Good news: We’re going with targeted radiation, instead of whole brain.
Bad news: Everything else.
Fortunately, I had a friend with me for my big meeting with the radiation oncologist. We began with the nurse for “patient education.” That’s when we learned that the plan is for five days of targeted radiation – a tremendous relief, and I was so happy! And because there are multiple treatments, I would have a mask made to hold my head still, instead of pins screwed into my skull. All good.
And then the doctor came in.
My friend and I are both naturally curious. “Could we see the MRI image?”
Oh, wow. (I might have said something else. I don’t remember.)
Friend to doctor: “In the grand scheme of brain tumors, how big is that?”
Doctor: “It’s big.”
Me: “So what is my future prognosis?”
Doctor: “Well, if the tumor was in a better place, people can live five years.”
Me: “But mine is not in a better place.”
Doctor: “No, it is not.”
She explained that the radiation has a 50/50 chance of reducing the size of the tumor and thus my symptoms. This will require constant surveillance and attempted management.
The paperwork I signed stated that the purpose of treatment is “palliative intent.”
Well, okay then.
It’s been a week since I heard that. The longest week ever.