Friday, October 19, 2012

Gut Bling

A couple days ago we went to Stanford to talk to their radiology team again, as the next step in this lovely kill cancer process will be to undergo some fancy Stereotactic Body Radiation Treatment (SBRT). This was one of the treatments we discussed with the team at Stanford some months ago, but opted not to do it then and instead do the aggressive chemo cycles of FOLFIRINOX, which precluded doing any radiation because of the toxicity level.

The radiation is supposed to 1) kill the tumor and 2) make it shrink. The idea is to get enough shrinkage back from the blood vessels that the tumor has wrapped itself around (little fucker), so that surgery is an option once again. One fascinating aspect of the process is that before I go in to receive this treatment I have to have another endoscopic procedure to implant several gold "seeds", called fiducials, into the tumor. They seeds are about the size of a grain of rice, and are used to help deliver the radiation in a more focused manner. One of the main benefits is the treatment is 5 days, so they can determine the effects of the radiation sooner. The more traditional delivery would take 5-6 weeks.

There's some prep work that has to be done before I can go in for the actual radiation. I get my gut bling fitted next week, after that I go in for a couple more scans, then the doctors map out how the radiation is going to be delivered. I then stop taking chemo for a period of time before and after they blast me with Hulk rays. The radiology oncologist indicated that they'd be able to rescan 4 weeks after I'm dosed and then the surgeons will re-evaluate the tumor and surrounding blood vessels.

I'm anxious to get this all started, so there are deliberate actions occurring designed to fuck Toomie up and get him ready to be expelled from my body. I'm back on chemo, which has been a bit more tolerable because I'm not doing the FOLFIRINOX, but I still feel like more could be happening. I am still disappointed about the last minute decision to not proceed with surgery, as I had mentally and emotionally prepared myself for the whole ordeal, only to have the rug pulled out a mere 2 days before. I feel like the surgeons could've done their homework a week or so sooner rather than wait until the last minute. The whole thing reminds me of a college student waiting until the night before to write an English paper. I do see the silver lining in the decision: that they didn't open me up only to find out they couldn't do it.


1 comment:

Walking Eagle said...

Every thing I have read about SBRT (gamma knife ) is very encouraging.Hang in there and continue to give Toomie Hell!

Jess Haya- 6 folfirinox and counting