news is not good. The MRI shows that the cancer has spread to multiple spots throughout Skip's brain-- too many for a discrete targeted radiation treatment. (Chemo doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier, which is why the cancer is having such a party up there). Dr. Dayton has recommended total brain irradiation, and we have an appointment today to see the radiation oncologist. After an initial consultation, there will probably be a series of 14 or 15 treatments, much like the ones he had on his spine last year. He'll also be taking steroids throughout this whole thing-- lots of steroids. "They'll make you ravenous," the doc enthused. "And a little aggressive." (- I immediately thought of Nicholas Ray's Bigger than Life, a film about steroid-induced psychosis, and shuddered.).
The hope is that the radiation will halt the metastasis (the spreading of the cancer)--there are possible side effects, some of them quite nasty. But the doc said that the worst ones don't kick in until about 2 years after treatment. And he was pretty blunt in saying that with treatment Skip would at least HAVE 2 years that he wouldn't otherwise have. So, it's a way of buying time.
I'll post again when I know more. I've been listening to John Zorn and Marc Ribot's Jazz in Marciac 2010 concert for the past 2 days, trying to catch a thread connecting me to what I think of as my normal life. My friend Jenny called to say that she wants to come visit (probably after Aug 15 when she's done teaching). As soon as she offered, I burst into tears, great racking sobs--I didn't realize how exhausted I am.