Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Radiation update

The gamma knife radiation went without a hitch at Harborview on February 28th.  Here I am, styling in my headgear, prior to the radiation:

You will note the ITouch in my hand--I am playing Words with Friends like a fiend these days. 

Before they did the gamma knife, they did additional brain MRIs.  Luckily they gave me good anti-anxiety drugs so it was bearable this time.  What they found was there were two or three more metastases in the cerebellum (you have to remember these were  good drugs which  lasted a while, so my memory of what Dr. Halasz told me after the procedure is somewhat sketchy here) but the metastases they thought was in the right parietal lobe (I had said left parietal earlier, but that was wrong) was not a metastases.  Here's on of the MRIs:

Since last Tuesday, I've had radiation to my left shoulder and chest each weekday at the Univ. of WA.  Once they get me on to the bed and strapped in, it takes 10 minutes to zap me.  But things can get backed up and we've waited as long as an hour and a half.  This is where Words with Friends really comes in handy.  Of course my dear friends Anne, Diane, Barbara, Jolene, Shelley, Kathy, Melanie, Terry and my two sons usually beat me.  But I just blame it on the radiation!

Last Wednesday I also went back to the GI doctor who did another endoscopy under anesthetic to see if he could insert the stent into my esophagus to help with my problems swallowing.  But, again, when Dr. Saunders went in, he determined that that if heput one in it would probably not stay in place.  As I understand it in layman's terms, the stent has to catch on something but the lining of my esophagus, although pinched from the outside, by the growing tumor, is still smooth interiorly  so there would be really nothing for the stent to latch on to.  So the doctor again dilated my esophagus, this time to a french 60, and swallowing seems to come easier.

My radiation regimen ends this Thursday.  The main side effect is fatigue and that may continue for a bit, but I am looking forward to a return of energy and an enjoyment of spring!


Leslie Allen said...

Thanks for keeping us so well informed on the status of your health. And for keeping up such good humor in the face of such adversities.

Jolene said...

You are brave, my friend.

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to hear from you again after 8 days or so! Thinking of you so much.