Thursday, September 3, 2009

Week 4 - How time flies...

...around in circles. While I'm not blown away at how I'm already 2/3 of the way done, overall I can't complain too much (that is, I can keep complaining, and it will never be too much). Actually, I am feeling pretty good about how I'm doing considering the situation, and know several people in far worse situations. Things seem relatively stable in terms of my conditions. I still haven't completely nailed down when the fatigue is going to hit me hard, but I'm starting to feel like it's more related to my food energy level than my nap time. It's difficult for me to tell how hungry I am until I put myself in front of food. If I keep eating, I tend not to be as tired regardless of how many naps I took. In the past, my stomach was very good at telling me when I was starving. Now I need to pay more attention to my brain I guess. My friends have been pretty good staying on top of me with eating, especially since many of them have their own serious energy crashes and know exactly what it's like.

The main issue is a kind of general fog which enhances my already existing laziness. I'm also losing connections to names and words again, the same thing I noticed before and directly after surgery. I'm less worried about this now, since I know what is causing it (radiation), and know that I can likely reconnect with the lost vocabulary once I'm done with this part of the treatment. It is extremely frustrating, however, but does explain to everyone out here why I'm no longer so naturally humorous and witty in conversation....

I did get to check out my latest MRI image, and overall it looks pretty good. The cavity has closed significantly (sorry, no storing gumballs or chocolate there), and there was no sign of highly active cancer cells at present. The previous deviation of the midline of my brain has mainly straightened out, and most of the ventricles on my left side are now opened up and look normal. There is still a dark region adjacent to the original cyst and tumor. This region is likely a mass of some kind, but it's not clear what it represents. It might be a lower grade of cancer, dead cells, or something else. Either way, my radiation oncologist is going to include that region in the high intensity treatment during my last week.

The remaining plan is to continue with the current radiation treatment until next week (excluding the holiday) and then for the final week switch to a "booster" version where they will focus on a smaller region of the tumor. Once that is done, I have a two week "vacation", another MRI, and then, assuming everything looks good, I begin the long-term period of 5 days of chemo, and 23 days off.

Now, to answer a few questions:
No, I did not get a haircut, and no, they did not re-shave the part where they did the surgery. Will I shave my head? That depends on how it looks after the treatment is done. Basically I'm not too worried about having to shave my head, since I have so many shaved head friends who still look really good. I do NOT, however, want to look like Beaver Cleaver, who was once told he looked like Wilson's airedale when he had the mange....

1 comment:

  1. HMMM. Not so witty in conversation? I thought that was just cuz Vivas wouldn't let us get a word in edgewise :). "WAIT let me finish this story" - LMFTHS, is her new nickname.
    Great to see you last night & your cool SF pad - you seem so zen and healthy - it's awesome. Keep eating and keeping my fingers crossed for the Truckee in October! xo J