Saturday, December 29, 2007

12.29.2007 - Five Weeks Into Treatment

It is 12.29.2007 and I have now completed five weeks of radiation therapy and two cycles of chemotherapy. Both the nurse and doctor that I see weekly at the radiation-oncology office don't know what to do with me because I don't have any of the side effects that most of their other patients have. My blood work results are good every week, hair loss is minimal, I am tolerating chemotherapy very well, etc.

I trimmed my hair again since it was just a little bit shorter where the surgery had been and the radiation has been focused upon. Not that it had much of a chance to grow out since the last time I trimmed it with the clippers. I have tapered the steroid dose down even further and I imagine that within a week or so I won't be taking any steroids any more. I look forward to the time when I am taking as few drugs as possible.

It is wonderful to be in the new house. We had a great Christmas. It is a bit colder than I am used to at this time of year, but I know I will adapt to the weather. Unfortunately, just about everyone in our household has a cold right now.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

12.22.2007 - Four Weeks Into Treatment

It is 12.22.2007 and week four has come and passed. I have done four weeks of radiation therapy and am in my second cycle of chemotherapy. No side effects from the chemotherapy so far. As I mentioned, I have experienced hair loss from the radiation therapy, but just in the area where the tumor was since the radiation is focused there. Sunday of last week, I used the clippers with no guard on my whole head, so I am basically bald. You can't tell that there is any hair loss now, but I look like what I used to look like while I was in the police academy. I used to give myself this haircut every summer, so I am used to it. Colorado winters are even colder when you have no hair though. I will taper down the steroid dose even further in a day or two. Not to do too much at one time, but we closed on our new house this past week and are wrapping up the moving process right now. It has been a very busy week here. It is nice to be in the new house though because it is nearly double the size of the rental house we were living in and we can actually unpack all the stuff from our California house.

Friday, December 14, 2007

12.14.2007 - Three Weeks Into Treatment

It is 12.14.2007 and so far I have completed three weeks of radiation therapy and one cycle of chemotherapy. Next week, I will start my second cycle of chemotherapy. I don't feel that much fatigue so far, but I started noticing some hair loss last night and this morning. It is mainly in the area of my scalp where the surgical procedure incision scar is and that makes sense because the tumor tissue was underneath there, so the focused radiation is directed there to irradiate the remaining tumor tissue. The hair will grow back, but not until the radiation therapy is completed. My physician has continued to taper down my steroid dose, which is good because it is only needed to deal with swelling and I don't have much swelling any more. The less medication I have to take the better.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

12.08.2007 - Two Weeks Into Treatment

It is 12.08.2007 and it has been two weeks since I started the daily radiation treatments and I have only felt some waves of fatigue, but nothing too persistent. The chemotherapy schedule in place makes it so that I won't begin the second cycle of chemo for another week and a half. My neurooncologist cleared me to resume driving again, but thought it would be a good idea to start slow. The radiation-oncology staff has reminded me that the fatigue may still be coming because the effects of the radiation therapy is cumulative as the treatments continue. It isn't anything to look forward to, but some increased fatigue isn't the worst thing that one could experience. They also said I could experience some hair loss, but I haven't noticed any yet.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

12.01.2007 - No Side Effects So Far

It is now 12.01.2007 and I haven't felt any nausea or really any other side effects. While I haven't had to go through any of this before, I would say that I am doing pretty well with it all. When I initially learned of the brain tumor back in late 2004, I felt like if I had to have a mutation (cancer is the result of cellular mutation), I should get some cool power, like the X-MEN. My wife advises that my cool power appears to be not to experience side effects.

Following both the surgeries (early 2005 and late 2007) I never experienced any nausea after having been under general anesthesia. I haven't had any nausea from the chemotherapy as of yet and haven't had any noticeable side effects from the radiation therapy as of yet. After a couple weeks, perhaps things won't be so rosy, but things are going well so far.