Monday, May 23, 2011

Whole Brain Radiation

So, today, we figured out the plan of action for the next few weeks. As you remember, I do still have a 2cm tumor near the front of the left side of my skull. Some of the swelling may be causing me to have some weakness on my right hand and arm - they feel weak and a bit shaky. I am still shaky on my feet but that may dissipate as I recover more from surgery.

I get the staples out of the incision on Friday. I will start (or restart) whole brain radiation beginning May 31, the day after Memorial Day. That should remove the 2cm tumor in my skull. I may experience more swelling (which would cause headaches and nausea) or it may actually decrease as the tumor shrinks and the swelling goes down. It all depends on how things go. I hope that I get through the radiation treatments with nothing more than fatigue.

Because I only had one radiation treatment, the radiation oncologist wants me to have 14 more sessions of daily radiation. That starts May 31 and will go to June 17. So, it looks like the next month, I will be resting, recovering from surgery and radiation, and just not doing much overall.

The wound in my armpit is healing and getting smaller. There isn't much drainage anymore, but will still have biweekly dressing changes for the next few weeks. Also, during surgery, the OR people did not protect the lump in my chest, so now the skin tissue there is degraded and draining a bit. I am not sure what we're going to do about tha damn thing, but I hope that Dr. F (the surgeon) can eventually take that lump off and patch over it with a skin graft.

I am always amazed that people keep telling me about my positive attitude. I guess I do work at cultivating one - part of my strategy is that I always figure there's someone else worse off than me. Yes, I have these brain tumors, but it looks like treatment will take care of those. I have the tumor on my chest, but we have a plan, of sorts, for that. Otherwise, it seems to me that the immunotherapy I had at UW last year is taking care of any advancement of cancer within my body. My liver and lungs are fine and I have sclerotic (i.e., scarred) lesions in my bone marrow, but not attached to my bones. The way I look at it is that I'm doing okay. I think there are things I can do to keep the cancer from coming back to my brain. We just need to get on a maintenance plan for the rest of my body. I fully expect to get through treatments and recover this summer and return to stregnth in the Fall. I'm not ready to kick the bucket yet.

I also think that my positive outlook is due to all of you out there praying for me, sending me positive energy and vibes and blessings. It buoys my spirits and keeps me smiling. Love to all of you!


laurie said...

You are a remarkable woman. And yes - you still have many great things to do.

Carver said...

My good vibes are going out for you. I agree with Laurie's comment. You are indeed a remarkable woman.