We recently found out that my mom had some brain tumors. The words cancer and tumors are scary enough, but combine them with brain and you’ve got something downright terrifying. We waited and hoped and prayed and spent time together all weekend in anticipation of her consultation with yet another doctor today. We were scared she wouldn’t be treatable. We were scared the radiation would make her too sick to fight the cancer everywhere else. We were afraid that the treatment would leave her radioactive and not able to be around her trying to conceive (and hopefully soon pregnant) daughter (that would be me!).
Today all of our fears were alleviated. Of course I’d prefer that there was nothing wrong with her in the first place, but considering that she has cancer and brain tumors, this is good news. Her doctor explained that brain tumors sound so scary but with recent advances they are so treatable that you could almost say they have a cure because the treatment works so well. They just can't call it a cure because the tumors can return and you often have to continue treatment later.
She has 8 or more small tumors all over her brain. They caught them all early. She has to go in for general radiation of her whole brain 5 days a week for 3 weeks. This should prevent new tumors from coming in. Then she has to have targeted radiation to attack the specific tumors, this will be 2 or 3 times, and takes about 6 hours each time.
During the 3 weeks she has to stop chemo, but she was doing so well with that that her oncologist is confident about her being okay with a 3 week break. She also cannot drive and so we are trying to coordinate that, but my sister should be able to handle most of the driving.
And, the doctor said I can be around her because the radioactivity leaves her body almost immediately so she is not dangerous to pregnant women (again, I am not currently pregnant, just trying to get there so we are being extra cautious!). He said I should not go to the facility, and my mom is so worried she doesn't even want me driving her and going near the treatment center. But at least I don't have to avoid her altogether for the next 3 weeks, which we feared. And it’s only 3 weeks, we also feared it would be another year of treatment like the chemo.