I had my simulation procedure at MSK in NYC yesterday.
Overall, it was a long day, but much of it was waiting in between the phases of the process.
I had prepped in the morning with the Citrucel, Gas-X tabs, and saline enema, so when I arrived I was ready to roll. The first part involved the CT scan while concurrently having a mold made of my pelvic region. It involved lying on my back on a hard surface for a while and the warm mold being placed over my nether regions produced the sensation of a warm blanket, so none of this was the least bit uncomfortable.
The four skin markers / "tattoos" were next -- they were placed on each of my hips, one about two inches about my navel, and one down in the public area. Because these markers are about the size of a spec, it just feels like being poked by a very small needle for a second four times. The one down in the public area was, of course, the most sensitive, but some of that might have been psychological.
I was scheduled next for an MRI, and this is where the most delay occurred. There was an unscheduled/emergency patient that needed to use the room, so the schedule got thrown off a bit. This part is a bit tricky because you must have the MRI with a full bladder. You swig down a cup of water, wait about 15 minutes, and then go in. You are then in the machine for about 25 minutes.
Because this delay happened after I already drank down the cup of water, it was too risky to try and hold it for the length of time with a now 40-minute delay. I ended up having to let another patient take my place in line so I could urinate and then drink down the water again closer to my scheduled time.
The only problem I had with the MRI is that a couple of the images were failing due to a couple of titanium screws I have in my hip from a skateboarding injury. The titanium screws are not magnetic, of course, so they don't disrupt the MRI machine at all -- it seems they were just preventing some of the images to process.
This meant that I then had to go back for some more images in the CT machine. That additional process was only about 10 minutes long, but as I was being added to the schedule at the last moment, I had about another 15-minute wait before I could get in there. Fortunately, though, I was able to hold my urine for that length of time, so there was another long delay!
Overall, the experience was what I expected, and even with the delays, I was there for about a total of four hours. If I had to point out any discomfort it would be the loud as hell MRI machine while I was in it for 25 minutes -- the earplugs and muffs helped, but it was still blaring!
I can say enough positive comments about the MSK staff -- Man, these folks are so professional, friendly, and comforting. All these folks are seeing so many patients a day (never mind in a week), and they all still made you feel like you were the "special" patient.