Lain's Log

Radiation news

May 25/11

Back from my first appointment with Dr. Anne Koch, oncologist in the Radiation Medicine Program at Princess Margaret. It was also the first appointment I've attended alone.

Today's pic was snapped by Jerry, a hospital security guard who told me, "This is where the media always takes their shots!"

Dr. Koch is a beautiful young woman who was very giving of her time and helped me to understand everything that lies ahead. She was happy to hear I'd decided to go ahead with the Oncotype DX test (the one that costs $5,000 - government funded - and the tissue has to be sent to a lab in Redwood City, California).

She says that though my pathology report indicates I'm low risk in all areas for a recurrence, it would still be reassuring to know the results of this special test. Dr. Koch is hopeful (as am I), that it will indicate low risk. If that's the case, then I won't have to undergo chemo and can jump to radiation and Tamoxifen. The only drag is, the results from California won't come back for about three weeks, which means everything else gets put on hold until then.

If, by any chance, the Oncotype DX shows HIGH risk, then I'd need chemo, followed up by radiation a month later, plus Tamoxifen.

During my examination, Dr. Koch said she could certainly see I'd been through quite a bit of pain following surgery, judging by the bruising and swelling, but she's optomistic things will improve a lot over the next few weeks.

When it comes time for radiation (which may not begin until the end of June), I'll need 16 treatments, one each day (except on weekends). Dr. Koch says this kind of radiation is generally well tolerated, but also said (based on my surgical experience), I may, (er, let's say, definitely), will have some pain. (Should I haul out the Percocet again?)

Coming up next, I'll need a CT scan, then will get tiny dot "tattoos" to mark the exact area where the radiation beam needs to hit. (never thought I'd be getting tattoos at THIS age! - Rock on!)

I told Dr. Koch about my blog and she said she'll check it out.

Leaving the hospital today, I saw the easel with the daily message. It said, "In the depths of every wound we have survived is the strength we need to live." - Dr. Rachel Remen

Sounds good to me! For now, I'll be getting some "strength" by watching the final episode of Idol! Looks like Scotty is "in it to WIN it!"
(thanks Randy)

To everyone who reads this blog - I'm sending positive thoughts your way, as I feel I have some to spare today!

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