Apr 19, 2013 - 8:48 pm
I am 3 weeks out from my surgery and preparing to move ahead with radiation treatment. I met with my surgeon, a Mayo Clinic radiation oncologist, and a Minneapolis radiation oncologist this week to plan my radiation treatment. I will be fitted for the mask on Monday and most likely will start treatments a week from Monday on April 29th. Five days a week for six weeks.
I will be receiving only radiation, not chemotherapy, because both the Mayo doctors and the Minneapolis radiation oncologist feel any possible marginal benefit of chemo is not worth the additional toxicity in my case. I had a very small primary at the base of the tongue which was removed with negative margins and the chain of cancerous lymph nodes on both sides of my neck were removed and all were fully encapsulated with no spread to surrounding tissues.
I raised the issue of taking Amifostene (ethyol) prior to radiation treatments to reduce the severity of permanent dry mouth. My radiation oncologist does not normally recommend it because of the potential side effects, but he reviewed the literature and has agreed to administer it in my case. Now I need to check to be sure it is covered by my insurance. I will take an anti-nausea medication before the Amifostene injection and then will be monitored for 15 minutes in case my blood pressure drops. We will discontinue it if I develop a stronger reaction.
Thanks, everyone, for all the advice on how to prepare for and endure radiation treatments. My radiation oncologist did not sugarcoat it and I appreciate that. I will stock up on the many supplies and aids that have been recommended on this Board. I know what lies ahead, but I also know that I can get through it because so many of you have.