Kate and I went to the oncologist/hematologist today to find out his recommended treatment strategy for her brain cancer. He explained the initial pathology report from St. John's a little further. The tumor was diagnosed as a grade 3 (on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the worst) anaplastic oligoastrocytoma (mixed-glioma). Grade 3 is considered mid-level. Unfortunately, we are still waiting on the extended (second opinion) pathology report from Barnes. Apparently, their "world-renowned" neurological pathologist is in Germany this week attending an international conference on brain tumors (I guess that's a good thing). He'll be back on Monday, so hopefully we'll hear something early next week.
The oncologist said that if the initial path report holds up and the tumor is indeed a grade 3, he would recommend long-term chemotherapy (Temodar, an oral medication) and radiation therapy. He said that Temodar has relatively mild side effects, although radiation therapy will definitely cause complete hair loss and fatigue; and the possibility of nausea, vomitting, headaches, memory loss, and blindness in one eye (if they get too close to the optic nerve, which is extremely rare).
If it comes in lower than a grade 3, he would only recommend Temodar. Please pray that it would be.
Since our oncologist is a generalist and rarely treats any brain cancer patients (I asked him about this), we are seeking a specialist in that area, a neuro-oncologist, for their analysis and recommendation. Fortunately, we received a referral for one that works at Barnes and I think is the only one in the area. Please pray that we can get in to see him next week.
Kate's resting this evening and I'm getting ready to do the same! Its been another long week for our family.
Blessings to all of you who are supporting us.