until just a few days ago. And that alternate song is also based off of “American Pie.”
When the table begins to move, I sing “The Saga Begins” in my head. Because Weird Al’s music makes me smile… and his version is exactly 4 verses long.