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stereotactic radiotherapy for supraclavicular lymph node mets

upsofloating's picture
upsofloating
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

Had consult today with radiation oncologist to evaluate targeted treatment of upsc recurrence in supraclavicular lymph nodes. Treatment is basically palliative in that we are not going for cure.

After lengthy discussion and extensive review of detailed disease history, followed by review of possible radiotherapy options, we agreed that best route is stereotactic radiotherapy, a technique that delivers high dose radiation to very precise targets that allows for fewer treatments, with less collateral damage and side effects. I will be scheduled for a planning session shortly and current expectation is that it can be done in 6 sessions, 3 per week over 2 weeks - I believe this is referred to as fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy. Goal is to limit side effects as much as possible while delivering effective treatment. Sounds quite doable after which I will revisit chemo options with gyn-onc. I'm really glad to have this option available since location of nodes is quite close to esophagus and trachea and this state-of-the-art Varian Trilogy RapidArc therapy is an image-guided radiation therapy and is delivered faster and with extreme accuracy, more so than cyberknife technology, reducing side effects/problems usually associated with radiotherapy.

Has anyone else had this done?

Always nice to have a treatment plan in the works.
Annie

california_artist's picture
california_artist
Posts: 860
Joined: Jan 2009

The second sentence in the opening paragraph stopped my heart short. How easily we have learned to talk about and use words like pallative care and other heartbreaking terms. I ache for how you may feel now. But, maybe it isn't so. In my heart of heart of hearts, I will always believe there is a cure in all our futures.

Anything I can do let me know.

Love to you and yours,

Claudia

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 496
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm glad that you have a treatment plan that you consider doable and that I hope will give you many more years of quality living.

I, too, was stopped by the word "palliative." Isn't it true that many cancers that can't be cured can still be managed as chronic diseases, with the person still being able to have quality of life? You, and many other women here, have proven that to be true.

I wish you peace, the strength to continue your integrative practices, and the expectation of a cure down the road. Treatments seem to be getting better all of the time.

My heart is with you.

Jill

paris11
Posts: 132
Joined: Oct 2010

Annie,

I discussed SBRT with my Radiation Oncologist at Northwestern. I was not eligible because of the proximity of the lymph node to the bowel. NORTHWESTERN has had much success with this treatment.

All the best to you,

Connie

upsofloating's picture
upsofloating
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks Claudia, Jill, and Connie for your good thoughts. I guess i've gotten into the 'doc-speak' way of referring to such things. Palliative to me always sounded like on your way to hospice, but i'm not there yet. My gyn-onc is not terribly encouraging about further systemic treatment but i'll revisit that after radiation. Meanwhile, this past week, I've played 2 games of golf (one long, one short course), enjoyed an 8-mile bike ride, and doing my 2-3 mile neighborhood walks. Tomorrow it's off to my local Relay for Life to try (and that's a really big try!) to make my 18 mile goal. I did 17 miles last year - it's one mile for every year I have lived with cancer (breast 18, and heading for 4 for UPSC). My husband decided that we best start with one lap for each year, they try for 2 laps per, then 3, and if we can make it by the 24-hr deadline and the body holds out, we'll do the 4 laps per, to make the 18 miles. One foot in front of the other ;-)
Annie

fuzzytrouble's picture
fuzzytrouble
Posts: 210
Joined: Feb 2009

When I was told that it was not curable, I thought I was a goner. I am thankful for every day that my feet hit the floor, and that I can function pretty well. I think keeping busy helps us forget and we feel good which helps a lot. When I found out that my ct scan looked good and could go off chemo, I felt wonderful and wanted to do tons of stuff. I wish you all the best with your next round and have a good time at the Relay for Life and your golfing. Like you said "one foot in front of the other".
Hugs from Oregon,
Sharon

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1226
Joined: Nov 2009

Annie:

Thinking of you. But you go girl! Way to go, biking, golf and walks. I bet you will make that 18 mile goal! I am sending you cyber energy to keep you going.

My best to you, Annie. Sending you hugs (((Annie)))

Kathy

Rewriter's picture
Rewriter
Posts: 496
Joined: Dec 2009

by responding really well to the radiation and being an excellent candidate for further systemic treatment. In the meantime, I'm amazed by your level of activity, and I'm so impressed by your 18-mile goal. Keep those endorphins flowing, and continue to really enjoy your life. You are an inspiration!

Jill

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks for the info. I also had tx for supraclavicular lymph node mets close to windpipe but this option was not presented to me - not sure why. I had 7 weeks of Tomo radiation along with fractionated carboplatin chemo. docs called this synergistic - use of both chemo and RT. RT doc said tomo is low dose and accurate and I indeed did have painful effect on esophagus and throat. But it did the trick - no evidence disease on follow-up PET.

Your treatment sounds very state of art - I hope it effectively does the trick.

Re: term "palliative". I consulted my hubbie who is hospice social worker -he said this refers to tx that is not curative. I guess my treatments would also be considered palliative because at beginning I was told my upsc would be chronic, rather than curable.

Annie, God speed. Sending my best wishes and lots of love to you. Mary Ann

kkstef's picture
kkstef
Posts: 706
Joined: May 2008

Annie,

I was so sorry to hear your latest news, but it sounds like you have a very good plan of attack and it certainly does sound like cutting edge technology. I am awed by your level of energy....and am anxious to hear how the Relay for Life went.

Know that all of us are cheering you on!! You are always so calm, knowledgeable, and strong.....a true inspiration to others!!

Big Hugs,

Karen

upsofloating's picture
upsofloating
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

Thanks so much for all the positive thoughts and well wishes. You were there giving me strength to go the distance to reach my goal of 18 miles. Meeting the challenge is symbolic in giving me hope that I can continue to meet, face, and overcome life's ongoing vicissitudes. And the space between those vicissitudes makes the fight so worthwhile.
My best wishes to all of you to meet and overcome your challenges as well.
Annie

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

Dear Annie,

You are one of the most inspiring members on our boards, I've always thought, so know we are all WITH you.

And always remember that the term "palliative," while not signalling a cure, implies an "easing" that can often be sustained for years at a time.

Am so glad you have access to this state-of-the-art option. Given what you've already overcome, you may be able to surmount this episode with your usual spunk and spirit.

You are awesome, amazing, beautiful. A model for us all.

Love,
Rosey

upsofloating's picture
upsofloating
Posts: 473
Joined: Dec 2009

Above comment included you too, Rosey! I never get the right hierarchy of comment location :P
Annie

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

Dear Annie,

You are one of the most inspiring members on our boards, I've always thought, so know we are all WITH you.

And always remember that the term "palliative," while not signalling a cure, implies an "easing" that can often be sustained for years at a time.

Am so glad you have access to this state-of-the-art option. Given what you've already overcome, you may be able to surmount this episode with your usual spunk and spirit.

You are awesome, amazing, beautiful. A model for us all.

Love,
Rosey

HellieC's picture
HellieC
Posts: 460
Joined: Nov 2010

You are an inspiration to us all - long may it continue, Annie
Love
Helen

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