Today I met with the surgical and radiation oncologists at UCLA medical center. The good news is that the prognosis is better than what I had been expecting. After about six weeks weeks of radiation, augmented by chemotherapy, they expect to get rid of all the cancer. (Surgery is not an option in my case.)
I’ll meet with the medical oncologist (the chemo doctor) on Thursday and also get my radiation mask made. Treatment will begin next week.
The only unknown is how much agony I will or won’t need to endure. Everyone reacts differently. I don’t expect it to be carefree, what with them attacking my tongue and throat. Eating will probably become more difficult than it is already, but, to balance that out, they predict the tracheostomy could be removed part way through treatment. That would be a huge annoyance and inconvenience lifted.
The team also includes a nutritionist, a dentist, and a swallowing & speech therapist.
Information was coming fast, so it was wonderful to have Ceebs with me to keep things documented and organized. She says not to trouble my mind about the logistics of all this, to just concentrate on rest and recovery. I can do that.
So, how long will I need to stay in Los Angeles? There are periodic checkups after the the radiation and chemotherapy, but I hope to be in good enough shape to do some wandering in between. The important thing is that if they’re correct with their prognosis, I eventually will be back on the road.