Complicating the matter is the fact that I have Blue Shield and UCLA and Blue Shield have fallen out of contract (as I mentioned in another post). I have one treatment left with my current oncologist as my continuity of care runs out on March 31st. They have been clear that these issues will not be resolved within that time, if ever, so I need to find a new treatment facility.
Dr. Selch, my radiation oncologist, is one of the very best doctors in the world at treating brain metastases stereotactically (one single very targeted and very strong dose of radiation) which would mean no cranial surgery for me. UCLA in general is the pioneer of this stereotactic radiosurgical procedure, and if we are going to be removing this bugger, I want it done by Dr. Selch before I go to someone new. I know there are many excellent doctors in LA County, but I feel so comfortable with the ones I have, especially where my brain is concerned, that I am going to squeeze all I can before I have to move on.
So, I saw my radiation oncologist and my neurosurgeon yesterday and both are willing to push this through within my time limits and definitely recommend that we follow the path of immediate removal. They will be starting with another MRI, this one sliced ultra thin to 3mm. They warned me that when they slice that small they may find another lesion or two in which case they will take those out too.
I can't say I am surprised to learn I have a new brain lesion because, if I am like 99% of people with brain mets, they are likely to keep popping up every few months and my life will become like a giant game of whack-a-mole. I can say, though, that I loved these few blissful months of not knowing and just hoping that I would get a completely clear scan.
Again, this was not a bad scan. What is there is completely manageable and not currently life threatening. Nothing is out of control right now. It just means I have more treatment, sooner than I thought. But it is my understanding that stereotactic brain radiation has very few side effects and I shouldn't go through anything like I did with the WBR. Don't know yet what role Decadron, the evil steroid, will play in this but that will have a lot to with how I view the overall experience, I'm sure.
In the meantime, does anyone know of an outstanding medical oncologist at Cedars-Sinai? I already have a referral for a radiation oncologist, so we are getting there!