Yesterday I met with the Doctor that will be giving me my radiation. It was a good meeting. We got there, David and I, and met my Dad there. I'm so glad that he and my mom have been going with us to all these appointments. They come up with questions that I don't and it gives us all a chance to find out what is going on. Anyway ... back to my story ... so we met with the doctor. Let me give you a little bit of info ... Dr. Cen is my oncologist. A few weeks ago he ordered an MRI on my brain and they found some small tumors. Apparently chemotherapy doesn't completely cross the brain barrier - it's the body's defense mechanism - so the chemo won't resolve the tumors in my brain. Dr. Cen decided that I should go ahead with radiation and chemo simultaneously. So, he referred me to Dr. Chen. At first Dr. Chen looked at my information and said that based on how far spread the cancer is in my body he didn't think I could handle both radiation and chemo at the same time. Dr. Cen told him that he hadn't met me yet and that he thought I could handle it. I don't appear as sick as my tests would all suggest. Dr. Chen agreed to meet with me and make his own suggestion.
So, yesterday we met Dr. Chen - way nice guy, by the way. He said that I looked really sharp and that he usually doesn't do chemo at the same time as radiation, but that no one is sure how fast these brain tumors are going to grow and that he and Dr. Cen both feel it is good to start as soon as possible to get rid of them. I have to do 18 treatments. Each one takes approximately 15 minutes. They do them Monday thru Friday and I will start on July 20th. Everyday at 9:15am we will drive to Rancho Cordova to get my treatments for 18 days.
Yesterday, after meeting with the doc, I had to make a mask that I will wear that will hold my head in the same position everytime. They also took a few pictures with their CAT scan machine and then scheduled out the next month and a half. We did have to go over all the side effects and that is always a little weird for me. The common short term side effects are simple things like hair loss and fatigue. The common long term side effects include permanent hair loss and possible problems with thought processing or memory. These side effects can take up to 6 months to really show themselves and they are not reversible. There are other side effects but those are the ones that make me a little nervous and they are the ones that will most effect me. A little scary, but I have to do it, so I am going to faith that the Lord will protect me and that regardless of the outcome in this life, I will have all things returned to me in the resurrection.
So, after that appointment David and I went to Deseret Book and looked around and I got to buy 3 new books. The first 3 of the Fablehaven series. Then we came home and I took a nap and he went and picked up Nephi and Gloria from Sarah's house (Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!). Around 8 my back started hurting - my right side. The kids went to bed and by 9 I was hurting really bad. We called Kaiser's 24-hour advice line and they said that I should go to the ER - again! So, I called my Dad - a HUGE THANKS to him - and he came and stayed with sleeping kids while David and I visited the ER once again. We got there around 10pm and were done around 1:30am. It turns out I have a Urinary Tract Infection - infact he thought that it might even had been the beginning of a kidney infection. After getting my IV antibiotics and some really good pain meds, I picked up my prescriptions and we headed home. It was a late night and I am really glad that we got to sleep in a little this morning. I am feeling much better today. Thank goodness for doctors and their tests. I am so glad that we live in a time where they know so much. I know they don't know everything and I know that they are human and make mistakes, but I am very grateful for the knowledge that is on the earth and the blessings that I get from that knowledge - including the blessing of pain killers and antibiotics.