Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Looks like I'll be getting the radiation

After another consult with my primary Hematologist I went back to Radiology to start the mapping process today. Basically they take a CT scan and fuse that with the first and last PET scans to determine where to target the radiation. While I was on the table after getting the scan the Radiation Onc. came in and filled me in a little bit more. BTW, how is it that doctors have this peculiar trick of timing conversations while you're in the middle of a procedure? I think the tech was busy giving me the reference tatoo marks (poke, poke) when the doc was talking to me. Apparently he has at this point spoken with my primary doc. and they are in agreement that this is the right course of action. He caught up again with me after I was off the table, and I did mention that I had concerns about my heart being in the targeted field. That's a big concern. I've got a family history of heart disease, but I'm also anxious to get by bike fitness back. It would be a big deal if this treatment was likely to damage the heart muscle. He said it was unlikely that the heart would be involved. If there was a legitimate risk of cardiac damage I'd be likely to forgo the rads and take my chances that the chemo did its job.

I'm still not thrilled about getting the rads, but with both docs on board (especially considering my Hematologist has a bias against radiation) it seems like the smart decision. The scheduling is going to be a pain, since the treatment is daily for 5 weeks and my ability to ride my bike to the subway is going to be nil while in treatment. Plus, I'm feeling pretty close to normal now, getting my fitness back, and this is going to be a step back. Of course in the grand scheme of things, it's a blip on the timeline. But it is an inconvenience in the immediate future. I've been enjoying PRETENDING I was finished with treatment, but I had come to realize that that probably wasn't the case.

Going back to see him and get the details of the treatment next friday. That seems more important now than I think it will ultimately be. Bottom line on this stuff is "show up on this schedule and we'll do our thing." So I guess my latest finsh date is early January.


  1. Sorry to hear you have more treatment to go ... but you are right ... in the big picture it's minor.

    Hope it goes by quick.

  2. Hey Chris, well it sounds like you are making a well reasoned out decision. I know it is hard to feel so vulnerable. At least that is how I felt when I agreed to do the rads. One good thing about them is that man, they sure went by faster than the chemo! Best of luck and keep us in "the loop," please. :)

  3. Anastasia, I remember your concerns, even when you were going through yours. I have another meeting with the doc this Friday before starting anything. I'll get a final treatment plan then.

  4. Hi, Chris. It sounds like you have great docs all around. Sorry to hear that you have more go go, but after what you've been through, the radiation will be a snap. Every day sounds like a lot, but I think you will find it just becomes part of the routine of the day and goes by very quickly.

    The tatoos they deliver as part of the service are pretty dull, but an excellent excuse to get victory ink after you are done (no longer a blank canvas and all that).

    Good luck with Friday (and I'm sure you know by now to bring a pen and paper...).


  5. Good luck with your treatments! Please keep us posted on any symptoms you experience...I start mine on January 4th and am curious as to what to expect....