Julia had an appointment with Dr. Tochner, her radiologist, today. Dr. Tochner is the Chief of Pediatric Radiation Oncology. She also saw his associate, Dr. Goldsmith. They had already reviewed Julia’s scans and were quite pleased with the results of the chemo. Dr. Tochner explained that Julia will have 4 weeks of radiation – 2 weeks covering the area where the tumor had been to ensure that any cells remaining are killed and 2 weeks concentrated on the remaining tumor.
We also met with Ally, the Child Life Specialist. It is imperative that Julia stay still throughout the radiation treatments. As you may remember, when Julia received radiation the first time, she was put under general anesthesia each day. The hope is that she is old enough and will be able to remain still through this series for treatments, avoiding anesthesia. Ally spoke with us about strategies for having Julia keep still. She will be able to listen to music, books on tape, and recordings. As everyone knows Julia sings her heart out when she hears a song she knows and likes. Julia has to be completely still, so there is a concern with listening to familiar music. She will not be able to sing along or dance “in her seat” during treatment, so we won’t be able to have her listen to her favorite play list. Julia will need to go back this Thursday for a CT scan and prep for radiation. They will do a simulation of the radiation – a “dry run” to see how things will be set up with no radiation used. It will also give Julia a chance to see all of the equipment and practice lying still for 15 minutes.
Julia will have her chemo next week (5 day cycle) and the radiation therapy will begin the following Monday. The plan is the chemo will stay on schedule and Julia will have radiation in conjunction with any scheduled chemo. It is going to be a long five weeks.