Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Let's hope for a warm winter....

Sorry I've been incommunicado. I was scheduled for a follow-up MRI at Dartmouth today, but a few weeks ago, I noticed I was feeling... different. So I called and asked if they could move it up a couple of weeks, which they did.

Dr. Hartford himself wasn't sure he saw any growth on the MRI, but the radiologist did (grrrr). Oh, also, I had been throwing up every morning, and no pregnancy jokes, please. All three doctors, Hartford, Bonnem, and the wonderful Dr. Singh, agreed it's time for whole brain radiation.

Whatever you do, do NOT Google WBR. It will tell you terrible things. Scary things. Things I did not need to read, frankly. I did ultimately find a good Canadian website, but still. I can get the radiation done at the hospital in Dover -- 20 minutes away as opposed to 2 hours. Dr. Hartford suggested two treatments a day. Dr. Singh didn't think that was necessary, so I have one treatment a day, for fourteen days. Two down, twelve to go.

Of course, one of the side effects is hair loss. Melissa has already purchased a book of knitted hat patterns. Keeping her in check should be amusing!

But let me tell you about the meeting with Dr. Singh. He was very positive. It looks as though with all the radiosurgery and regularly surgery, we got the core of the tumor, but it keeps sending out these damn tendrils. Whole brain gives us he chance now to get everything, to wipe out any little cancer cells that are even thinking of showing up. I also asked him what it meant to him that the cerebral spinal fluids have been clear for quite a while now -- almost since that first chemo in July. He said it was huge, and wonderful, because it meant there was no other "burden of disease." Which made me feel good. He also said I shouldn't experience any burn such as I did with chest radiation, thank heavens.

I've now had three kinds of head/face apparatus for keeping me still during radiation, and fitting this last one was the worst, strangely. Worse than having little holes drilled in my head, even. It's a piece of plastic mesh that they soak in hot water to make it malleable. Then it is pressed over one's face, completely. I managed it -- they also did the measurements, so it took a while -- but I was very happy when they removed it.

It was a relief, therefore, yesterday, my first treatment, to discover that the hardened mask was a lot less scary.

Each treatment, by the way, consists of two 20 second blasts. That's it.

Other good news -- the tech is Connie, who was the RT when I had chest radiation done two years ago. Another confidence booster.

I finish up on December 2. Christmas will be a smaller affair this year -- we've opted not to have our usual party -- but I anticipate starting off 2006 completely clear and cancer free.

And with some stylin' new hats.


Anonymous Danny said...

Sorry you're still having to deal with those freaking tendrils but thrilled to hear about the "no burden of disease" assessment and the clear spinal fluids. That mesh face mask sounds like something about of medieval France. Does it look like you when it's not on? Suitable for wall hanging after you're finished with the radiation?

12:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home