I am going to start glowing in the dark.
I just started my third radiation treatment to my brain.
Just before my son's Bar Mitzvah, in July 2009, I had a month of whole brain radiation (WBR). The tumors shrank; some disappeared. Even after 6 months, some of the tumors continued to shrink.
Just before my daughter's Bat Mitzvah, in June 2010, an MRI revealed two new tumors. I had stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) on what turned out to be three tumors. My recent MRI, showed that one tumor shrank, the other is stable. It also showed several new tumors... too many for another SRS.
The radiologist, who did my intake last Sunday, recommended that we do another round of WBR; she wanted to wait until this Sunday, so she could consult with the head off radiology, who was in Barcelona for a professional conference. Moshe and I felt a little nervous about waiting, but we also felt good knowing that the department took the risks of this procedure seriously (particularly since the risks are elevated by repeating the treatment).
We came in on Sunday, and the radiologist was amazing! She consulted with the dept. head before we even got there, gave us an update (basically, that the head agreed with their earlier decision), invited Moshe to ask the dept. head any questions he still might have, set me up for the simulation, and even for the first treatment! Things moved much faster than I expected, but I am glad to have started treatment right away, especially after waiting the extra week for the head of the dept. to return.
So, I just finished the third day of radiation. I will receive 18 treatments altogether.
This has impeded a bit on our holiday plans.
We, more specifically "I," will have to be in Jerusalem every morning, including Erev Chag, Erev Shabbat, and Chol HaMo'ed.
I have been having a tough time with this whole thing. I am a bit devastated to have more tumors appear so quickly.
Quite honestly, I am scared.
I am trying to keep my chin up, but it is a challenge. I just do not feel like saying "I am fine" when I am not, and I do not feel like explaining why I do not feel fine.
My emotions are extremely close to the surface these days. I lose my temper more than I cry, but it would probably be healthier for me to cry a bit more. I am feeling just a tad sorry for myself these days.
I have not even mentioned the hair thing....
Meanwhile, I am chugging along. I even taught swimming today (and had great classes, if I do say so myself!)
I just wish I had a bit more energy, and I know that the WBR will knock me out and make me even more tired than I already am.
So, those of you who want to make a chemo or radiation date with me --now is the time!
(I was just kidding about the glowing part....)
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Shmuel Shapiro - Ahavat Israel - (Music Video)
18 minutes ago