Art's appointments at Mayo on October 20th didn't go well. The scans showed tumors had grown back in his brain in the place where he'd had the one removed last spring. Worse, there are also tumors growing in the membrane around his brain. He had 14 days of whole brain radiation, which ended Friday, November 11th. The hope is to "knock it back" as long as possible. The doctor told us that without the radiation, he likely would not live three months. We don't know how long he will live with the radiation but were told we should try to enjoy the days we have. If this were the only treatment, then the doctor said we should be happy if he gets a year. Art has an appointment with his oncologist on November 22nd to discuss other treatment options, and we are very hopeful about those.
The radiation treatments were Monday through Friday for about three weeks down at Mayo. He handled the treatments pretty well, holding up until the last week. The side effects of whole-brain radiation are hair loss, nausea, headaches, fatigue, and short-term memory loss, for which they've prescribed an Alzheimer's medication. He has also experienced hearing loss. Severe sinus pain, which coincided with the treatments but is apparently unrelated, has been what's set him back most.
We're sorry if you're just learning about this or have been waiting for updates. We haven't been very communicative. Mostly, we just need to process this, but Arthur's wish so far is to live our normal, sweet life, which is our greatest joy anyway.
We'll write again after the oncology appointment on Tuesday.