Saturday, September 12, 2015

Thinking of Amos Stafford.......

This link takes me to an excerpt from a book, called Reminiscences of Saratoga and Ballston, by William L. Stone.  It is dated 1880.
The story relates how Amos Stafford, an ancestor on my father's side (my maiden name is Stafford) escaped from the Wyoming (Penn.)  Massacre to Saratoga, NY.
From there, I have found that the Staffords settled in Saratoga, lived and died, and that there is a Stafford Bridge there, too.
Amos and his father, died in the 1800s.
But the story as it is related by Mr. William L. Stone, who knew Amos the son, tells of his escape from gunfire, running from the Native Americans and seeking cover in an old log for a hiding place, without being discovered as some Indians as they were called, passed right by him.
" The second and third nights found him ensconced in the hollow trunk of a fallen tree. The woods were alive with the savages; and once, while thus concealed, two or three Indians came along and seated themselves upon the log in consultation. He heard the bullets rattle loosely in their pouches. They actually looked into the hollow log, suspecting he might be there; but the examination must have been slight, as they discovered no traces of his presence. The object of their search, however, in after-life, attributed his escape to the labors of a busy spider, which, after he crawled into the log, had been industriously engaged in weaving a web over the entrance. Perceiving this, the savages supposed, as a matter of course, that the fugitive could not have entered there."
I go for my radiation treatments each weekday in Fairhaven, MA at the Southcoast Cancer Center.
When they call my name, I enter a large room with a huge machine in the rear of the room, and a table waiting for me in front of that.
I lie on my back, placing my arms above my head, and wear goggles, which allow me to see a computerized screen, tracking my deep breaths.(which help to move the heart out of the way a bit.)  When the technicians speak to me from a hallway and a room away, I inhale and hold my breath, as they send beams of radiation into my body to sterilize any random cancer cells that might remain after my surgery.   I do this about 6 times during each treatment, and most of the time is spent just getting set up, getting into exact measured position, adjusting the depth of the table, etc...and waiting for their directions from the speaker in my treatment room.
The large radiation equipment comes robotically over to my side, then changes position after a few times of beaming its rays into me, and then another one comes over with a similar action.   After they are done, the original large rounded mechanism comes back into place above me and the table is lowered and the staff comes in to end my treatment, taking my goggles, chatting and handing me my locker key, my digital access card to enter the area and my glasses.
I must say that this is a painless experience, and the whole time I am watching the equipment, although I cannot move a bit, just like Amos in that hollowed-out tree.  So my mind does all of the traveling.   One large piece of equipment that comes near me gives me time to study it as they are sending commands via computer. (I can see where their cursor is clicking and selecting icons on the screen, through my goggles.) I look up at this and it has a glass front to it.  I see metal parts moving into position before directing the radiation beam, and I chuckle to myself, as it reminds me somewhat of the scanner at the supermarket.
A lot of things go through your mind when you're going through some new experience.
Now, of course, I am familiar with the very calculated and swift treatment, and recognize all of the different technicians who have worked with me.
So, yesterday, I laid on the table, and thought of Amos Stafford, who was born in the 1700s.
What a different world he lived in!!
He lived in a world of harsh conditions, hunting, looking over his shoulder for "Indians" and experienced a life of mostly the "great outdoors". 
I wondered what Amos would think if he could see his descendant, just a few generations further from him, lying on a table, with this computerized equipment gliding around me?
I was saying in my mind, "Amos, you just wouldn't believe this!"
And as amazed as I feel about the inventions we have now, and the strides made constantly in modern medicine...I wonder what my grandchildren will experience as they age. I'm sure they will look back and think that what we have now is quite primitive.
It's really mind-boggling!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Southcoast Cancer Center, Fairhaven, MA

 As you can see, this is a beautiful country setting for cancer patients to get their treatments.
 I go daily for my radiation treatments.  This is where I use my card to check in. When my card is scanned, it lets the staff know who I am and all of my relevant info.  It lets them know I am there for my appointment.
 This is the area where I change and wait until I am called for the radiation therapy.  So far, I am doing just fine.  The total time of the treatment, with setting up accurately for the beams of radiation, comes out to about 20 minutes.
 This is so nice compared to going to a hospital in the city.
The little cafe and tables overlook this scene.
The entrance