I now have an official start day for radiation: July 6th. Cameron and I met with my radiologist this week and he is very optimistic about this treatment. He has worked with several cholangiocarcinoma patients and has had “stellar” results. Radiation will last for six and half weeks. I will go in everyday Monday through Friday for 20-30 minute sessions. I will also be taking an oral form of chemo during radiation. The word on the streets is that chemo and radiation work exponentially better when used together. So we are going to give it a whirl! I have been told that most people tolerate this radiation/chemo cocktail fairly well. The most intense side-effect is fatigue, which is cumulative over the course of the treatment. There may be some nausea, mouth-sores and other slight irritations to handle but all-in-all I think that I will be able to handle it swimmingly!
I had another CAT scan recently as well. Everything is stabilized, which is good. The tumor is still isolated, mostly to the bile ducts. Because of my recent bout of cholangitis (from the PSC, when my bile ducts get clogged), I have increased inflammation in the area. The inflamed tissue looks a lot like the soft tissue of the tumor so it is difficult to tell what is what. The actual size of the tumor was measured a couple of milimeters larger than it was previously but I was reassured that that is primarily because of the inflammation and not a signal that the tumor is growing.
I have to admit that I was slightly bummed that the tumor didn’t shrink. Stability is a good thing, though, and I am so grateful for it.
On a more upbeat note- Rex the dog is doing very well! He is adjusting well to his crazy owners and even starting to eat his delicious duck and potato food! He had his first vet visit last week and passed his Doggie Wellness exam with flying colors. We do have to collect some of his stool to test for parasites- that is a job for daddy Cameron!