Belated Photo Update

Gamma Completed

The iffy area in the cavity in my brain from last April's surgical resection turned out to be tumor action so I spent 92 more minutes on the Leksell Gamma Knife table at the Tokyo Women's' Medical Univ. Hospital to blast away with rays of Cobalt and clear the cancer again. As long as we find and recurrences when they're small enough, I can keep zapping away when necessary. This time, I had the procedure on an outpatient basis and a good friend gave me a ride home. I was home before the kids got home from school; an easy day, actually.

My son is hoping to join the little league so I went to practice on Sunday to get more information and scope out the possibility of getting a hand-me-down uniform. It looks like I'll have to call around a bit yet. There's a contract I have to sign, promising to participate in the roster of parent volunteers at practices and sell hot dogs or noodles as various festivals held on the elementary school grounds. It also warns that that two parents will be needed on the committee that controls the use of the school grounds and someone to handle collecting the $20 per month dues for each child will be chosen from the contract signers. It looks like the older kids ride their bikes to practice at the riverside field and the school grounds aren't used much...I guess I'd better look for a bike for L too now...He did come home from his trial day quite satisfied with his experience. He said that only the captain was faster than he was and that the coaches were nice.

M is getting ready to sign up for exams to enter high school. We've spoken to her junior high teacher who is in charge of guidance for his whole class (he's not very encouraging...), and we're off to visit the school she wants to attend for an open house on Saturday. Then we'll rush home so she can study for final exams at her junior high. These exams will affect her chances as they are a very large part of her grade and the grade is used in conjunction with entrance exam results in February. I hate the pressure these kids get from their schools about this all right when they're a mess of teenage hormones. She seems to be doing OK so far. She's finished the hard part; choosing a school in the first place.

Public or private, high school is not mandatory so tuition is required. Of course public schools are inexpensive but we can only try for one as the exams are usually on the same day, while the private schools have various schedules. There are hundreds of public schools, some really academic, some remedial types, some vocational etc. J's school is a super academic type. M is more interested in practical studies with a hint of academic topics so she chose a business communications high school. As N will graduate from elementary school and go to junior high in spring, I'll have four kids and four schools from April. I may need a manager so I get to all the class meetings and school events.

In the meantime, this month marks five years of post diagnosis breast cancer survival and I'm turning 45 so a week of celebration and Thanksgiving with family and friends is in order. We may see our niece from Kyushu who will visit her brother and his family this weekend as well. Before I get too busy, I think I'll take a walk to see some foliage tomorrow. The temple area near the Tokyo Metropolitan Botanical Gardens is usually stunning right about now.



I managed to keep my schedule for my October MRI and ten days of radiation to nip the pain producing cancer in my pelvis, making good use on my time between finishing my last chemo and starting the next regime. Two days before the scheduled MRI I noticed a few things I thought my neurosurgeon should know (trouble talking and mini-convulsion on my right side for about 30 seconds) so on the day I got the MRI I stopped by to leave a message and was told I should call him at the hospital on the next evening as he was out of town. He answered right away even though it was Saturday night and explained that the MRI showed some swelling around the Gamma rayed area and that if I had any leftover steroids (I got a three day supply each three weeks to deal with post chemo days but always stopped at two days because post chemo days have been okay.) I should take a big dose and go in to see him first thing Monday morning. He said that I should immediately take an ambulance any time if I had any seizures. The steroids did their job and I didn't need any emergency transportation.

After my 60 seconds of radiation on Monday, I stopped by neurosurgy and got more details and a presciption for more steroids plus an anticonvulsant and we made plans for to me check in to the National Cancer Center the next week for the final two days of radiation and another craniotomy. The kids and I spent the week getting ready for them to feed themselves and go to and their respective schools in time etc. We even got all the Halloween costumes together so the could go have fun at an annual party. I thought I'd been dragging them there all these years, turns out they were having fun and were game to go even if mom didn't drag them. Good friends were there watching out for them and the the three who went (J had school) say they had a good time.

Plans went well and I came home yesterday. I'm stuttering a bit but am improving as the part of my brain that work the motor control for speaking had a little trauma. I know that I don't sound like I usually do, but I can still speak in English or Japanese I consider any apraxia very mild.

I have appointments all week, some for getting ready for the new chemo (Tykerb and Xeloda, need to check liver and heart functions) and others for evaluating another "iffy" area in my brain for possibly another Gamma surgery. The nature of this breast cancer means it tends to keep popping up so I remain vigilant and zap when (and where) necessary.

Today I'm off to elementary school to check out this year's art display.