We had our meeting today with our neuro-oncologist, Dr. Crawford, to discuss all of the test results and his proposed plan for treatment. Based on the test results of the tumor pathology, spinal fluid and further evaluation of the spinal MRI, Dr. Crawford is proposing a more aggressive treatment plan that he will discuss with the doctors at MD Anderson. Although the surgery was successful in removing the tumor, he wants to ensure we do the best job we can now in reducing the risk of anything growing back. The pathology and genetic results revealed that the majority of the tumor appears to be of the average risk for regrowth type but there are parts that appear to be more aggressive which pose a higher risk. And even though the spinal fluid was negative for cancer cells, the Glucose level was lower than expected which could be an early warning sign for risk of regrowth. Then combining all of this genetic testing with a very slight anomaly on the spinal MRI, he is characterizing the tumor as anaplastic (or aggressive) which would then warrant a more aggressive treatment. The bottom line is that this helps to determine the radiation dosage they will use during treatment and he is recommending the higher dose of 36 Gy versus the average dose of 23.4 Gy. His concern is that you don’t get a second chance to go back and just add 12 Gy more radiation so he doesn’t want to take any chances.
Our appointment ran longer than we thought and we ended up arriving home to a delicious meal waiting for us from the Blackburn family. That was perfect!
We are still waiting on the insurance agreement to be finalized with MD Anderson so that we can get our schedule set. There is an initial consultation visit where Travis will be fitted for an immobilization device and a simulation of the treatment will be performed. From there, it would be 5 business days before the actual treatment is started. We are planning to turn that time into a mini spring break vacation around the Houston area and visit some of the attractions (NASA Johnson Space Center, Galveston, Baseball game, etc).
Tony and Lynne