We met with DeAngelis and her oncology team: Dr. Yosh Umemurai, Dr. Birra [inpatient 3rd year resident – part of the team], Antonio Pascual [via Facetime], Katia Fisch, Ed Sullivan, Susan Locke and Alan.
The first and most important question to be addressed was whether or not surgery is necessary. Dr. DeAngelis explained that Alan’s tumors affect multiple parts of the brain and that they are probably “connected to each other.”
The results of his most recent brain scan [since hospitalization] indicated that there has been significant and rapid growth of the tumor on the right side. The rapidity and extent of this growth was not anticipated by any of his doctors. The overwhelming probability is that the symptoms he has been experiencing [left side weakness in particular] are due to this tumor, though there is a slight possibility that the effects of radiation treatments are present.
Alan was assured that surgery would result in significant improvement in the functioning of his left side. The surgery would not involve tumors that are present in other areas of the brain, including the one located near the corpus callosum. The treatment of cancerous tissue other than the large mass on the right side would be handled with chemo or immuno-therapy.
Following surgery, he would likely be in the hospital for several days, followed by return home or possibly intermediate care in a rehab facility.
There will be no further radiation treatment. If they are sure that it is a tumor [not effects of radiation], this will determine what form of chemo he receives. The fact that he has recently undergone radiation would likely preclude his participation in clinical trials at this time.
When weighing treatment by chemo only vs. surgery, it was clearly Dr. DeAngelis ‘ opinion that surgery is his best option and that it would provide the most immediate relief.
When we discussed the possibility of surgery at NYU, there was no compelling reason to move Alan from MSK. In fact, the whole process of transfer [particularly if NYU would not admit him immediately and he would have to go home in between hospitals] would likely be needlessly stressful. Alan was assured that Dr. Tabar is a highly skilled surgeon and that he would be in capable hands.
Surgery is now scheduled for this Friday PM. A sense of urgency was stressed.
Earlier today, I had a physical therapy and an occupational therapy session both were hard work, but helpful. My left side is still very weak.
While I love all of the love and support, it’s almost too much – rest is #1 priority for now.
More info coming a things develop.
A pic from Katia Picasso:
One last request set up by my loving friend Michelle: