Sunday, October 30, 2011

Devil's trade-off

She's not in pain. But she's completely wacked out. Incoherent. Not sure which is worse. This is no way to exist. She hates it But it's likely how she will exist at least for the next day or so, until we reach a decision about what to do. Even then, it's likely to result in a compromised state, with a shunt draining fluid from her brain.

It was awful yesterday, listening to her lament about the pain. She kept asking me why it hurt so much. Today, it's a different - all she can do is lie there, asleep. Only brief moments of consciousness and then she's not at all lucid. It's times like this that I wish for her sake it would end. Why does the end have to be a choice between these two awful states?

Maybe this will end up being an episode from which she can recover and still have a reasonable quality of life. But if this is a harbinger of the final glide path, it is not the way she would want it.

I just got off the phone with her radiation oncologist (on a Sunday) and she said that yes, there are tiny cancerous cells at the base of her brain, like snow but enough apparently to clog things up and create the pressure. She wants to do whole brain radiation to melt those away. It would be twenty treatments In the meantime she thinks the neurosurgeon should put in a shunt so the pressure can be relieved. That also provides a way to dump chemo directly into the spinal fluid if Kaplan wants to go that route.

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