Home > Jim > Radiation treatments will begin on Monday

Radiation treatments will begin on Monday

We had met with the radiologist, Valerian Chyle, twice before today.  I would call him a free-spirited, happy man who is dangerously brilliant.  He is also the most environmentally aware doctor I’ve ever met, so he and I get along rather well that way too.  (http://www.thecentersforcancercare.com/?p=dr-chyle, if you’d like to see him.) 

First, he came in and asked Jim about his symptoms.  Then, he ran Jim through the fastest physical exam I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure it was partially to test how fast Jim could follow along.  (I probably would have failed.)  He made lots of notes after he tried to lift Jim’s legs.  He could only get to about 35 degrees before the pain started.  Dr. Chyle likes to make drawings for us, and this drawing explained what was happening very well.  I’ll try to describe it.  There are nerves that branch off the spinal cord and go through two little holes in the back of each vertebra.  The tumors that are causing the pain have wrapped themselves around those nerves.  When Jim moves they are pulled through those holes and that initiates the pain.  

So, the solution is to apply radiation to his spine starting at L4 and going all the way down his sacrum.  Jim will do this for 5 days next week and then on to chemo.  The doctor listed the typical side-effects, which are similar to chemo side-effects: fatigue, nausea, irritated bowel and so on, but it didn’t sound like he thought they would be too severe.

Dr. Chyle is slightly amazed by Jim, and has been complimentary regarding his survival the past two times.  (Probably because he is so wrong in what he told us the first time we met.)  This time he smiled at Jim and said, “We never know what will happen next in your case.”

Jim’s parents and brother arrived yesterday.  They will be here for a few/several days, and Jim’s mom will probably stay through the first week of chemo.

I thought everyone might like the following picture of Sarah from the 4th of July parade.  Every time the fire engine would honk its horn, Sarah would “honk” her nose.

  1. jayne field
    August 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you for the concise and precise update on Jim’s treatment. The radiation stopping the pain or easing it will be such a gift for Jim. And we know the chemo worked in the past, so then to get to work again. I know this is the attack, and it involves so much more and is NOT simple at all. This is a plan of action and hope. Am so glad Helen, Jim and Justin can be there. Team Morris is an awesome family.
    Love to you all. And Miss Sarah is quite the cutey in her July 4th mode.

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