Hello all-just another weekly update.
Friday was radiation treatment number 20 out of the 33 treatment cycle. Things have been going well and I still am feeling pretty well. I have been a little tired a couple of evenings, but that is pretty normal for me. Being a little tired at 9-9:30 at night is hardly anything new for me. I also have been up early in the mornings, so I don't think being a little tired really counts as a radiation side-effect.
If you all want an actual side effect, I have fully shaved down the head since the hair is falling out. Julie got the last shave down on me and Paige actually had a great time assisting. She thought it was pretty fun. She also told me that I "look handsome without my hair". Although I wouldn't consider myself "handsome" either with or without my hair, she is the sweetest little girl on this planet. Some of you would actually like to see pictures of this head--I'll will try to get some pictures of my dome on this blog somehow. I also grew my goatee back. My mom is not a big fan of the goatee, but I told her that I didn't actually grow it--I told her that it was hair that fell off my head and got stuck on my chin...
I did talk to the radiation oncologist about the planning for the last 8 treatments. They have been planning all along to "cone down" the treatment target area for the last 8 sessions. This basically shrinks down the coverage area to hit just the tumor bed area. That basically cuts down on the adjacent healthy brain areas that they have been hitting around the tumor bed. This has been the plan all along, but I went over the new maps that they have prepared showing the "coned down target area". The surgeon also came down and reviewed the cone down plan and new mapping. I like the fact that he actually cares enough to look at this stuff, b/c he actually was inside my head and knows what he is looking at. I asked the radiation oncologist if we could get more aggressive and just decide to maintain the larger treatment area but he said that we were already being plenty aggressive and wanted to avoid any potential damage to the good areas of the brain. I would like to keep the good parts of my brain too. I am listening to him and planning to cone down this area.
The chemo treatment is still all good. I have not been sick and have my normal appetite. My blood count levels that they test every week are still fine. Actually, last week, my white blood cell levels and some other indicators went up rather than down. Why? I have no idea, but I'll take it.
I also had an appointment with the neuro-oncologist this week. He seemed happy with the treatments and the way that I was feeling. However, my main topic with him was when I could start driving longer distances. I told him that I was driving on local roads (mostly to treatments and back home) but that I hadn't been approved to drive longer distances on the highway, etc. He indicated that in his opinion I really shouldn't be driving at all, at least during the combined treatment cycle. I have to admit that I am a little bitter about that. I have been driving myself to the hospital just fine for the last month, but now I can't. He said that it is really only a few weeks left to the end of treatment. After the end of the treatments, he would like to do an EEG of my brain to see how things are working up there. He will review the EEG results and then we can talk about driving again. I am a captive and relying on family and friends to chauffeur me around. I don't like that, but I will be a grown up about it...it really is only a couple weeks.
Some more important news, we have Halloween approaching. We will have one princess (of course) and one that will either be an elephant or Thomas the Train--that will be a game time decision. Can't wait to see them in the costumes-maybe we'll post some pictures of them too. They are definitely better to look at then my bald head....
Thanks all for all your love and support.