Monday Oct 23 was the final of 4 proton radiation treatments for me. All went off without interruption, again thanks to the wonderful team of doctors, care workers and physicists that are involved in the treatment of this very rare type of cancer. The 90 second treatment was divided into two parts so I have time to rest my eyes after the first 45 seconds. This change greatly aided in controlling my eye movements and the eye not wandering from the blinking light target. In what seemed like no time at all I was released from the chair with the treatments being concluded; and I was given the mask to keep. Thanks Patricia!
The proton radiation treatment will kill and shrink the tumor and related cancerous cells in the area of treatment, my left eye, over the next 12 months. Itâ€™s unlikely that I will regain any of the vision I have lost, the retina has been stretched by the fluid of the tumor and itâ€™s not likely to re-level itself to be a flat surface that transmits vision correctly. I can live with this. I have a new eye drop to use for the next 3 months, until my first follow up appointment. Drops, drops and more drops. Dr. Paton, the ocular oncology ophthalmologist that is taking care of me is confidant that because of the slow growth of the tumor it is unlikely for it to spread. I will still have regular follow-ups of the eye tumor and we will see where this leads me in the future. Having such a dedicated and knowledgeable doctor on my site helps greatly to reduce the stress of the initial diagnosis for me and my wife, and I can confidently pass along the good news to family and friends.
Sheila and I were also given a tour of the TRIUMF facility (pictures to be posted in the pictures section) by the physicist that designed and built the control room. Itâ€™s quite the facility, involved in up to 25 nuclear research tests and trials at any given time, 24 hours a day. TRIUMF also houses a PET scanner, custom for other medical scanning procedures. Being that the TRIUMF facility is the only one of its type in Canada itâ€™s amazing that resources are set aside to treat such a rare type of cancer with no additional costs involved for the patient, outside of housing and travel related costs during the treatment time span.
Now we have a day of rest then itâ€™s a long drive back home to Kamloops to begin the regular schedule of everyday life once again.