Apr 5, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Wow, what a way to spend our third anniversary. I don't think we'll ever forget this one.

We started the day at 9:00 a.m. at Bethesda NNMC for a consultation with Radiation/Oncology. It was a bit of a shocker what they told us and not at all what we thought. It was a little hard on us initially, but after a cry and prayer, we felt a lot better about it and were more comfortable with the information we received. They are recommending 5 days a week for six weeks of radiation. Dr. Duelge, the radiation oncologist, would like to wait a couple weeks for Roger to improve more before starting. An MRI & CT would be done again in order to more accurately prescribe the dosage of radiation. Roger may experience weakness, tiredness and similar actions as before the surgery towards the end of the radiation treatment. And of course, there's always those rare risks that there would be permanent damage to the area of the brain that is radicated therefore causing permanent loss to the body in the corresponding area. Dr. Duelge is also going to present Roger's case to the tumor board next Tuesday and do his own research in regards to doing the treatment before full recovery from surgery. Normally radiation is done about a month after surgery, but since Roger still has weakness in the leg, he thinks it would be better to wait. We agree. Roger would like to know that movement has returned to the area before taking a risk of permanently damaging the area and not knowing what caused it.

So there we are. As we mentioned before in the blog, the neurologist at NRH is questioning the pathology. Due to Roger's age, the location of the tumor and other factors, he and another doctor believe the tumor is not an ependymoma, but a meningioma and is recommending we get a second opinion of the pathology results. Of course, the military won't pay for that so either we have to pay for it out of pocket (over $2000) or find a way to have it done pro bono, which we might have a connection to get that done. And we were told today that since it's such a strange diagnosis, someone is looking into writing about it in some medical journal. Roger may know more details about that, but I thought that was interesting. Most ependymomas occur in children and the majority of patients are diagnosed before the age of five years. I'm sure most people would prefer not to be the topic of study in a medical journal, but if it helps doctors help patients, we don't mind. If we hear anymore about that, we'll let you know.

We were there until about 12:30 p.m. and then had lunch in the mess hall before we headed over to Neurosurgery. Navy food is good and cheap. Roger and I ate a main entree and sides each for $3.25 total. She didn't catch Roger's main entree, but it would still have been under $5. I had baked cod with steamed rice and mixed vegetables. Hello! I told Roger we could eat there anytime he wanted. We were in Neurosurgery for a while making appointments and getting paperwork before we left at 3:00 p.m.

We didn't take the wheelchair with us and Roger walked the whole day. Needless to say he was tired and we went straight home. But he did really well walking all day. We were going to start taking walks every night to build up his stamina, but with all the walking we did today, we didn't need to go for a walk. He even did some exercises and stretches in the exam room while we waited.

We had Italian delivery for our anniversary dinner by candle light. We were in no shape to go anywhere. But it was romantic and special none the less. Then Roger got a much needed haircut. He is so happy now. I'll take a picture tomorrow so you can see him all cleaned up. I also posted pictures from the cherry blossom festival and his last day at the hospital on Flickr. The pictures from Sunday are in a set called 06 Cherry Blossom Festival and the pictures from his last day at the hospital are in the It's Not a Tumor! set (link to the right).

Roger has an appointment tomorrow for outpatient physical therapy consult and that's it. I'm going to end this now before it gets longer. I'm sure Roger will post tomorrow. Have a great night and thanks for the continued prayers. We need them!
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