Not to hijack this thread, but since Tom is so knowledgeable about radiation maybe he can prepare me for my visit with the radiation oncologist on Tuesday. I'm being sent to him because my primary tumor has not responded to the triplet (well, it appeared to after 2 infusions, but then seemed to enlarge back to and/or slightly above original size). I did have some other lymph nodes that did improve. Anyway, when the NP (due to onc being away for the holiday) shared this with us and we asked about side effects, she said there really shouldn't be any except possibly fatigue BECAUSE THEY WILL USE LOWER DOSES OF RADIATION AS THIS IS PALLIATIVE. She has a very difficult accent and we didn't pursue that with her further, but I was somewhat shocked. I thought they were going to try to 'kill' the primary tumor with this radiation treatment. That is certainly MY goal.
Also, in her conversation with the radiation oncologist, who was looking at my scan at the time, he said that he saw a couple of lymph nodes that he could probably include. If they "zap" the lymph nodes, does that destroy them just as if they were surgically removed? If so, does that increase the chances of lymphedema, which I already am having. I am seriously concerned about that, as they say there is no cure for it and I can see that having a significant negative impact on my quality of life down the road and might want to opt to try to let the chemo and immunotherapy afterwared take care of those lymph nodes.
Of course, I will take up all these questions with the radiation onc, but any thoughts you might have with all your experience would be appreciated.