While we won’t be able to radiate the tumors in my lymph nodes, we will be able to go after the tumor on the outer part of my right lung. They’ll be giving me stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), a highly precise form of radiation therapy. Offering the advantages of surgery without being invasive, SRS is so precise it even moves with me as I breathe. That precision offers two huge advantages:
1. They can give more radiation per dose, which means I’ll only need five treatments over two weeks. By way of comparison, when I had radiation on my colon, I had to endure 30 treatments over six weeks.
2. I should have few, if any, side effects because radiation won’t be hitting outside tissue.
They’ve only had the machine about two years, and I’m sure glad they’ve got it now. WIth cancer, if you can live long enough there will always be better treatments available.
As Dr. Patel explained the advantages of radiation over surgery, I laughed a little and told him I’m the last person who needs to be talked out of lung surgery. Been there, done that. Hope I don’t have to do it again.
On Monday I go back for a simulated treatment to be sure everything is lined up properly. Real treatments begin soon thereafter. Treatments willl involve lying very still in a machine for about 40 minutes. I had to do something very similar for a scan today and the only problem I had was a shoulder that wanted to cramp up. Good thing I have lots of practice at this “being still” thing.
I’m amazed by – and thankful for – the advancements that are being made in cancer treatment. We may not have a cure, but there are many new weapons in the arsenal and they’re getting better all the time.
As I close, I have to say thanks again for caring. People like to say that I’m amazing, but I’m not. I am able to do what I do only through Christ’s strength and with the prayers and support of friends and family. I am blessed.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13