As regular readers of my medical adventures know, I've got a small to medium cancerous tumor (malignant melanoma) in my right eye and had to wait until I'd lived in Texas 6 months before I could qualify for the financial assistance needed to get treated by MD Anderson Cancer Center for this condition.
Events have moved quickly since March 20th; all sorts of blood tests, MRI’s, ultrasounds and cat scans. Then, yesterday, I came in for a re-measurement, so they can order the plaque and a chat with the Doc who will do the job.
I learned that I have been scheduled for surgery, well actually, a pair 5 days apart.
I go in April 18th, for the insertion surgery, the removal surgery is the 23rd and a post-op follow-up is the 24th.
Brachytherapy, the plaque insertion/internal radiation procedure, is what I will have done.
Internal radiation, or brachytherapy, involves radioactive material that is implanted in the body at the tumor site. Radiation implants are small tubes, seeds or capsules filled with different types of radioactive material and sealed.
Info on Anderson's website says that "over 50% of cancer patients will undergo radiation therapy; for some, it will be the only cancer treatment they need."
Mayo Clinic says that "brachytherapy may cause fewer side effects than does external beam radiation, and the overall treatment time is usually shorter with brachytherapy."
Mayo Clinic has a comprehensive discussion of the procedure, on its website that goes on for several brief pages and is very informative.
MD Anderson = http://tinyurl.com/6uc2faf
Mayo Clinic = http://tinyurl.com/agdgaj7
It is a good option for my particular condition. It's a 3 - 7 day insertion and removal procedure that could either be outpatient or inpatient as may be determined at the time of performing the procedure.
I need to be aware of several things in the aftermath:
1. Possible post-op double vision for a period of time.
2. Possible mild short term vision decline.
3. Possible long term vision decline that could lead to loss of the eye sometime down the road.
On my way home, yesterday, I stopped at the vet to set up Nikita and Elvira for a little vacation as the cats can’t be around my radiation if I am allowed to come home between the surgeries.
The cost of their 8 day stay will be around $260-300.
I talked to the doc about my scheduled trip to the Blog Paws Conference, May 15-19, and he says he sees (pun intended) no problem. My eye may be a little red, I may still be experiencing a little post-op double vision and I may still be taking daily drops, but none of this will keep me from my destiny.
There is a lot of work to be done before that week; I need to have a week worth of blog posts done and pre-scheduled for my Social Media for Critter Bloggers daily blog project, and I intend for there to be a post each day for this blog and The Opinionated Pussycat, as well.
****UPDATE - 4/4/13****
Thank you to Lynda M O, of LyndaLand, for leaving the 600th comment on this blog since it began in Oct. 2007! (See below)