Had my regular appointment with the medical oncologist today. Everything staying on track as we move to the radiation treatment phase. Normally this would be the day I start another round of chemo but because we are starting radiation there is a change in the course of chemotherapy. With radiation I go to weekly visits for chemo using what Dr. Ahmed called a "gentler cousin" of the Cisplatin with which I had previously been treated. We are switching to Carboplatin, which is radiosensitized (made more effective by the radiation).
Went to the radiation oncologist after seeing Dr Ahmed and began to get all the fixturing for the treatments which we are targeting to begin next Monday (15 Feb). The plan is 5 days a week for 7 weeks. The radiation treatments are a relatively precise exercise so all the work today is about how to make me immobile during the treatments. I literally have to wear these leather cuffs to restrain my hands and pull my shoulders downwards out of the field of treatment. In addition there is this custom fit mask that fits over my face to hold my head still. If I was the least bit claustrophobic it would be game over in about 30 seconds or less. It will take some effort to not be freaked out for this process.
Tomorrow I have a feeding tube inserted. 3-4 weeks after radiation starts it will become difficult to swallow and talk. We'll try to manage the pain but expect to have to be fed through this tube for a while. Should heal up 2-3 weeks after radiation is done. After that this thing should be gone. Another PET scan on Friday. Looking forward to those results as we should see a significant and quantifiable reduction in the tumors.
Keep up the prayers. I think we're getting to the tough part.