October is one of my favorite months. I get to wear warm clothes, have shiny lip gloss, enjoy easy teen reader books in my Ikea lounge chair and to make it even a smidge better, I now get to indulge on grapefruit! Yep, gobble down on grapefruit! One of my all-time favorite fruits that had been cast aside for the last, way too many years, like 7. No fun at all!
This October things are changing – I would say Big Time. Just before SW and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary I was getting discharged from a hospital approximately an hour away. I’d like to say I left after a simple meeting with my brain surgeon, Dr Ciporen, but nope. I left after he performed surgery on the left side of my monster brain full of toxic gunk that needed to be removed.
For countless days before surgery my head hurt. Hurt-hurt actually. I so badly wanted it to just go away, but nope, it got worse. I was upset. Mad at most everything I looked at, myself included. I could not escape the phrase, what did I do? Severe depression kicked in. Why does this garbage happen to me? I thought I was a good person. Ready to turn in my towel, I was DONE! I struggled with uncontrollable brain swelling. I could not focus on where it hurt to tell anyone. Names, memories, friends, walking, etcetera all seemed like foreign topics. I’d watch a movie or television program and not understand what was going on. Nothing made sense. My entire body hurt from unexplainable stress. The reasons why did not seem to matter. I was stuck at home, alone, settling in to die.
Two semi-options stood out. 1- investigate a clinical trial offered by my neuro-oncologist and 2 research Death with Dignity (DWD). Neither option sounded good.
My left-side brain swelling was alarmingly close to things I considered critical. Removing the infected tumor could/might impact my speech, memories, friends and family…me. Would it be worth fracturing these things? To qualify for the DWD medication it would require a prognosis of less than 6-months to live, which I’m not ready to be there yet.
Trembling, I chose to move forward with the clinical trial offered by my neuro-oncologist. So now my October looks like this:
- Monday, 10/1 approximately 30 staples will be yanked out of my left-side hairline (forehead to ear). Lucky me!
- Tuesday, 10/2 my radiation oncologist will be making a mold of my head for radiation.
- Thursday, 10/4: I will have a brain MRI to plan my brain radiation.
- Monday 10/8 – 12 is set aside for multi-days of brain zapping. Zap! Zap! Zap!
- Tuesday, 10/16 appointment with medical oncologist Jeremy Cetnar. I hope I can walk still.
- Wednesday 10/17 +18 MRIs – multiple brain scans to see how treatment is going.
- Friday, 10/19 first infusion of Keytruda is scheduled.
I do hope that recovery allows me to celebrate Halloween and Day of the Dead. Favorite Days of mine!!!