Radiologist appointment

Each appointment to discuss Louise’s treatment brings with it more information that we didn’t know previously. It is the way of Cancerland. Many voices, all with different expertise bring many pieces of a bigger picture. It is like a giant puzzle that comes together one piece at a time. The appointment with the radiologist went well. He gave us some information about the tumor that no one else had told us to this point. Or if they had we didn’t understand it. There is evidently a more aggressive type of tumor that actually kills the brain cells as it grows. This is not the type Louise has, hers is a type that does NOT kill the cells. It will continue to grow, but it does not kill as it goes. This is very good news for the types of treatment she will undergo. Louise asked if the treatment will add much time…in other words, would it be worth doing it. He was positive about the treatment and the potential it has to double the life expectancy of patients that undergo it. His goal is to extend her life long enough that she will die of something other than brain cancer. He feels that this is possible. This was very encouraging to hear.
When her treatment starts, it will be 5 days a week for 6 weeks. The laser they will use will cause some hair loss on both sides of her head, and some fatigue. As for when it will start, that is still up for question. Next week, we go to Emory for them to review her file. The specialist there will make recommendations for protocol and all the doctors we have talked to here will follow those recommendations. We are feeling good about this decision. It allows more opinions that are gifted in the field of specific brain tumors, yet she can still be treated close to home. In our minds it is a win/win. If she has to have this treatment, and she does if we hope to stop the growth of the tumor, we want her to have the most up to date care possible.
As for Louise’s attitude, we are seeing her not as frustrated with her speech. It seems to us that she is more accepting and less angry with her inability to communicate like she wants. Her eye continues to be her biggest concern and that will take more time to see how much is surgery related. She seems happier now that she is home and she is gearing up for treatment. She is asking questions and is very much a part of the decision process. She is concerned about the number of trips to town and doctor’s appointments all over the place. She cannot keep up with the different doctor’s and who is in charge of which treatment. Cancerland is a confusing place when your brain is functioning properly, I can only imagine how hard it must be for her to deal with all of that in her current condition.
I will be finished with post-planning on Friday. This is good timing as far as treatment goes. There will be more drivers, and more ears to hear what the doctors are saying. Prayers are being answered. Each day brings more healing.

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