Jeff met with the radiation oncologist that specializes in both spine and brain cancer/tumors.
Neither of us really cared for the fellow that we met with first, but when Dr. Locke came in, she was wonderful.
The fellow detailed that radiation can cause side effects much like chemo … nausea/vomiting, fatigue, hair loss. Additionally, it can effect both short and long term memory, cause cognitive impairment, vision impairment, cause headaches, and cataracts.
This all sounded alarming and even worse than his brain surgery.
Dr. Locke then came in and explained, yes, brain radiation can potentially cause the aforementioned complications, but in Jeff’s case it’s “highly unlikely” as his tumors are on the surface of the brain in lieu of being completely in his brain.
Sounds like it’s a given he will experience hair loss. Patchy hair loss as opposed to all over. She said this commonly happens about
3 months after radiation.
He will be prone to nausea/vomiting, fatigue, and headaches, but again, the more unfavorable side effects are highly unlikely.
For all the radiation Jeff has endured thus far, the radiation oncologist devises a plan of attack and the techs implement said plan.
For brain radiation, Dr. Locke will map out a plan, the tech will administer it, but because this type of radiation is more surgical in nature, Dr. Locke is present for each procedure.
She will ensure Jeff’s head is positioned perfectly and that her mapped plan is executed precisely as detailed.
The spot where the larger tumor was removed, is still lit up quite a bit on his brain scan. This is very similar to what we understood about
the tumor removed from Jeff’s spine.
They will radiate the area for the possible “sprinkling of cancer cells” from when the tumor was removed and clean up anything remaining.
However, that area may or may not be cancer actually. What the scans show is there is bone activity, which just might be from the surgery. An example of how the scan works is even severe arthritis could show bright on scans because it’s showing activity in the bone.
Jeff’s upcoming PET scan will give them a clearer picture on exactly where the cancer is.
As a result, Dr. Locke scheduled a follow up appointment for after PET scan.
With the PET scan and her level of expertise, she may find additional areas they can radiate that would give Jeff pain relief, maybe even reduce the amount of narcotics he’s on.
It all sounded so promising!
Jeff had his radiation mask made today and is scheduled for his first round Tuesday.
The only really disappointing thing about
today’s appointment was the guy who fell asleep in the waiting room in one of the recliners … he was several rows behind us and to the far right … this guy was snoring soooo loud it shook the waiting room. He was asleep and snoring the entire time we were there.
Edit: I should have clarified about
the snoring guy …
It’s the little things that matter, or rather, it’s the little things that make Jeff and I give each other “the look” and LAUGH.
It was a lighthearted part of our day, that, even if only for a moment, we were silly, enjoying one another’s company, and laughing not at that man, but at the very loud noise echoing around the room.
I’ve fallen asleep in that same waiting room, although I wasn’t in a recliner. I was slumped forward with my head almost in my lap. We had concerning appointments all day. I was both worried and exhausted. Despite my awkward position, I slept so hard that I drooled. When I woke, I laughed, grateful for the COVID masks and no one was the wiser.
Post Edited (Stephanie Williams) : 9/27/2021 6:00:08 PM (GMT-6)