Radiation Day 15 – “Whoa-oh we’re halfway there.”

(I really, really hope you read that title in Jon Bon Jovi’s voice to the rhythm of “Livin’ on a Prayer.” If not, what kind of monster are you, anyway?!)

Alas, the beam room music stumped me today. There was definitely a song playing. But, between my lack of familiarity with it and the noise the gantry makes as it moves around, I couldn’t figure it out. The closest I got was a lyric that sounded something like “Can’t fathom the freedom (feeling?)…” Google has been no help whatsoever. Oh well.

But, but, but, I’m halfway through my six weeks of radiation therapy! It’s an odd feeling, actually. Somehow, it simultaneously feels like yesterday that I woke up on the floor of my kitchen with no idea how I got there and also like the last six and a half weeks have taken months to unfold. I’m reminded of the Radiolab episode titled “Why A Brush With Death Triggers The Slow-Mo Effect.” If you’ve got the time, have a listen. It’s a good one.

Some of you obsessive blog readers noticed that I missed posting a couple days this week. Fear not. It’s not an indication of anything other than the fact that I had kind of a busy week (in a good way). I had lunch with a friend and attended two meetings on campus on top of my daily treks to MGH. Also, this week, the combination of cutting out my steroid entirely and the cumulative effect of the radiation has started to make me a little more tired than normal. Looks like there are more naps in my future. I can certainly imagine worse fates.

Oh, hey! I figured now might be a good time to give you a heads-up that the bit below could be a little upsetting/gross if you’ve got a weak stomach or get queasy easily. If that’s the case, maybe go make some tea, tend your lovely garden, or catch up on those emails that have been bugging you instead.

I also saw my surgeon today for the six-week follow-up. I made sure to thank her for her awesome work and pass along so many of your compliments on the job she did leaving an aesthetically pleasing scar (the size and shape of which, I learned, meant she had to sever a minimum number of muscles). She may have been a little embarrassed by the compliments.

The upshot is that everything looks great, and I’ve been officially cleared to resume Crossfit (slowly). But, more importantly, I got a burning question answered – is the 2mm-thick titanium burr hole cover (don’t worry – the linked image is in no way gross) on the outside or inside of my skull? Well, it turns out its on the outside between the skull and the muscle/skin. As you can maybe tell from that image, there are some screws that attach it to the bit of bone they removed for the craniotomy, and then the tabs around the edges get screws through them to affix the bone to my intact skull. Apparently, if I need another surgery down the road (always a possibility if the tumor grows back – remember, this garbage cancer is incurable), they can just unscrew the plate and get after it again. It’s kind of rad that she planned a large enough incision to enable future surgeries in the general temporal lobe region without even knowing for sure that it was an incurable cancer.

Now, we’re off to celebrate the radiation halfway mark by eating ice cream and taking little R to see Blue Man Group. Should be a blast!

5 Responses

  1. Blue Man Group YES!! Sadly no amount of searching has helped me find the Halloween photo of you as Tobias Fuenke, nevernude Blue Man era. Maybe one of the other obsessive readers of this blog (ahem!) can produce it?

    Also, was the song possibly Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon?

    1. Yeah, that Tobias Fuenke photo is notoriously difficult to track down. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Also, I don’t think it was REO Speedwagon. I’m pretty sure I’d have recognized that one.

  2. Woo-hoo!!! Halfway there – you amaze me with your strength. But, but, but, please promise me that you will take crossfit s-l-o-w and e-a-s-y!

  3. Congratulations on the halfway mark!

    And I thought you were joking in a prior post about hoping to get cleared for Crossfit. You are nonstop! So awesome.

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