Radiation Starts Next Week

From James:

(I’m still trying to get So Young to post again. She wants to, but…)

Just wanted to give a quick update on what is coming up.

The biggest thing is that So Young is starting radiation treatment at Hopkins on Friday, December 17. The first two weeks are said to be the “easiest” for most patients, so the hope is that this will not interfere with the holidays. The side effects are more cumulative than immediate.

Prior to that, on December 16, we will be visiting a medical oncologist. Medical oncologists set up chemotherapy, among other things, but the situation has evolved and it seems unlikely that So Young will get chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is not generally thought to be effective on grade 2 astrocytomas. However, researchers are second guessing this thinking, and we qualify for a clinical trial to evaluate its effectiveness. The problem is that, upon more research, I discovered that the trial could result in at least a month-long delay in So Young’s radiation treatment, so we have dropped that idea. (We need to start soon because her symptoms are getting worse.)

Yet we are still meeting with a medical oncologist. We’re going to suggest chemotherapy outside of the trial and see what he thinks. Our radiation oncologist said that she would recommend it because of the “dividing cell” issue and the possibility that nascent malignant cells are starting to form in the tumor.

We are also meeting with a neuro-opthomologist soon. They need a specialist to look into her vision situation, because nobody knows precisely what is causing it. It could be damage to the thalamus, the mass effect, intracranial pressure, or something else. So far, everybody is assuming it is either thalamic damage or the mass effect. It is amazing how little even the experts know about the brain.

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5 Responses

  1. May you meet and get the best docs. Good luck.

  2. I hope everything goes well. Have you thought about getting a microphone and some dictation software for her? I’m not sure how well it works, but it might help her out a little 🙂

    • Yeah, I am considering DragonSpeak or something like it. I am realizing that emphasizing the auditory side of things is more beneficial than the visual.

  3. Because he Lives is a great praise song, we sign it most Sundays at church. Stay strong, weak, just do whatever you need strong or weak! I am praying for ya’ll your story has touch me in so many ways.

  4. It is difficult to make all of the decisions that you must. Remember to pray. We are praying for you. Mom

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