Jump to content

Starting SBRT this week


Recommended Posts

Just a check-in. I'm finally taking steps to address this second lung nodule (LUL) we've been watching since my lobectomy in Oct 2018 (RUL).  It's highly suspicious for another adenocarcinoma in-situ. Still smallish, but didn't want to miss a window of opportunity to get it before it spreads or grows.  PET scan did not light up, but consensus is it's the same as my last tumor.  I thought I was mentally ready for this, but I'm not. Finding sleep is not very restful :-(  I was told I could choose another surgery or SBRT.  With COVID, I was concerned about a hospital stay, and I really didn't want to undergo another surgery, so I didn't even go for a surgical consult. SBRT just seems like the right choice to make. (Tom Galli's posts made me feel confident in SBRT!) 

I'm very grateful for and pleased with the radiation oncologist from Univ of WA Med Center / Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.  My "team" has been outstanding. I can really see the difference in having a "team" in this process (I did not have that with the lobectomy... NOW I get it / why it's so beneficial to have a medical oncologist, etc.!) The RO has taken the time to understand my living situation (being out-of-town, single parent of an adult child with Autism). I feel fortunate I will only need 4 SBRT treatments, and he has scheduled them for Tuesday/Thursdays for two consecutive weeks. This will allow me to stay in Seattle for a couple of nights, drive home for a few days, and then return for the final two treatments. Perfect situation for driving and including the ability to care for my son.  The RO does not anticipate I'll have any major side effects. Possibly fatigue. Maybe a cough and some SOB. I hope that's all. I'm not afraid of the actual radiation. I know it won't hurt while being done.  I think I'm more afraid of side effects / impact on quality of life - should that occur... and, I'm just afraid of cancer, in general.  I have to fight hard not to think "okay, then what comes after this?" I want to believe that SBRT will zap this guy out of the ballpark and I can have a few years of NED if all goes well.  I am not foolish enough to believe that I won't be dealing with lung cancer again in the future.  I am 63. I am sure it will rear its ugly head again, but reading the bravery of others here in this forum is very inspiring and helpful in coping with that fear.

When I came to this forum over 3 years ago, I was terrified. This "place" and the people who participate, has really been my sole source of support and education (apart from my own research).  Thanks to you all!  When I had my lobectomy, I was very frightened about the future and my son.  We still live together - just bought a house together - and I'm praying I can stay at least as strong as I am to enjoy our home and fix it up with my son. 

SBRT will be a very different experience from surgery, I'm sure.  This time we are staying at the SCCA house during my treatment. Last time I had to leave my son alone in a hotel while I was in the hospital. At least we can be together this time.  He has been incredibly supportive and loving.

I am scared and yet - at the same time - I feel like I'm in a bit of denial, like this isn't that big of a deal (the SBRT - not the cancer. I know that's big). All I want to do is have the SBRT get rid of this tumor. I find myself worrying about things like: Will I be able to get up the stairs after SBRT without shortness of breath? Will I be able to garden? Will I be able to go for long hikes/walks up steep hills) with my son?  It's rainy and cold today and I felt mad - afraid that my days of doing these things might be numbered due to cancer or SBRT.  I wanted to get out and walk all day.

I'll check back after my treatments are completed.  The RO said he is comfortable in waiting 6 months following SBRT for my next scan, or we could do it in 3 months if that would make me feel better. I'll likely go with a 3 month scan.

Thanks for letting me vent and express my worries here on the keyboard.  It just helps to have a place to get some of these thoughts out!  Best to all of you. Colleen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Colleen, I think you've made a good choice for your situation with the SBRT. Just go in there and fry this sucker!  I'd be willing to bet that your side effects, if any, will be minimal. My best to you and keep us informed. Bridget O

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Colleen,

Glad to hear from you and sorry for the circumstance.  I cannot speak personally to SBRT to get rid of that nodule, but have read plenty of posts from others, most notably Tom Galli, regarding the success from this form of treatment.  You appear to have good confidence in your medical team and that is a great advantage for you.  If your RO Is saying that the side-effects will be minimal then I would believe him and go for it.  

The fear we face with this disease can seem never-ending.  Please try to focus on the fact that you only have this nodule now and it can be effectively treated with SBRT.  I know it is easier for me to say this than do it, but whatever will help you is worth sticking in your "tool bag".  I've read that "if we live in the past we get depressed and if we live in the future we live in anxiety".  I've found that to be true in my own life.

You're in a hopeful situation...small nodule, effective potential treatment.  My prayer is for your treatment to have few to no side-effects with effective death to the nodule.

Lou

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck with it. Just chiming in to say that I just had 3 rounds of SBRT to my adrenal metastesis and it was utterly undramatic. I am very fatigued, but that could well be the 32 conventional rounds I had to lymph gland and lung immediately prior. It certainly beats any invasive procedure I can think of - I’ve had a worse time having a mole removed. So gogogo and fear not!

My team are wanting scans after 3 months.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, RJN said:

Good luck with it. Just chiming in to say that I just had 3 rounds of SBRT to my adrenal metastesis and it was utterly undramatic. I am very fatigued, but that could well be the 32 conventional rounds I had to lymph gland and lung immediately prior. It certainly beats any invasive procedure I can think of - I’ve had a worse time having a mole removed. So gogogo and fear not!

My team are wanting scans after 3 months.

Thank you, RJN! :-)  I'm heading out the door and taking your advice!  Appreciate your share here.  Best wishes to you - will look for good news at your 3 month scan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howdy, 

Congrats on getting your team in place! It really does make a difference for me, too. 

Of course you're scared-- it's a new experience. I'll just chime in with RJN about the undramatic nature of my 30+ IMRT radiology sessions. Out of a whole long list of possible side effects, I had only one: fatigue. SOB was not involved. 

I'm having gamma knife surgery on my brain met in two weeks. I figure I'll be tired,  but I'll just wait to see if other stuff shows up.

Meanwhile, my fitness quest continues! I'm training for a hard, 75 mile bicycle ride. My pulmonologist, an avid bicyclist, thinks this is a dandy goal. Everybody else on my medical team finds my goal amusing. I hope you'll enjoy your days ahead despite your fears with stupid cancer. 

Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I've been away for a while and just seeing this now, Colleen.  I had SBRT in August for 15 sessions on mediastinum.  It worked!  I did have a burning feeling in my throat which made it difficult to swallow.  It resolved in 2 weeks.  I also had SBRT in January for 5 sessions on my diaphragm - the only side effect was fatigue which has gone away and my follow-up CT last week shows it worked again.  Please let us know about your experience and how you're doing.

Deb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.