February 7, 2019

Lady and The Brain: 6 Weeks of Radiation ~ Now What?

May 11th ~ the final day of Radiation.  Okay great, now what?
I think we were more anxious at this point than when we started.
Quick housekeeping info: 
I've recently learned about
 So, all future  Lady and The Brain posts will be published on Thursdays.

Let me start by saying how happy we were all that we were no longer driving back and forth to the hospital every day.  Just to give you an idea of the amount of driving we did:
Round Trip: 48 miles
  # Days Radiation: 30 
1440  Total Miles

I realize there are many people who drive much farther every day for work.  Remember that this was for approximately a 5-minute appointment.  
Now that he was done with Radiation Therapy The Brain got to bring home his mask ~ we still haven't figured out what we're going to do with it.  While Radiation Therapy is as precise as possible there is some injury to the surrounding healthy brain cells which is why Brain Tumors are only treated with one round and we got to bring the mask home.  I've seen some people decorate their mask or use it as a Halloween decoration.  Jenn Cook is a radiation therapist who has been painting the masks for children with their favorite superheroes, sports teams even Mickey Mouse to help reduce their stress, check out her work.  What an incredible way to share a talent.
Originally we scheduled 2 weeks of recovery after treatment ended but The Brain was ready to go back after one.  The week he returned was short due to Memorial Day so that really helped.  It was very strange to go back to our normal routine, but that's what we did.  Then on Friday, June 8th we had our first follow-up MRI, unfortunately, we weren't seeing the doctor until Monday morning.  Have you ever heard of Scanxiety?  If not then chances are you are fortunate enough to not have anyone in your immediate life battling cancer.  The waiting period between scans (MRIs) and the follow-up appointment can be overwhelming and filled with anxiety; thus scanxiety.  While this isn't an officially recognized condition search the Internet and you will find many, many articles and posts on the subject.   We were very very pleased to learn:
the tumor had shrunk from its original size back in January!! 
Less than 20% of tumors react like this.  
Moving forward the plan will be 3 months of Oral Chemo followed by an MRI.
We did Celebrate with a wonderful lunch on the Beach with a dear friend. 

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  1. Nice article as well as whole site.Thanks for sharing.

  2. Bren, just saw this blog and read this post...I can totally share the "scanxiety" you speak of. Waiting to see a dr. after a scan or x-ray or any other unforeseen visit, certainly CAN give us major anxiety! Though our journey is different than yours, it is still a journey to be taken, one that we did not foresee making in our retirement years! Would rather be taking those road trips and adventures instead!!

    Thank you for sharing your journey...hope to see you soon (at retreat?!).


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