An Unfortunate Health Update

It is with a very heavy heart that I share this heath update with all of you. . .

Last Friday we found out that those two Grade 3 spots that made me re-start chemo back in May have returned and grown together to form one large Grade 3 spot in the middle of the Grade 2 stuff. This came as a complete surprise as the tumour itself was actually shrinking slightly with each scan up until that point. My oncologist spoke with a radiation oncologist and they decided that radiation, combined with daily chemotherapy, was what was needed. We didn’t find out any details about radiation on Friday, other than that I would need it. Needless to say we had a very stressful weekend!

Yesterday I had my initial consultation with the radiology team. They have decided to radiate the whole tumour as you really only get one chance with radiation due to the very risky long term side effects. They don’t know where the next Grade 3 spot(s) will pop up, but hopefully the radiation will stall things as they are now (there is no chance of shrinkage at this point). Radiating the whole tumour also came as a big shock to us, as in the past we have been told by numerous doctors they would never do radiation because my tumour is too large, I am too young, and there are such serious side effects with doing radiation to such a large area of the brain. But that is the only option we have at this point…. Not fun words to hear.

So what will radiation bring for me? I start radiation March 23 and will be having radiation 5 days a week (Monday – Friday) for 6 weeks at Sunnybrook Hospital, combined with daily chemo. During the week I take my chemo an hour before radiation, on weekends I take chemo at bedtime. I will lose my hair at all the spots the shoot in the radiation beams. It may or may not ever grow back. I will have extreme fatigue that will last for months post radiation. I will have nausea, vomitting, headaches, and low white and red blood cell counts. The long-term/permanent side effects are what are worrying me the most. My short term memory, high brain functioning (such as calculations), and ability to multi-task will all be permanently effected.

I wish I didn’t have to share this news with all of you but you have always offered me such support and love. I will try and post more regularly and keep you updated on how things are going.

Thank you for your support.

Love, Lynsey