On Friday, 7/2/10, I saw the radiation doctor. Finding out on Wednesday that chemo sounded like such an (all things considered) easy option was such a surprise, I didn't think radiation could compete. I was wrong.
The treatments would be a low dose of radiation, compared to other cancer treatments like brain/breast/lung. The dose for my cancer was about a 1/4, maybe less, than what it is for some of those other cancers. I would have to have 13 treatments in total which would produce the same basic short-term side effects as chemo.
And the facilities! The cancer center at Sibley hospital was incredible. It was modern & clean. The staff was incredibly friendly. If you have to have treatment, Sibley is the kind of place you want to have it at.
So what would be better, chemo or radiation? With the same basic short-term side effects, I'll have to pick my poison. Radiation & chemo have about the same short-term side effects, all of which I can live with easily. Both have possible, but extremely unlikely, long-term side effects that are different. But how do you choose which possible long term side effect you can live with?
All of the doctors (surgeon, chemo, radiation) say the same thing: 3 treatment options, all equally successful. Observation (no meds, monitor quarterly with ct scans & blood), 1 dose of chemo, or radiation for 3 weeks. I've narrowed down that I'll do either chemo or radiation, but how I'll decide between those two, I don't know.
So what is delayed independence day? July 11th, the day I decide which treatment I'll take.
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