Radiation has become my preferred method of treatment. Not because I believe it's the most efficacious or that it particularly feels good or bad, but really because it's quick and easy. Every morning I report to the Proton Therapy Center in the lower level basement of MGH, a team of technicians align me to a table using this odd face mask and tatooed marks on my chest and for 5 to 10 minutes I hear some weird noises as invisible laser beams heat up and destroy the tumor cells within my neck.
So far I cannot tell if there has been any constructive change in my disease. My shoulder still hurts maybe worse then before, however I have been walking with my cane a lot (putting pressure on my shoulder), and my neck has been becoming increasingly tight, particularly at the end of the day and before bedtime. This neck stiffness has been accompanied by headaches, as one could imagine with any pain in the neck (pun implied), and this morning my radiology oncologist thought it prudent to get an MRI of the brain.
I guess you find what you look for and we found tumor progression thoughout my sinuses, which is likely contributing to these headaches. It's like this nightmare never ends. I used to think I got headaches because I was overwhelmed in thought or had too much on my mind. Now it seems that every little ailment, as large or as insignificant as it may be, finds some deep routed causality from this terrible tumor progression. There's never a break and when I feel I'm making progress in one part of my treatment (physical therapy for instance), I still have this aweful disease tearing itself through the rest of my body.
So under my doctor's recommendations, instead of waiting for side effects to continue to surface (like what we did with my shoulder which i now have limited function), we're going go extend my radiation plan to include treating this new tumor progression in my sinuses.