Friday, September 16, 2011

Brain Radiation - Update and Next Steps

I want to tell you about my latest cancer news.  I met with my radiologist Wednesday afternoon, who reviewed my latest MRI. My radiation treatments made some progress in shrinking three of the tumors. However, the tumor that is in my brain stem (which happens to be the most critical) did not appear to change in shape. In fact, there may be more swelling around it, which is not good. Left alone, the tumor growth and swelling will affect my motor skills, cause seizures, numbness, stroke, etc.

So he recommended that I get stereotactic radio-surgery. They would go in and zap all four tumors, and hopefully reduce the size of the one in the brain stem. They did not do this the first time, because they were hoping that whole brain radiation would shrink all the tumors. He said that brain tumors are fickle, and some respond to treatments, and others do not - it's all at the molecular level. Best case - the tumor shrinks and stays small so I can function normally for years to come.

Anyway - I do not have dates set, but I expect to have the surgery set up within the next two weeks. It involves about a 12 hour hospital stay and a day or two of recovery. I'll have to take steroids again before and after the treatment, which sucks because those side effects are the most annoying.

The good news is I still think my doctors are awesome, and I really know I am in good hands. I will keep fighting this and I know your prayers will get me through everything!!!

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