Friday, December 14, 2018

Everything else can wait,...

We are in Houston today to seek a second opinion from the Glioblastoma specialists at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The meeting this afternoon turned out to be very productive and helpful - far exceeding my very conservative expectations. 

Dr. Shiao-Pei Weathers and her colleagues suggested the possibility of Radiation Therapy as the first line of attack against the new tumor growth! This idea had not occurred to us, nor did our NeuroOncologist suggest it when we met him a couple of weeks ago. 

My understanding from the days of the first round of 30 days/6-weeks radiation treatment in late 2016-early 2017 after the first craniotomy was that there is only a limited amount of Radiation a human body can take, and I was given my full quota during the first round of Radiation treatment. So Radiation Therapy was forever off the table as a treatment option for me. 

Dr. Weathers and her colleagues think that my two tumors are in different parts of the brain far apart from each other to allow for targeting the second tumor with Radiation Therapy treatment. This is an option for me as the original area of tumor growth, and radiation treatment - Right Temporal Lobe - does not show any signs of the tumor since the first brain surgery. And the second tumor growth is in the left parietal lobe, far away from the right temporal lobe!

The best thing about this option if it turns out to be a viable option that my NeuroOncologist agrees with is that I can get the radiation treatment back home in Colorado itself with full-coverage by my insurance!

It might even be possible for me to re-use the radiation mask from my first round of radiation treatments.😀 And be treated at the same place I went for the first round of treatment.

I was preparing myself mentally for undergoing my third craniotomy in the next few weeks to address the tumor recurrence. If the less-invasive Radiation Therapy option is viable, that would be a hugely preferable option! 

The folks at MD Anderson Cancer Center will discuss my case further next week at their Surgery Board meeting to figure out if there are any other treatments or clinical trials that could work for me. Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy is one possible option for treatment I can get at MD Anderson if I can afford it.

They will get back to me after the Surgery Board meeting with additional suggestions. So, all in all, a very productive trip to Houston so far. 👌

The title of this blog post is from a quote by Paramahansa Yogananda which adorns the header of the Houston Center of Self-Realization Fellowship website:

Everything else can wait, but our search for God cannot wait.

That is an appropriate title for this blog post as my spiritual seeking has played a significant role in the background of all this. 

This weekend is a special weekend for the folks at Self-Realization Fellowship. Paramahansa Yogananda had made it a practice to have all his disciples spend one day during the Christmas season meditating all day - a day to be devoted entirely to God Communion. Turns out the day for full-day-meditation this year is tomorrow - Saturday, December 15, 2018. 

I got to know of this program a few weeks ago. Learning a bit more about the specifics of this program, I had decided to skip the program altogether. The main reason for my decision to skip this program was that I did not want to abandon my responsibilities as a parent and leave my young daughter in her mother's care all-day while I go away to far-away-from-home Lakewood to participate in the day-long meditation session at the Denver chapter of Self-Realization Fellowship.

Since our plans changed and I had to travel to Houston this weekend, I could reconsider my decision especially because we have additional support from family members in Houston! 

The folks at Houston Center of Self-Realization Fellowship were very welcoming and happy to have me when I asked them if I can visit them during this trip. 

I attended an hour of the Thursday evening special meditation session yesterday. I plan to attend the full day meditation tomorrow and all the services on Sunday!

I will be immensely satisfied with this trip on our return to Longmont on Monday. 👏🙏

Amazing how things work out for the best when the mind is clear and focused. 

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