I'm back! Like you missed me anyways.... what, it's been like 5 days?! Well, I have to tell you all about my first treatment, second, third and fourth. Monday, I had a really crappy day. We found out that I actually needed 10 treatments, not 5. Dr. M was very apologetic and said how sorry he was, that he can't do light full brain in 5 treatments... that's not light. I was really sad to find out that we would have to come back another week. And to compound to that news, was my first treatment which I was nervous about for whatever reason. Fear of the unknown I guess. But I was reassured that the most common side effects are hair loss, dry and itchy scalp. Perfect!!! I can deal with that.
Before my first treatment the radiation therapist went over the most common side effects and added nausea (which I was trying to block out) and a few others when you are doing full brain (dizziness, bowel and bladder problems, vomiting... I can't remember the rest). My first treatment went ok other than the fact that they had to take a picture before they started treatment which took a bit longer and my head was hurting a little from laying on the table so I was ready to get out of there when it was over.
The actual treatment only takes around a minute, but with set up and everything it's around 5 minutes total. They use the mask that they made for my face and literally strap my head down to the table and I lay there, really still and in exact place.... can't move. Today I said that Ken would probably love me to have one of those masks at night so I can't talk when we go to bed! The girls laughed and said their husbands would probably love it too!
After my first treatment I was feeling ok. But I was feeling a little nauseated, but I was sure it was in my head. I took some gravol and went to bed and I was feeling alright. By the time I woke up Tuesday morning I was feeling a little gross, but took more gravol and was ok, other than the fact that I couldn't walk anywhere on my own, I was so dizzy. We went to treatment and by Wednesday I literally felt like I was going to die and I wouldn't be able to finish treatments and my life was over. I was so sick. Dry heaving in the morning but because I hardly ate anything on Tuesday there was nothing to come out. I loaded more gavol and we headed to treatment for 8:35am!!! I haven't been up that early on my own free will in a while so it felt awful and I felt even worse. Still, I couldn't walk without help, dizziness was even worse.
They were a little worried about doing my treatment before I met with the Dr for my weekly check up and he said that because I hadn't actually vomited yet it was ok to go ahead with treatment. I was honestly worried about it being strapped to the table and feeling how I was feeling. Would I choke on my own barf and die?? Head strapped to a table and no one in a room to rescue me for a few seconds? The thought did cross my mind. But we did treatment anyways, and by the grace of God I made it through.
We met with the doctor after and he said it's not a hard fix, we just keep upping the Dex until I feel ok. Honestly, at this poin,t I said to Mom, "I would rather be chubby and feel like I can walk on my own and function (mildly at best) than start to thin out and feel the way I was feeling." Dr upped my Dex from 2mgs to 4mgs. He said it takes the Dex about 5-6 hours to start to work so it would still be a while before I started to feel any better. We also spoke about Vancouver. He said, HOPEFULLY the light full brain radiation will be enough to keep things in line and we can keep the sterotactic radiation in our arsenal for later if we need it. Here is my next favor to ask of you. If you can pray, send positive energy or good vibes, whatever you believe in and whatever you have been doing, our way so that we might not need to do the other and we can keep a card up our sleeve, that would be greatly appreciated. I will have to have another MRI 2-3 weeks after I am done here and then my "case" will be reviewed by Dr and his colleges to make sure that the best decision is made on my behalf (makes me feel good to know that there are many eyes on what's going ok, not that I don't trust my dr, but I am thankful that there are a few people who review it all).
Mom and I made it out to the car and I barfed in my mouth (all two crackers I had for breakfast that morning) and I sat there with the door open for a few minutes to compose myself. Then I ate the two cookies they gave me and got the courtesy Dex they gave me into my system. I wanted that crap to start working as soon as possible. We made it back to Vernon and I went right to bed. I think I stayed there until almost 5 and was still feeling really dizzy and unable to walk on my own when I got up. And knowing that I would most likely feel the same way morning, Mom and I decided to call the cancer center and see if we could talk to the doc on call. He called back and said I could absolutely up my Dex and he suggested up to 12mgs. We upped it to 10mgs.
I took the Dex and two gravol (doctors orders) and went to bed. When I woke up this morning I kind of felt human again and most importantly I was able to walk on my own once I had my legs underneath me for a few minutes and I wasn't nauseated! Well, I am still taking gravol almost around the clock, but today I actually ate and walked around all by myself. That was huge!!
I need to get into bed because my appointment tomorrow is at 8:10am and then we are heading out of town so I need to get into bed while I am ready for bed. I just wanted to let you know how it went and how it's going. If you hear me complaining about Dex and what is happening to me because of it, please remind me I did say, "I would rather deal with the side effects of Dex (weight gain, facial hair and zits!! remember how awesome they are!) than be sick and barfing." Ya, the other side effects for me are better than barfing! So if I am complaining, remind me that this isn't forever and I actually said I would rather deal with the Dex and be able to deal with life!!