Thursday, August 4, 2011

Some good news (for a change)

Our radiation oncologist, Dr Vermeulen, is pretty confident they can zap the three tumors in the brain with no cognitive impact. Meagan is scheduled to go in on Friday the 12th for the one day Gammaknife procedure. In by 7am, out by 1pm. She was very comforting to Meagan - told her to ignore prognoses and percentages and just take care of what's in front of you and then live your life. And that she would suffer no impairment as a result of this treatment.

It's what Meagan really needed to hear. She needs comfort and hope. If you talk in terms of outcomes (i.e., average life expectancy when melanoma hits the brain) it isn't helpful. She can't process the ambiguity inherent in statistics in this case and it does her no good.

So we aren't going to talk about how many months to live or how things might be better or worse from a prognosis perspective if X occurs. We are just going to focus on each thing that comes up, deal with it, and move on. So she will have this treatment next Friday, be grateful that it will work and cause no impact, and go from there.

Melanoma is a capricious and dangerous cancer, especially when it hits the brain. Her melanoma is uncontrolled at present. But as long as zapppage works at tumor control for the hard bits, and surgery for the easier bits, who knows how long she can keep the wolf at bay.

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