VP’s...First let me say that it’s just a hoot to have Michele here visiting. Laughter is such great medicine for Brenda and I. I was sure you could hear that infamous laughter from Brenda even back in New Jersey and over in San Diego. I was hoping we wouldn’t get kicked out of the apartment. She has such a quick wit that we were howling and flashing pictures of her antics about 5 minutes after we got to the apartment.
So let me get to the Stage 2 / Part 1 medical “bullet.” Today’s visit to the clinic was to prepare us for what radiation therapy was all about. Because they truly believe an informed patient can better manage their physical and emotional response to this kind of treatment, we attended a mandatory class that really walked us through the steps to take care of yourself through the course of treatment and they explained the worse-case side effects of the treatment and how to handle these with their constant help. The good news is that Brenda is closely monitored by everyone involved in her treatment on a daily basis. They really want to stay on top of the side effects of the radiation. Since everyone responds differently, and the side effects depend on exactly what areas are radiated, they are not able to say how bad all this will get. There is no doubt however that this will be a rough stage. Remember that she’s will have more chemo so that brings on the side effects quicker.
Then all the radiation physicians came in and examined Brenda’s neck and sinus cavity. They had to put the scope into both sides of her sinus area but she handled it very well and it didn’t seem to be as bad as those early scopes she got. They projected it up on a big screen for everyone to see, but since the tumor had been removed, it looked like healthy pink tissue to me...I didn’t see any more gross aliens in there screaming to get out or cause more problems!! Then they went to a planning office and looked at the scans and what Dr. Swartz was proposing to treat and how.
After that Dr. Swartz and his intern came in and we talked in more detail about what areas they had to treat. The side effects were again discussed and we asked some questions. It’s quite evident that they were going for the complete elimination of all cancer cells that where still lurking in Brenda’s neck, sinus cavity, and that small lesion in her brain.
Stage 2 / Part 2 will begin on Thursday when we see Dr. Hong who will outline the chemo side of this Stage. Using chemo WITH radiation will be used to enhance the cancer destruction process. We’ll have to let you know what that will look like after that meeting. What we heard was chemo is going to be one day a week for the duration of the radiation treatments which will start on June 22nd and will end on August 10th. That’s 35 radiation treatments. The first day is not an actual treatment day but a dry run to ensure that all the parameters are correct.
So there you have it for today. This next stage will be very challenging and we continue to ask for your positive energy and prayers. The blog and your comments are just such a fantastic light that shines through the rough days we’ve had and the rough days ahead...but we know this will all eventually end with the CURE...Good as new!
Nurse Dee and a very Brave Chemo-sabe