Radiation Treatments

May 21st, 2009

Friends,

First off, all of the t-shirts have been sent out and you should receive them soon.  It was a fun project for me getting them packaged up and sent out.  Thanks to you all for purchasing them. Thanks to Dave and Pat for letting me take over their house while we got them all packaged up. If anyone didn’t get to order one, just email me and we will figure something out.  Also, Cindy Taylor at the Glendale Lyceum has a few she is selling for me, thanks Cindy.

I wanted to give you all an update on what is happening now with my cancer treatment.

My dad and I arrived in Houston Tuesday evening (Mom stayed in Cincy this time). I immediately I had an MRI of my brain and neck at MD Anderson.  My parents and I were concerned about my right eye.  Since my last surgery, the pupil in that eye has been noticeably smaller than that of the left.  Also, the right eyelid droops a bit.  We all thought it was just due to swelling from surgery, but when the rest of my neck and face went back to normal, and the right eye did not, we asked my doctors, hence the MRI.

Yesterday, I had a very full day of meetings with my doctors.  First I met with my Surgeon, Dr. Meyers and his team.  He said I am healing up well from my last two surgeries and the tumor removal. I also hand delivered some t-shirts to his team who have been so great.  Next, I met with the Oncologist Dentist who molded my teeth for a fluoride tray I will wear at night during radiation.  Then, I met with my Radiologist and with her we discussed my treatment plan for radiation.  I will have five treatments on the right side of my face and neck over the next three weeks.  I had my first this afternoon.   We discussed the side effects which are fatigue, permanent loss of salivation, temporary loss of taste buds, and some permanent hair loss in the area of radiation.  Then, I did a radiation simulation where I was fitted with a face and neck mold to secure me down while they radiate the area.  After that, I met with an Ophthalmologist Oncologist.  I had a full eye exam and he addressed the above mentioned eye issue.  He told me that there is no cancer around my eye or anywhere on the MRI, which is great news.  However, he diagnosed me with a mild case of Horner’s Syndrome.  This means that during my last surgery, there was some damage to the sympathetic nervous system that controls the pupil and eyelid of the right eye.  Unfortunately this is a permanent condition, however my case is mild and not too noticeable.  My ophthalmology informed my that down the road, I could have some cosmetic surgery to fix the eyelid, but right now that is not my concern.  Finally, I met with my Oncologist, Dr. Hwu.  With him we discussed the vaccine trial program that I am eligible for.  About a month after I finish radiation, I will begin the vaccine treatments.  The purpose is to keep the cancer from returning.  For a full year, I will travel down to Houston once every three weeks to receive injections into my legs.  I am excited about this trial since it has been showing some positive results.  So, a long day, but an efficient one.  It is amazing that I am able to see so many great doctors and specialists in one day.  MD Anderson is really an amazing place.

I had my first radiation treatment today.  It went well.  I was on the table for about 30 minutes.  Fatigue is the only side effect so far.

I will check back in soon.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

-Andy

Posted by andy in His Own Words