Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Newest Member of the Team

Me and my dreamboat
Enter Dr. Herbert.  A true mensch.  This morning we spent almost 90 minutes talking with him, asking questions, listening to answers and disclaimers, meeting his staff and making a plan.  Yes, you heard me right, a PLAN!!  A man after my own heart - he loves to make plans! 

So here goes:  I will receive 4 weeks of radiation therapy to two places in my chest (my left supraclavical? I think, and my mediastinum - where the "bulky" blob remains).  Well, really 3 weeks to both areas and an extra week to the blob - to zap the bejeezus out of it.  There are a few dates to plan the treatment that require some additional scans, to ensure the precise locations of said blob and another small node that appears resolved in the PET, but should be treated just to make sure.  I will begin my 4 consecutive weeks of radiation at the end of November, so will hopefully be done before the start of 2011. 

Dr. Herbert recommended waiting a full 3 months from the end of this course to have another PET scan, to give all inflamed tissue time to settle and to truly get a good idea of how successful we are.  By that timeline, we're looking at the end of March 2011 to check and see what our SUV levels are and to determine remission.

Possible (HA HA HA) side effects include fatigue (of course), some redness around the areas being treated (I'll be zapped from multiple angles - via IMRT, or Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy, which is an advanced, precisely targeted form of radiation), sore throat (near the end of the 4 weeks) and whatever else I can come up with.  I did warn him that I was sensitive and "reactive", but I'm not quite sure he got the full picture.  We'll give him some time.

My next planning appointment is this coming Monday (after I go down to my school district's doctor to prove to them I have cancer - I guess I'll just show them my scars and bald head, otherwise I'm not sure if they've got a surgeon lined up to do another biopsy...).  I will get scanned (again) and tattooed (3 permanent blue freckles) to ensure I am getting lasered at the same exact points every time.  I am loving all of this planning because it allows me to have some idea of what to expect from the next few months.  At least if I have to wait for something, I will be prepared and focused, with a goal in mind and an end date on the calendar.

I much enjoyed meeting Dr. Herbert (and his resident, whose blog I am adding to the GOOD LINKS on the sidebar, so be sure to check it out) and I feel a lot more positive today than yesterday.  One day at a time, right?  The photo at the top is from our visit to the mall after picking Judah up from school.  Yes, the fountain is pink.  Maybe next September, I'll lobby for them to turn it lime green. 



  1. Thanks so much for keeping all of us in the loop so quickly. Sounds a lot better than that hateful chemo. And, you have a bit of a break between the 2 kinds of treatments to recover.
    Love your writing - it's like being right next to you, which is were we all want to be!

  2. Did I, or did I not, give uber praise to the exalted radiation oncologists???? They are the Glindas in the Oz of cancer. Hope he's as funny/humorous as mine was/is. The staff is usually made up of 20-30 somethings that specialized in Radiation Therapy at a Community College nearby............needless to say - they keep things REALLY light!!!! You almost forget the "C" word when they're around. Well, almost - especially since some of them are armed with geiger counters before they can get near you. Hey, but who's paying attention to that????
    Good luck :)

  3. just changed the address of our blog--> now it is See you on November 1st!

  4. You will do very well with the radiation, I am sure of it, you have such a great attitude. I really like the blog!

  5. That lemon will be a pea before you know it. I am sure of it. Sending lots of love and healing energy your way...