josh: hello - I had a nice *long* day at the cancer hospital today and learned/confirmed a few things - here's the update:
First things first - I got the staples out! Here's my new look:
some cancer info:
The new second GBM tumor originated on the "dura", which is sort of a wall between the left and right sides of the brain, and spread into the left parietal lobe. It wasn't just pushing - it was connected and preparing to juice up into full megadeath mode. I think this is what's expected from GBM.
We didn't talk about it, but I heard no reason to think that cancer cells had gone into the right side of the brain -- which so far has not shown any cancer-y stuff. Important for me.
The surgery went very well, like last time, but we have to assume that there are a bunch of cancer cells sitting in the area around where the tumor was (in the dura and the left side of the brain, that is). These cells need to be dealt with.
I was hoping to get more detailed DNA analysis on the cancer cells of the new tumor, but that's not ready yet.
Importantly (to me), the area surrounding the new tumor is completely separate from the area surrounding the first tumor. There have been no changes at this point to that first area. I like to think that the radiation on that first area was effective against the cancer cells which surrounded the first tumor. It has only been a couple of months, so it's probably too early to claim victory, but I could use a win right now :)
Because of this long distance between the two tumor areas (which is highly unusual, it turns out), the area around the new tumor can be hit hard. Normally, a new tumor would be very close to the older one, and the radiation oncologist wouldn't want to barbecue that same area twice with intense radiation -- treatment options would be more limited -- another win!
I'm officially out of the clinical trial -- I guess it didn't work :) -- and cut short on my current on/off chemo plan. Nice little break (which will start in a few days when I finish up the steroids I am taking from the surgery, I suppose).
So - we're sort of rebooting and planning radiation for this new area, together with chemo, which will also have some continued effect on the old area, I suppose. All this winning means I get a new mask!
from the trailer for Radiation Man 2:
I have been meaning to post a picture of this inspiring statue outside the hospital -- the woman stretching up to to the heavens with her compelling yet flippant message about the bird
I'll keep posting updates - thanks again for your thoughts and prayers! I will also try to make some more music posts soon.