Greetings everyone! You're probably already guessing if I'm sending a new blog post that I've got some new news. Well..you would be correct!
Where to start! How about just putting it out there. This cancer party has decided to move to the brain. I know...I'll let you take a second and wrap your head around that one. No pun intended! Not the news I was expecting or wanting either. So..let me catch you up.
As many of you are aware my last scans in March were "inconclusive" in my lungs. The radiologist thought the new spots were most likely inflammation from an infection but wasn't 100% sure. So we decided to schedule more scans in May.
In the beginning of April I had been feeling dizzy and nauseous a lot. It got so bad one night I ended up in the emergency room. After some great anti dizzy and nausea meds and a CT scan of the brain, they sent me home with a "brain looks good and it's just vertigo". Well I had a pretty crappy few weeks but I finally turned a corner and started feeling better. My migraines seemed to be stronger and more often but since I've been a migraine sufferer since 4th grade I just figured it was part of the vertigo.
So May rolls around and my onco wants to schedule my chest CT scan, he suggests we also do a brain MRI since the CT they did in the ER didn't really show the inner ear and that is usually the cause of vertigo.
We had a lot going on with work and I wasn't sure where I would need to be so I set up my scan for last Saturday. I actually would advise it! Saturdays are great! It's really slow and they get you in and out! Hey..i find the joy where I can right!
Cut to Tuesday when my onco calls me on the phone. He immediately apologies and says that he would prefer to have the conversation with me in person but that he is in NY for the week. My heart immediately sank. I was waiting for him to say that the tumors in my lungs had grown. NOT that there were new spots in a new location. He started by saying that my lungs look good. The inflammation had cleared up and the spot that is still there is barely detectable. We figure I had phenomena over the holidays when I was really sick that was not diagnosed. I knew I felt like crap in Aspen when I had to work but just figured it was a cold mixed with altitude sickness and cancer in the lungs.
Anyway, he proceeded to explain that there were several spots in my brain. All be it very tiny there were multiple locations. Because of this surgery and targeted therapy are off the table. He is suggesting full brain radiation. He gave me the number to the top brain radiologist at Cedars and suggested I call him asap. I called and they fit me in that afternoon.
Andre was on a new show that day so the last thing I wanted to do was call him and freak him out. I wanted to kind of get my grip on it and find out exactly what was going on. So I called my friend Cortney and she came to rescue and met me at the radiologist. As I always say it's best to have a friend or someone else there to take notes and ask questions you may be forgetting.
The doctor took us into his office and showed us all of the scans. He pointed out that the three main ones (didn't get a total count but more then 5 and less then 10) were located by the part of my brain that controls equilibrium (bing that makes sense) my sight, and my left side mobility. The largest is only about 6.2 - 8mm. Tiny..that's barely the size of half a fingernail. BUT enough to cause swelling and side effects. Luckily my vision and mobility seem totally fine. Only issues is the dizziness and nausea. Once I see my oncologist Ill get my full scans and print out so I can totally understand how many there are, where each one is located and it's size.
OK..so for the treatment....They want me to do three weeks of radiation. That is a total of 15 treatments, every day, five days a week. I went back on Thursday to do another scan and they fitted me for my mask. Here is a youtube of the process. It was pretty easy and it was actually a bit of a reunion. I knew both of the techs from my radiation in 2012. It was actually pretty comforting to see them and I immediately feel at ease and was cracking jokes as always.
I've sent my scans off to UCLA and Sloan Kettering. As of now the consensus seems to be the same, full brain radiation. This way they get the ones they see and the ones that may still be hiding. My first treatment will be next Wednesday at 5:45pm. I will set up a schedule when I'm there to go at the same time everyday. I'm hoping for a morning appointment so I can get on with my day!
OH..did I mention on top of all of this we're being evicted from my apartment I've living in for 17 years! Developer bought half of my block and is tearing everything down. They gave me a year extension but my amazing friends and boss put their foot down and said I was moving this weekend! Yes..this weekend. So we were shipped off to a hotel in Santa Monica as a team swooped in, packed and moved us! When we check out of the hotel tomorrow I will be going to my new apartment all moved in!
This is getting pretty long so I'll wrap it up. I'm in great spirits. It is what is it is and the radiologist is confident that the radiation will take care of everything. Yes, there will be side effects, I'll go into all of those at a later date. BUT it's nothing we cant get through and deal with. I literally have a village of love, strength, and support behind me!
I thank you in advance for all of your prayers, love, light, and healing energy. Please keep Andre in your thoughts and prayers as well as he is really having a hard time with all of this. He is my rock as always but I know he's putting on a brave face for me. God really blessed me with a good one ;)
LOVE YOU ALL! UPDATE AGAIN SOON I PROMISE!