Monday, February 03, 2014
Coming Soon: The Next Death-Defying Drop on the Roller Coaster of Cancer
For a very long time I have been enjoying a period of only minor irritations resulting from my ongoing treatment. There has been a brain tumor, if you have been following along, that has grown slightly over several MRIs but not enough to be a concern. Recently, it has grown more substantially and has snuck up to 13mm. Therefore, it is time to do something about it.
I am still feeling pretty well and am nearly clear systemically, but am struggling a bit with short-term memory issues and balance due to the location of this particular tumor. My wonderful oncologist referred me to a neuro oncologist who took his time reviewing all my previous brain scans and radiation records to decide what the best thing is to do. As I have already had a decent amount of radiation to my brain and am doing so well in the rest of my body, the doctors are being extremely careful to ensure my long term health while attacking the tumor effectively. I am so blessed to have the care I have.
The net-net of all this is that I will be having a procedure on Friday called the Gamma Knife. This is a high dose of radiation that is extremely accurate--sub-milimeter, in fact. And how do they get that kind of accuracy, you might ask. Of course, I am happy to tell you.
I am going to be the lucky wearer of a titanium frame that will be fixed to my skull, under the skin, with large screws. Medieval, don't you think? This image is not for the faint hearted so I won't put it directly on the blog, but if you want to see what I will look like on Friday, click here.
Of course, I plan to wear it MUCH better than that dear gentleman (although I admit that he looks quite stoic). I have plans to adorn it with ribbons, bows and maybe even a decorative bird's nest. If I have to sport that thing all day, I must make it mine!
Ok, not really. But this is how I entertain myself while awaiting a procedure such as this. Why not have some fun with it?
At any rate, aside from being restricted from driving for a few days (just in case I have any seizures, but highly unlikely) and spending a few days substantially fatigued, I shouldn't experience much in the way of side effects from this and will likely be back to myself within the week. Let's hope we can avoid killing any more brain cells than necessary because goodness knows I need every one I have left!
Mostly, I am just grateful that I am still at a point where something can be done about it and that I have such a great medical team. Thank you all for your continued prayers, they are really what is getting me through all this with such a peaceful heart.
On another, yet completely related note, Don Alvaro del Portillo will be beatified in Madrid on September 27th. As many of you know, I have been praying for his intercession in this matter since day one and believe he has helped me greatly in beating the odds thus far. God willing, I will be attending the ceremony in Madrid with some friends from LA.
Thank you again for supporting and following me and my family. Here's hoping I have the energy to post a successful post-report over the weekend!