Yesterday afternoon Beckie received her first of 30 planned radiation treatments. She claimed to be a little nervous, but I could tell that she was VERY nervous. After the treatment, she was pleasantly surprised at how quick and painless the actual treatment is. She told me they have a screen that shows relaxing images like trees and beaches and that they play music. All she has to do is relax for 15 minutes while the machine does it thing. I had an opportunity to see the radiation machine when I walked her in, and while I was making her next appointments, I watched one of the technicians line everything up on a computer screen. The entire setting was like something you would see on TV or in a movie; a huge room with a huge white machine in the middle of it, people working on computers on the other side of a wall of glass, and long hallways filled with people in lab coats carrying clipboards.
On Monday afternoon we met with a medical oncologist to discuss chemotherapy. We received what I feel to be a bit of encouraging news; this doctor wants to hold off on chemotherapy because he is not convinced that Beckie has a high grade tumor. He explained that because the tumor is located in an area that is unsafe to biopsy nobody knows for sure what type of tumor it is. He said that although the tumor appears to be high grade based on imaging, there is another piece to the puzzle worth considering. This doctor feels that Beckie probably has neurofibromatosis which is a genetic disease that is known to produce tumors in the brain and brain stem. The tumors produced by this disease are usually non-aggressive, and if this is the case then chemotherapy would be unnecessary. He said that we can learn a great deal about the tumor based on how it reacts to radiation treatments, and if it confirms itself as high grade that chemo would be used further down the road. So let's all pray that this is a low grade tumor, which is much more treatable, and takes longer to re-occur once treated.
Beckie is understandably tired, and is expecting to get progressively weaker as she goes through the radiation treatments. In closing, I wanted to say thanks to Ann, who is a good friend of ours living in Indiana, for helping with the blog layout. It looks great. Also, a big thank you to the friends and neighbors that are helping us by preparing meals, taking our kids places, and making themselves available to get Beckie to radiation treatments when I am not able. A Bible verse that speaks to strengthening the members of the body of Christ is Romans 12:5, "so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."