Good Evening -
Wanted to update you all again today, even though I updated yesterday with the super post. This morning, Kurtis built his plastic mask for radiation and had an MRI to set up the radiation for his brain. After finishing with the MRI, Kurtis had a voicemail from the cancer doctor letting him know that his bHCG had dropped which is outstanding. When we got home, Kurtis checked his chart online and we found out that it dropped drastically from about 38,000 to about 15,000 which is more than half! Wonderful news that means that the chemo is working.
We had a few hours of complete happiness followed by a phone call from the radiation oncologist. Unfortunately, the MRI from today showed four new tumors in his brain with three "suspicious"areas. So, in the last 3.5 weeks, the cancer has been hard at work attacking his brain which, to put it quite simply, really sucks.
The plan now is to start Kurtis on Whole Brain Radiation on beginning on Monday. The doctors were planning on doing pinpoint radiation to limit the exposure of radiation and his brain, but with the tumors continuing to develop it means that there are cells floating around and they all need to get treated. Beginning on Monday, Kurtis will go for five days in a row for radiation treatment and then repeat the process for another week for a total of ten treatments. Each treatment will take approximately 5-10 minutes. The tumors are all small, about a centimeter or less, so that is positive as well.
In addition, the radiation oncologist called this "very treatable" and the response Kurtis is having to the chemo is outstanding so that will keep the cancer from being able to "re-seed" in his brain. After I called back and talked to the radiation oncologist today, I also found out that had they done the pinpoint radiation that they would have had to go back and do the whole brain due to what they were able to see today. That means, that Kurtis is actually going to have a little bit less radiation than was possible.
All frustrating and scary, for sure. We know the ups and downs of cancer treatment but it doesn't make it easier to handle when you find out "new" things that weren't expected. However, we feel like Kurtis is in good hands and he is anxious to get this process going so that he can continue battling the other cancer cells.
The weekend will be filled with rest and prep for the radiation to come and we appreciate the continued positive thoughts, vibes, prayers, etc.
Liz, Kurtis, and Chauncey