After meeting with the radiation oncologist at UW Medical, it has been decided that radiation treatment will take place prior to surgery.
So why radiation over chemotherapy? Luckily for me, the tumor is localized and so doing radiation treatment is much more effective in that it focuses on a specific spot. It’s a much more precise treatment than chemo. And I get to keep my hair- that’s always a plus! The hope is that radiation will shrink the tumor while killing off all the cancer cells weakening its attachment. And in the process, I’ll be routinely monitored on a weekly basis. There’s also a chance that radiation therapy might be necessary during surgery, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there!
My radiation treatment will last for 5 consecutive weeks, 5 days a week with 20-30 minute therapy sessions. After the 5 weeks is up, I’ll be given a couple more weeks while the radiation is still in effect. If everything works out as planned, I should plan for an August surgery date. According to the doctor, there are side effects but nothing major. He mentioned most commonly experienced is fatigue but more likely towards the end of treatment, bowel movements which my body is already used to and skin irritation. Important thing is it’s not internal radiation so, no, I’m NOT radioactive!!! I can be around others, eat and drink normally, and be merry!
Thinking about all of this just stresses me out. I know I have to be strong and not let it break me, cause then everything else will just fall apart. This is definitely going to be a long summer and one that I won’t forget!