08 February 2010


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.


  1. Thanks so much for keeping us posted on your progress and treatments. It's great to hear that you are keeping your spirits up and hanging in there. Sounds like the upcoming treatments are really going to test you. Take comfort (as I know you will) in knowing that you have so many people who care about you and who are praying for you. Stay strong in mind and in body. The end is in sight! Love ya! Minnie

  2. Steve,

    First thought that came to mind was Hannibal in Silence of the Lambs. He wore a custom mask also. Just imagine the straps holding your arms down are made of velvet material like the ones Kim uses on you at home. Sorry I wasn't supposed to tell :). Seriously it sounds like you are starting a rough session. Keep up the positive attitude and spirits and hopefully it will be over before you know it. You are in our prayers.


  3. Hi Steve, I think of you often & pray randomly for you & my other cancer list; My aunt has been fighting the same type of cancer & her treatments have followed the same sort of approach you are describing; She is 67 and battling strong ; deep in her faith. Never lose track of the example of hope, confidence & faith that you are to those around you. As I age & gain exposure to the adversity that people endure without logic, I lean more & more on John 9: 2-3 >> God uses the the suffering of Christ & Man to show how He can overcome & grow others toward Him through grace, healing , but mostly salvation. May God's peace surround you & yours; Keep putting one foot infront of the other & looking to the Father. Good Luck.
    Ken Sipe ( grady )

  4. Hello Steve. Thanks for your update. I've been keeping track of your progress, and you continue to be in my prayers. Keep the faith! But, I don't really need to say that because I can tell you are.