Monday, March 21, 2011

What's Ahead

If you are interested in knowing what is ahead for me as I enter the world of radiation treatment, take a few minutes and watch this excellent summary put together by the UCLA Radiation Oncology department. Not only does it explain in detail what I can expect and how radiation works, but it features my own doctor (Dr. Selch) and the very same office and treatment rooms I will be seen in.

My spine will be treated with high-dose stereotactic radiation therapy, while my rib will receive the more traditional multi-dose beam over a period of somewhere around two weeks. I should get started in a week or so, after my insurance processes all of this.

So, here is everything you ever wanted to know about cancer radiation therapy. May you never need it yourself, but rest assured that, like almost everything in life, the concept is far scarier than the reality. I can definitely do this!


Emily Aoun said...

Thanks so much for sharing the video. It really helps to get an idea of what you have to go through. I would imagine it helps new patients as well. I am so grateful you are in such good hands!!

PS...You have such a wonderful voice! I really enjoyed listening to you at Mass on Sunday!!

Janet Ward said...

Been there, done that. I had six weeks of radiation therapy on my neck and my only side effect was I got a pretty bad burn (much like a bad sunburn) on my neck and also my throat got sore. The radiation treatment themselves though were a piece of cake - kind of like getting a one minute x-ray. I'm sure you'll do fine and handle this with your usual grace and sense of humor.

Linda said...

I do not think you will experience anything like the side-effects I've been experiencing (as you saw last night) since you will only be getting the field rads for the ribs. I've just found it so brutal because I'm getting a very large dose over a very large percentage of my body mass.

So I just want to echo what @Janet said; this will probably be a piece of cake for you and I'm sure you'll do fine!

Hiking for Hope said...

Suzanne, it occurs to me to tell you this: you might want to think again about exactly which path to take. If you use JUST the SRS and skip the field rads for the rib, the spot in the rib will qualify you for this T-Cell Immunotherapy clinical trial being done in SEA at the U of WA Tumor Vaccine Group. That will get you the her-2 vaccine to start with, plus (ideally) give you the immune system to fight it off.

I'm glad I met you the other night and we were able to exchange some information to help each other. Personally, I'd think strongly about saving the field rads for the rib as a more "salvage" operation.

Talk it over with Dr. G.