Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New mets :(

[From my recent "List" post]


Hi folks..

I just got some news. My neurologist just called me with my recent MRI results and the results are good and not-so-good.

The good news is that my previous radiation treatments have resulted in significant shrinkage of my remaining brain mets (The ones that popped up after my first SRS (Novalis - similar to Gamma Knife) ) So it appears that the Whole Brain Radiation that followed may have done me some good after all).

The bad news is that a new brain met was found. It's fairly small, just under 1 cm. But brain mets are never good news so I'm just a little freaked out.

I'm not sure of the exact location but this probably explains the increasingly severe headaches I've been getting. It is possible that I can get this new met zapped with more gamma knife so I'm crossing my fingers on that one.

I have an appt. with Dr. Gailani tomorrow to discuss the new brain met and the possible met that was recently seen on my spine. I have a bad feeling that this may spell the end of my treatment with Sutent (which had been working well for me) if I have to go back on steroids.. I believe I read that I can't do both at the same time.

God, I really hate those steroids...



Chris said...

I am getting ready to undergo gamma knife surgery for a remaining rcc met to the brain. Recently I had lung and brain surgery to remove rcc cancer mets. Now they want to do whole brain radiation to the treatment. My question is is it worth it and what are the side effects that you experienced. This is tough stuff as you know and I have fought this thing for five years now and just would like to have some successes.
take care
Chris in Marion AR

CroakerJoe said...


It's hard to say. I was terrified about WBR (Whole Brain Radiation)when I first was offered it. At the time, I had a single met to the brain and the first thing they wanted to do was WBR.

I had done a lot of reading about it on the web and all these nasty side effects... dementia, loss of motor function, memory loss and so on.. I became so afraid of it that I resused the treatment and had SRS (targeted radiation) instead.

However, I got new mets popping up all over the place barely a month later which was even more scary so I went ahead with the WBR after that.

The treatment itself was no big deal. I did go completely bald (it's starting to grow back now) and had a number of side effects, mainly fatigue and some alance issues. The side effects from the steroids were actually worse, I think but sith all this going on, it's hard to tell what is the actual cause of whichever side effect.

Was it worth it? Hell if I know. I did have some shrinkage of the lesions on my last scan and am hoping for more on the next but I have no way to tell if the shrinkage was from the targetred therapy or from the WBR or both.

So far, I'm not sorry I did it (the WBR) but I've heard that the really nasty side effects sometimes take a year or more to make themselves known.. I've got about 3 months to go.