Apr 29, 2006

Radiation Monday

I went to Bethesda NNMC two Fridays ago for a CT and last Monday for an MRI. They will use both images to create a 3D representation of my brain so that they can accurately shoot the radiation into the tumor area and avoid other stuff. They made this mask of my face that will be used during every radiation session to keep my head in the same position for every treatment. This way they can hit precisely what they want to hit every single time. The mask has little metal balls on it - I guess they are markers. They made me wear the mask during the CT so that they could match the markers to my head and I suppose they match the MRI to the CT using my bone structure since I didn't wear a mask during the MRI. BTW - I'll be posting pics of my brain post surgery from that MRI soon. Anyway, it seems to me that I am in good hands. Our friend, who is an Oncologist at Walter Reed, keeps reassuring me that this will be easy and that I'll be much better after it's over. Of course, I believe him and I know that this will make me better for sure. I'm just not looking forward to the side effects. The ones that I will most likely experience are a change of hair color, thinning of the hair of hair loss right above the tumor area. And during the 5th and 6th weeks I may begin to feel very fatigued. Very rarely the radiation can cause a condition called necrosis, which is the killing of cells. I plan to continue my therapy and exercise during the treatment to combat any possible brain tissue loss. I figure that if I continue using all my limbs, my brain will continue to figure out how to get around any weak spots.

My physical therapy is going very well. I continue to get stronger and my foot is moving more and more. My toes can assist with balancing on my right leg now. We're still working on my ankle movement, it is still not moving enough for me to walk comfortably, but we'll get there. Another thing that we're working on is the rotation of my leg from the hip. Basically, while standing, keep your heel put and rotate your foot clockwise or counter clockwise. These two actions are still weak, but my PT, Jess, is on it and it will be stronger soon. Well, I have rambled on enough for today. It is a beautiful Saturday afternoon here in DC. We're going to enjoy it! BTW - It's good to see Holly on the blog again! Check out her post below if you missed it.
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