Last week happened; I’m finally admitting it to the world. I completed five days of radiation to two spots on my left lung. Just one day later, I returned to the hospital for scans, and unfortunately, the news was not good. Probably the worst news of my four-year long journey with Stage IV cancer. During the last month, my brain mets continued to grow, and they have now struck up residence in my spine, with two small spots visible on C4 and C5.
Unfortunately, the spots in my brain are too plentiful to radiate individually. So, on Thursday, less than 24 hours after receiving this crushing information, I commenced whole brain radiation treatment. Yep, I said it, whole brain radiation all the way down to T1 on my spine.
I tried to wiggle my way out of it. First, suggesting that we treat the big ones with targeted radiation, thereby protecting my full cognition. When that idea was struck down, I asked if we could use the technique known as ‘hippocampus sparing’ to treat the whole brain except the hippocampus (where new memories live). With my impeccable luck, it turns out I have a single spot in the hippocampus, so I was not a candidate for the sparing.
Then I inquired about whole brain radiation with hippocampus sparing and individually radiating the single spot in the hippocampus. But, apparently that’s not a tested technique. I tried. I really tried. My ‘suggestions’ to the radiologist were some of my most innovate, creative moments in life, but alas, they were not workable.
I was left no choice but to do what I always do.
No doubt this is the most trying experience of my life. But, these four years have groomed me well for the process.
So here I am. Day three of ten of radiation. Resting in my hotel room in Indy. Updating the world. Skin red from the treatment, fatigued beyond description, and experiencing a scarily thin veil between me and death.
Send me your tunes, your love, and your funky notepads. I’m going to make short term memory loss look cute.