Pablo and I went to talk to an oncologist this morning. Pablo had to fill out a form/questionnaire about his medical history, etc. and he completely FILLED the few lines that they gave for 'Past Surgeries'. The oncologist was surprised that the list was so long...
So here are some points that I scribbled down (and I hope I got them right):
- with radiation treatment there is only a 20% chance that the tumour will re-grow after treatment
- without radiation, there is 50% chance that the tumour will grow back in 2-5 years (or even in as little as 1 year)
- Pablo mentioned proton therapy and the oncologist said that nowadays, radiation tools have gotten much better and there isn't a whole lot of difference between proton therapy and radiation (with regards to accuracy)
- the oncologist said a few times that he was 'worried' about Pablo's tumour situation - that he has only had one surgery and that the whole tumour wasn't removed. He really believes that Pablo needs radiation.
- there may be some short term memory issues as a result of the radiation but he guaranteed that the radiation would not affect Pablo's speech
- he'll be at a slightly higher risk of having strokes in the future so it is really important for Pablo to watch things like blood pressure, weight and cholesterol
- some side effects of radiation are tiredness, dizziness (from swelling of the brain), patches of hair loss at the site of the treatment, pink scalp. Pablo may have to go back on Decadron to help with brain swelling (if necessary)
- the treatment takes place 5 days a week (monday to friday) for 5.5 weeks. Each treatment lasts 5-10 minutes.
- they need to make a plastic mold of Pablo's face/head because this is what they will put over his face and bolt it down so that there is absolutely no movement during treatment
- Pablo will have to have yet another MRI and CAT scan (simulation) done so they know where to zap
- treatment will probably start early August sine Pablo is having his urology surgery July 14th
Pablo gave the okay to get this process started. After all the research that Pablo did, he pretty much made his decision to go ahead with radiation even before this appointment. I am really hoping that this works and that there is no more tumour EVER AGAIN.