Friday, December 26, 2008
I hope all of you who celebrate it had a wonderful Christmas. And those of you who don’t also had a wonderful down-day. Just a calm warm day filled with the simple pleasures of family, friends, love, and warmth.
That’s what we did: Cast aside any previous complications in our relationships with each other to enjoy dinner with both of my daughters, my ex, my ex’s girlfriend, and myself; a very congenial and caring group.
But today it’s back to reality; my reality being that I can sit or lie down for hours feeling strong and relatively pain-free, but as soon as I get up, or take a few steps, or put something in my stomach, I’m immediately winded and nauseous.
Wednesday I had yet another MRI on my neck and head; another procedure to attempt to explain some of my symptoms. Today I got the test results.
The MRI shows a tiny tumor in my cerebellum. My doctor is “concerned, but not upset” about the turn of events, since the situation is very treatable with Gamma Knife Radiation therapy, they work with a team of radiologists they regard very highly, the tumor is very small, and the size and position of this tumor explain most of my remaining symptoms.
The tumor is located in a part of the brain that controls motor coordination, motion detection, and nausea; in short, deals with equilibrium. They noticed it because, unlike the scan performed in the emergency room last week, the latest MRI contained contrast and included the whole head, not just my neck, producing a very fine-detailed picture.
I will need to consult with the radiologists early next week to schedule treatment. The procedure doesn’t require staying overnight in the hospital, but it is an all-day event, so it requires some coordination to get me to and from the hospital. Fortunately, my daughter who lives in Manhattan will be in town next week, and her apartment is conveniently located near the hospital.
I’ve entered into some scary territory.
On the one hand, there are certainly new risks involved with this new procedure. On the other, in order to restart systemic treatment for the cancer, I need to address the symptoms that are weakening me.