We saw Dr. Weir, who's head of neurosurgery at the U of C Hospital, on Friday and he recommended that Paul not have surgery. He said it wouldn't really make that much difference in terms of length of life, and the risks to his quality of life are just too great because of where the tumor is. We've pretty much decided to go with his advice.
The next step will be to see an oncologist to start radiation treatment right away. They may recommend chemotherapy at the same time, or it may come later. It's possible they may also recommend surgery at some later point, if Paul starts having severe neurological symptoms.
Dr. Weir gave us some statistics, which are pretty grim but we appreciated being told the truth. Basically, he has a 1 in 3 chance of living 2 years. The average length of life for someone with a tumor like Paul's is 10 months with radiation treatment. However, Paul would probably be at the upper end of the curve because he's young, the tumor is small, he's in good physical shape, and he's not having any neurological symptoms. Dr. Weir said he knows of one patient with a tumor like Paul's who lived for 20 years.
I'm planning to take off tomorrow (Monday) to try to make arrangements for seeing the oncologist. Also to recouperate from the weekend. Paul's Mom & Dad, his sister and her husband, and 2 brothers and their wives were here. It was an emotional time, but was also a good time. I cancelled my trip to Washington and am hoping to come in to work a couple of days next week.
Continue to: July 22, 1997
Return to: Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife
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Created: May 2, 1999
Latest revision: July 18, 2010