We saw B’s Oncologist this morning, henceforth referred to as The German, as he does indeed hail from that nation.
I was on the lookout for Deutsch communications between doctor and patient. If I’d heard so much as a ‘Guten Tag’ I’d have shouted ‘No German!’ as I tend to do around B’s bilingual friends.
The appointment was conducted in English, but could have been in Swahili and I’d have received the same amount of information.
Not all test results are in, so we still don’t know whether the tumour shows the 1p and 19q chromosomal deletions that would indicate a more favourable outcome.
The treatment possibilities seem to be:
Deletions: PCV chemotherapy
No deletions: More aggressive treatment with radiotherapy and chemotherapy
The course of action is:
- See The German again on 14/6.
- MRI in a few weeks, when everything has settled down from the surgery. The scan will show whether there is any activity from residual tumour cells.
- If there is activity, treatment (according to presence or absence of deletions, above). If there is no visible activity, decide whether to act now or wait until first sign of activity.
PCV chemotherapy involves 6-8 cycles of 6 weeks each, so at least 9 months in total. However only one hospital visit is required per cycle.
The longest survival outcome is provided by a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but radiotherapy has long-term implications in terms of cognitive ability and memory. There may be a trade-off between length of life and quality of life.
A lot of questions and possibilities, but no answers and more waiting.
The German did mention sperm banking, as chemotherapy is likely to make B infertile. I took this as a compliment. He must think I’m younger than I am, as that ship has likely sailed. We don’t want children, so there is no need to bank sperm for a little B or J.